Supermarket etiquette can make a shopper’s day
I am a female, not very tall, and now rather elderly. There are many kindly men and women in the supermarket who pick up goods from the shelf when it is too high for me to reach and others who let me through a doorway first as I have a walking stick. I always thank these courteous people for whatever they have done.
However, there are also many incidents when a shopper, maybe a middle aged woman with a frenetic look in her eyes or, more commonly, a man, often a lot taller than I am, knocks me with his arm or even his hip as he strides past. I automatically say “Oh, sorry” as they continue on, either not caring or simply oblivious to having collided with me.
Sometimes I can’t help myself saying to their backs “oh, that’s ok, I know you didn’t mean to bump me”. I have had some varied and funny reactions.
One day, I wanted a tub of margarine. A thirtyish couple were standing in front of the margarine shelves, arguing about which brand they wanted. I waited for a minute and a half and then said, “Excuse me, could I please get some margarine?” They separated and allowed me in, said not a word, then resumed arguing loudly about margarine.
A smile, a please, and a thank you, and good manners generally, are very easy to give and can make a person’s day.
Mary Lane, Mornington
Last night (Thursday 15 December) my wife and I had the great pleasure of experiencing a fantastic musical recital at the Frankston Arts Centre when the MSO orchestra and choir, together with the Mornington Peninsula Chorale performed Handel’s Messiah.
I feel that we here on the peninsula, are most privileged to have, close at hand, such an excellent venue and to be entertained by such talented musicians, both professional and amateur.
Mornington Peninsula Shire is to be encouraged to continue it’s support for the performing arts.
Kevin Sack, Somers
Can someone at Mornington Peninsula Shire explain why the standard of parks and reserves maintenance is so low? We all know of the unseasonal rain, but the presentation of Mornington parks is just dreadful.
I contacted the shire about Summerfields Wetlands playground which hasn’t seen a mower in weeks and weeks. What I got was a service request number (for a job that is routine and provided for under the parks contract).
Maybe the service request is to inquire why the shire contract managers are not enforcing the contract.
The mayor [Cr Steve Holland] said he would “escalate” the service request; all I was asking for was the contractor to do the job it is paid to do.
Please lift your game, the standards of service have dropped materially, and that’s not even talking about potholes.
Kevin Clarke, Mornington
Last week l sent you a letter re VMC (Victorian Maritime Centre, Crib Point) which you published, thankyou (“Centre sends SOS” Letters 13/12/22).
Unfortunately, you altered the opening times, it should read 10am-3pm, also you used lower case on Merchant Navy. l have checked the letter l sent and would like a correction printed please.
Kaye Matthews, Bittern
Over the past couple of weeks, the letter pages seem to be full of writers bemused by the Liberal Party’s wins on the western side of the Mornington Peninsula.
One correspondent quotes figures stating that one in 4 four people on the peninsula live below the property line (“Vote earner” Letters 13/12/22). Really? Does that include me and the rest of the coffee shop retirees who only have a minimum income but pay out a lot more in bills per week?
Just because we use our own funds, saved over years of hard work and employing others, rather than whinge about the amount of government handouts we can scrounge, doesn’t mean you can lump us in with the “you owe me a living group”.
Here is a fact: only 22 per cent of people in the Mornington electorate wanted a Labor candidate (two in 10). Nepean? Three in 10.
Perhaps it may be that these writers are out of sync with the majority.
Michael G Free, Mount Martha
We have a new Victorian Liberal leader (a man) who has vowed to appeal to progressives. Progressivism is a political philosophy advocating for policies that are generally considered left-wing, left-wing populist, libertarian socialist, social democratic, and environmentalist. Progressives: an advocate of social reform.
Now for the oxymoron: John Pesutto, a former lawyer, adviser and a staffer for the alt-right Institute of Public Affairs, says he’ll be more constructive.
The Institute of Public Affairs (IPA) is a conservative non-profit free market public policy think tank. It advocates free market economic policies such as free markets, privatisation, deregulation of state-owned enterprises, trade liberalisation, deregulation of workplaces, abolition of the minimum wage, criticism of socialism, and repeal of Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975. It also rejects large parts of climate science.
Joe Lenzo, Safety Beach
Sometimes it’s best to apologise, move on, and remind yourself against jumping to conclusions. It turns out my old mate, who I jokingly refer to as Blind Freddy (no disrespect intended) replied, when I suggested our former prime minister Scott Morrison not only shattered the careers of many public servants but surely was well aware of the illegality of robodebt? Said Freddy, bless him: “Is the Pope a Catholic?”
Cliff Ellen, Rye
Adapt to change
Many Australians, particularly those who live in the eastern states, will be happy to see the back of 2022. The severity, frequency and extent of the flooding brought extreme hardship and loss of income to thousands, mostly those in regional towns and on the land.
Data released by the Insurance Council of Australia on 30 November shows that the cost of this year’s February-March floods has now reached more than $5.65 billion making it the “most expensive natural disaster in Australia’s history”.
But just how natural were these events? NSW’s independent inquiry into the floods found that “as the climate warms, heavy rainfall events are expected to continue to become more intense with consequent increased chances of flash flooding”.
In its recent report, The Great Deluge, the climate council argues that because the natural drivers, La Nina and the Indian Ocean Dipole, were “climate-fuelled”, the term “unnatural disaster” is more appropriate.
According to science organisations, such as the Australian Academy of Science and NASA, today’s climate change is primarily human-induced. These extreme weather events are amplified by human activities and therefore are no longer natural in the usual sense.
The federal government’s focus has been on mitigating climate change. This money and effort must be matched by helping communities adapt as well. The 28 recommendations from the NSW inquiry into the floods provide an excellent model.
Ray Peck, Hawthorn
Go vegan for Christmas
A spectre is haunting Australia—the spectre of heatwaves. A James Cook University study this year showed that heatwaves are responsible for more deaths and hospitalisations than any other natural hazard, including cyclones and floods. And of course, the drying of tall grass in the heat threatens further catastrophic bushfires.
The bureau has warned that temperatures in parts of the outback will reach 46 degrees in the coming days and well into the 30s on the coast, portending a white (hot) Christmas, probably followed by destructive storms.
Why has the climate turned against us? Another statistic released this month sheds some light (and heat) on this. The Queensland Conservation Council and the Wilderness Society have found that over five million acres of woody vegetation were cleared in Queensland alone in the five years to 2019. Almost four million of those acres were bulldozed on beef properties. The report observes that eastern Australia is now listed as a “global deforestation front”.
Around eight million cattle are slaughtered in Australia each year, after a short, wretched life during which they were burned with hot irons (branded), their horns cut or burned off, and males’ testicles ripped out of their scrotums – all without pain relief. Trees absorb carbon dioxide and bulldozing an area the size of East Timor [Timor-Leste] to make room for yet more cattle is planetary suicide, killing koalas, polluting rivers and the Great Barrier Reef and contributing to dangerous climate change.
Here’s the best Christmas present for those that you love – give them a future, with liveable temperatures, clean air and water and cruelty-free food. Go vegan, for the season of peace on Earth.
Desmond Bellamy, PETA Australia
Salvos give thanks
As yet another challenging year draws to a close, I find myself again asking: how can we, at The Salvos, express our immense gratitude to the Australian community for their generosity, kindness and support?
While I try to find the words, I think of families like Annie’s. They were already living close to the poverty line when her employer cut her hours of work, tipping them over the edge. Heading into Christmas, they were struggling to make ends meet. Agonising decisions like whether to put petrol in the car or food on the table; pay the electricity bill or buy medication plagued Annie every day. She began having panic attacks and harbouring guilt about not being able to give her children everything they want and deserve.
But thanks to the Aussie community spirit, Annie has hope.
“The Salvos helped us with bills and gave us vouchers so we could buy Christmas food and presents for the kids. It meant we could actually celebrate Christmas. I’m forever grateful, I really am,” Annie said.
As a Salvation Army officer, delivering services to people like Annie, there aren’t enough words to express our deepest gratitude to a very generous Australian community– all we can do is say thank you.
Thank you for donating, volunteering and packing hampers so that we could distribute over 64,000 food parcels and vouchers, and around 300,000 gifts and toys.
Thank you for helping us provide over 1.5 million meals, 887,500 crisis beds and 2000-plus services nationwide.
Thank you for helping us keep Christmas alive for Aussies struggling to make ends meet.
People say, ‘thank God for the Salvos’. We say thank God for you.
To donate to The Salvation Army’s Christmas Appeal, or for support, visit salvationarmy.org.au or call 13 72 58.
Major Bruce Harmer, The Salvation Army
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