You Kay today

Hello and welcome to You Kay today, the page on The Blind Life Coach where I’ll be taking an occasional sideways look at life in the You Kay, or Britain today if you haven’t cottoned on to my weird sense of humour yet!!

Comments published here will be purely personal and often written from the perspective of someone who is partially sighted; if The Blind Life Coach can’t do that who can? It will have nothing to do with life coaching, at least not directly.

I’ll begin with a topic which I hope won’t turn into a tirade; the NHS.

I’m not particularly a political animal. I was raised to be as independent as possible, a view which is reflected in this website. I believe that as far as possible everyone should be responsible for their own situation, they shouldn’t rely on ‘the state’ or ‘someone’ to support them.

I also believe in the opposite side of that particular coin; those who are in genuine need should be provided for. Compassion for fellow citizens within the State system is, or should be, one of the foundation markers of a civilised society.

One of the first priorities, if not the first priority of any Government is the protection of its citizens. By ‘protection’ I don’t purely men military protection although I’ll comment on that in a later post. I include the provision of a viable, useable and effective health service in the term ‘protection’ and would ask what to me, in my political naivety, is a simple question;

Why can politicians not put dogma and rhetoric aside, stop using the NHS as if it were a football match with each side vying to score points????

Why do The Left and the unions spout inflexible dogma and often refuse to accept new proposals without an inordinate pay rise? Why do The Right frequently take a short term view and try to cut costs and corners which usually come back to haunt the taxpayer?

It should be accepted that some things simply do cost a lot of money. Yes, they must be managed effectively. Yes extortionate salaries should be resisted. Yes, restrictive and inflexible practices should be exposed and eliminated but what remains still needs to be adequately funded.

Am I alone amongst the GBP in wondering when/if our political masters of whatever hue, together with all of the other stratas in society who don’t actually have to use the present system will EVER be able to work TOGETHER to provide and support a health system that ……….works for any You Kay citizen who needs it?

As I descend my soap box for today I readily assume the mantle of naivety but leave the question hanging in the winter air; WHY AREN’T THEY?

© The Blind Life Coach.

How miserly can someone get?

The British people are generally known to be very generous when it comes to giving to charity.

TV appeals for various International Charities, Red Nose Day, and Children in Need, you name it and that fabulous institution The Great British public respond magnificently.

They react so splendidly that a tiny percentage of lazy, ignorant morons even set up fake charities to take advantage of this selfless wave of contributions.

In the face of this munificence what is it that causes some people to become so miserly and penny pinching that they feel it appropriate to barter with charity shop staff?

I have had occasion to deliver contributions to a particular charity shop, part of a National chain, twice a week over the last six weeks or so.

Being partially sighted I don’t drive and on each occasion I’ve lingered in the shop for some thirty minutes or so to pass time until my next bus arrives. This waiting time has given me the opportunity to talk with the staff as well as to observe the customers.

During every single visit someone has either attempted to obtain a reduction on the price of an article or inspected the item in question as if it were a bar of gold in order to find the tiniest defect and thus a bargaining point.

I’ll quote just two recent examples. An English speaking couple came in. I’ll not say where they were from because I don’t wish to tar everyone with the same brush.

The guy found a pair of trousers that he feigned to like priced at £6.99 – bear that in mind, £6.99.

He scrutinised them minutely.

Finding that a button was missing he indicated that he wasn’t really interested after all but that he’d consider buying them for £6.00 if they fitted.

This is someone who’s on holiday from another country and who was on a touring holiday using a hire car – and he had the barefaced cheek to barter .99p off the price of a pair of perfectly good trousers IN A CHARITY SHOP!!!

The second example was a woman who balked at paying £12.00 for a pair of good quality fashion boots that, from the fact that the label was still on the sole, looked as if they hadn’t even been worn.

Rather than lose a sale the shop agreed on a price of £10.00.

Yes, yes, I know that the shop doesn’t have to agree to reduce the prices but come on people, have a heart, be reasonable. The majority of the proceeds go towards the work of the charity.

Usually, apart from the full time managers, these shops are staffed by volunteers who support the charities by giving their time for no pay and you guys are apparently quite happy to wriggle out of .99p and £2.00?

I can’t believe fate decrees that these incidents only happen when I visit this particular shop at those specific times. It follows therefore that this scruffy and stingy attitude is quite widespread.

Get a life folks. If you can’t support a worthwhile charity by paying the already minute asking price for something that takes your fancy what are you doing going for a day out in the first place; or is the thought that you’ve ‘got one over’ on a charity shop the driving force behind the excursion?

© The Blind Life Coach