All drivers have experienced the frustration of finding our paths blocked or restricted as we rush headlong to yet another aspect of our oh so important lives. It could be a tractor, a bus, a delivery van, a dustcart or a caravan. What they all (apart from the last) have in common is that they are vehicles being driven for the benefit of all by drivers who are worthy of our respect and gratitude rather than the abuse which is regularly heaped on them as they go about their business.
I mention this mainly because of witnessing the behaviour of a driver of a car which was behind a dustcart servicing the bins along a local main road which was coned off for repairs and had traffic control lights at either end. The refuse wagon was moving at a pace that enabled the hard working loaders to run (not stroll or amble) alongside emptying and replacing the scores of bins placed by the kerb. A sane observer would acknowledge that they were doing all that was humanly possible to discharge their duties as swiftly as possible and minimise inconvenience. Mr Apoplectic, however, bellowed abuse at the driver and suggested, in all seriousness that, in his weird world, they should have parked the wagon at the end of the roadworks and walked up and down with the bins, so that he could save a few minutes on his journey which was clearly much more important. The same oafish twerp would probably be the first to complain if his bins weren’t emptied on time. I was astonished and impressed by the calm manner in which the dustcart driver tried to explain (in a situation where anyone with more than one brain cell would need no explanation) that he had no option but to do what he was doing and his loaders were going as fast as they could.
There are too many Mr Apoplectics out there, sadly. I overtook one recently who was driving at 40mph on a 60mph road. As I passed I could see he was on the phone. Moments later he accelerated up behind me with headlights full on and tailgated me until I pulled over and let him by. Doubtless he then felt better.
So let’s all try to be kinder to people who do jobs that benefit all of us, even though we are occasionally inconvenienced by them doing it.