Grit monkey

c: | f: /

Ice + grit = waste of time.

We all have this notion that local councils — Government — are there to spend our tax money wisely. To do stuff for us that we otherwise might not do ourselves. But when it comes down to it, they’re just people who are employed by other people and have red tape, bosses and budget meetings, along with all the other rubbish that comes with money-oriented society.

So as I was driving down the street yesterday I shouldn’t have been surprised to see a heavyset, middle-aged council employee — more likely a sub-contractor on minimum wage, not far removed from Cro-magnon man — wearing a hi-vis jacket and sporting the kind of grimace one would expect to see on a toilet attendant at a comprehensive school.

He had a small bucket in one hand and was morosely stuffing his hand into the contents — grit — and tossing it onto the pavement every 10 yards or so like he was feeding birds at the park and didn’t care if they lived or died. Presumably, his remit was to make sure people didn’t slip on the predicted snow last night but he evidently wasn’t paid enough to care if he was doing enough to prevent the council wasting more of my money on a court case should somebody fall over.

And that got me thinking: why do the council care? What are we to them apart from a source of revenue and a constant irritation? Is it really worth their while sending somebody out on the streets with a bucket every time the weathermen make a half-arsed attempt at guessing whether there’s going to be ice, or are they just doing it so they can be seen to be doing something that reflects well on their next appraisal?

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