It’s just not that hard

It’s just not that hard to stub out that cigarette when you get rid of it, rather than chucking it on the ground.

It’s just not that hard to look at the lights outside the lift when it arrives. If the top light is on, it’s going up. If the bottom light is on, it’s going down.

It’s just not that hard to leave a message on the voicemail when you ring, rather than making me guess who it was.

It’s just not that hard to look and see if the dome light on the taxi is lit up before waving frantically at it.

It’s just not that hard to switch off the phone diversion when you move into my old desk, so I don’t get your calls. Especially when I left a PostIt note mentioning I’d done it.

It’s just not that hard to use your indicator.

It’s just not that hard to put your litter in a bin.

It’s just not that hard to stand aside to prevent delaying others if you’re going nowhere.

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.

19 replies on “It’s just not that hard”

Is that diversion still going? :) And yes, the lift one is particularly annoying. What hope do we have as a species if you can’t look up?

I’m guilty of the taxi light one. I catch taxi’s so rarely I can never remember if the taxi is available when the light is on, or off. They should have an LED that says ‘available’ or ‘out of service’ like buses.

I used to always gripe about the taxi light one and chuckle smugly at people waving at taxis that already have fares. Then I went out on the town a few times with a friend who waves at them anyway, and you know what – it sodding works half the time.

Yeah forget the taxi one. There are two lights on top and only people with a Melway or who use taxis regularly (and have good memories) have any idea what those lights mean. Why not have a green light if it’s available and a red light if it’s not?

Not to mention plenty of taxis will have NO lights on at all, just to be discretionary (or whatever). Sure, if there’s one or two orange lights on, you can maybe not wave. Otherwise, hell for leather.

Daniel, each and every one of those things relies on a person using their commonsense and grey matter between their ears.
Apparently it’s far easier to be lazy and expect everyone around you to do the thinking/acting for you.
Oxygen thieves is another name for ’em :P

Nathan, thankfully it’s now turned off :-)

Philip, I’m talking about the big dome light, not the little ones on top. If the big dome light is lit, it’s available. Otherwise, not.

Alexio, I’ve heard of some taxi drivers keeping them turned off and deciding if they like the look of you before pulling over to let you in, like they might get into trouble if they drove right past you with the light switched on. Which I guess blows away my point, rather, doesn’t it.

totally agree with the cigarette one.

I was in the city last month and had to call 000 because a bin was smoking, when the fire engine got there the bin it self was a burning puddle and the metal cage around it was burning quite fiercely too

when they left, it was clear the entire cage and top needed to be replaced, not just the plastic bin – i would say the whole operation would cost Melbourne city council $500 at least – all because someone was too lazy to but out their cigarette before throwing it out

It’s not that hard to put you mobile (cellphone) in your pocket, so that it doesn’t sit on your desk ringing-ing-ing-ing when you’ve stepped out for a smoke, frustrating both the caller and your surrounding workmates.

It’s not that hard to step outside the crowded train/tram for a minute to give others an easier exit – you get back on first.

It’s not that hard to think bike when opening the car door – bikes slamming into opening car doors is the most common cycle accident in the CBD.

It’s not that hard to put contact numbers in a (corporate) email signature.

It’s not that hard (?) to say NO to the next motorway (terminology: motorway is either a freeway or tollway).

About the taxis. They should do as they do in Hong Kong: a sign saying FOR HIRE (they do similar in New Zealand).

About the lift: I have an aunty in Hong Kong (chinese) who presses the direction she wants. After about 5 seconds she presses the other direction (!). She then gets in the first lift that arrives (!!). Sometimes the lift is obliging (!!!).

Oh I missed one: it’s not that hard to say the Internet Filter is too hard. Hell, if they couldn’t get Fuelwatch going, they’re gonna have real fun getting the filter going. Filter sarcastically described in )

Re Taxis – in different cities, the orange lights mean the opposite thing.

In Sydney for example the light means the taxi is available.

In Melbourne, the light means the taxi is occupied.

It took me a while to figure that one out when I moved from Sydney to Melbourne. It’s especially horrid to think what it’d be like to the uneducated tourist or business traveler, considering they don’t tell you these things on the plane, at the airport etc, and you can spend your afternoon madly hailing taxis that are occupied and ignoring taxis that are available when you are trying to get back to the airport.

They need to get rid of the lights and use words. Taxis in Sydney used to have a spinning display that said things like VACANT, ENGAGED, NOT FOR HIRE etc on the top. Low tech is best IMHO.

Have to endorse the others with the taxi thing, I’m afraid. I’ve successfully hailed taxis that look occupied (ie no dome light) on several occasions so I always give it a whirl now. You never know ;-)

Agree with all the rest of your list though.

So many smokers think it is ok to leave their butts on the ground, lawn, planter, windowsill, sidewalk, gutter, street, storm sewer, out their car’s window, and just about any other outdoor surface or corner so long as it is squished out. What makes people think it is ok to do this and not put their butt in an ashtray or other proper place? Litter is litter no matter how big or small the litter is. I am sure they would have a comment or two if I took a leak on the side of their house or by the entrance to their apartment building!

^ What I find strange is that I constantly see empty cigarette packets (not butts) discarded on the ground, pretty much everywhere on random streets and the like (saw one out the front of my house even). Far more often than I see fast food wrappers and soft drink bottles these days.

Does it go into some people’s minds that for anything cigarette-related, throwing it on the ground is the only thing they can do?

There are three types of people in society.

And to describe them you can use a litter analogy.

There are people who litter (the shitheads, thieves, anti-social, world owes em a living type)

There are people who don’t litter (the vast majority of society, law abiding, surburban mum and dads, Howards battlers)

There are people who pick up the litter that the first lot drop (the volunteers, the doers, winners).

I never litter and when collecting my mail from the front of my unit block I usually pick up any rubbish (junk mail etc) and pop it in the bin, I’m single, drink, smoke and would hate to be called a “Howard’s battler” I see law abiding, surburban mum and dads driving their kids to school in their big SUVs and though they may not litter they are no better or worse than the rest of society.

We need to figure out why the drop kicks in our society just don’t care, and maybe give them a reason??


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