Advanced search

To find this note patronising and high handed

(148 Posts)
lobsters Mon 29-Nov-10 14:23:57

I live on a modern housing estate, it's fair to say it's not the most neighbourly place in the world, we don't not get on, I just really don't know most of my neighbours, and the street is a funny design so I never see them. The street is also on a steep hill up the side of a valley.

Anyway, I've been in all day working from home, just found this note has been pushed through the letter box and for some reason it has really annoyed me. AIBU?

To quote

Dear Neighbour
As you are aware snow is on its way. Our road is very slippery and we need to be prepared. As courtesy to our fellow neighbours could you please grit the section of road outside your house so that it is safe to walk on the road.
Last year was really difficult and treacherous, especially walking children to school

Many thanks
No 31

Why put the note through? Why now knock on people's doors and have a chat? Surely that would be nicer if it bothered you so much? And where am I meant to get grit from? I can clear the snow once it's fallen, but I don't have spare grit lying around to use in advance.

Am temtped to return note with something equally patronising

LindyHemming Mon 29-Nov-10 14:25:49

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

EWeatherwax Mon 29-Nov-10 14:25:55

yes a bit but a flipping good idea!

HecateQueenOfWitches Mon 29-Nov-10 14:26:02

ignore it.

better still, frame it. Then you have something to give you a giggle on these long cold winter nights.

Whatever you do, don't sneak out to their house in the middle of the night, and pour cold water outside their front door. Don't do it, you hear?


PamelaFlitton Mon 29-Nov-10 14:26:20

You are overreacting. There is probably a grit bin in your road, you can get the grit from there. Knocking on everyone's doors for a chat would have taken them ages. I don't think the note is patronising.

BlingLoving Mon 29-Nov-10 14:26:23

Actually, I don't think it's patronising. And if I was working from home in a neighbourhood where people don't tend to talk to each other, I'd far rather have a note than be interupted during the day by some complete stranger. This way, if you refuse, you can do it quietly on the side without getting into a face to face argument.

No idea on the grit, but I would think overall it's not a bad suggestion if the road and pavement aren't gritted by the council. everyone does their bit and it's safer for all.

LaurieFairyonthetreeEatsCake Mon 29-Nov-10 14:26:53

Maybe they assumed you weren't in confused or that they didn't have time to chat to everyone.

Use salt or gravel once you've cleared it if you've no grit (who has grit?)

I'm guessing they put the note through so they didn't have to have 30 conversations grin

BelleDeChocChipCookieMonster Mon 29-Nov-10 14:27:32

It's not patronising, it's very caring. Community spirit has to start somewhere. I doubt the person who popped it through your door had the time to stop and talk.

ilovehens Mon 29-Nov-10 14:27:38

Perhaps they didn't have time to knock and spend time chatting.

If you don't have any grit then just use some cheap salt - you can buy it in largish packets from the supermarket.

I don't think they mean to be patronising, they're just worried about falling over probably.

MonkeySee Mon 29-Nov-10 14:27:39

I don't think it is patronising or high handed tbh, presumably it went through all the neighbours doors and not everybody is in, so not possible to talk to all. You're not being asked to grit all of it, just a section, not too onerous. I live in flats and our lovely downstairs neighbour grits/salts/whatever the entrance in front of pavement - I would be happy to contribute to it.

Maybe she means salt rather than grit as such - they sell it at my local b&q and the garden centre?

HecateQueenOfWitches Mon 29-Nov-10 14:27:46

Come on - do people really need telling to stick a bit of grit down?

we've been here 5 years. grit from the grit bin every year. And the elderly neighbours too. And when the snow gets really bad, we're out with shovels, clearing the road.

Nobody needs a note giving instructions!

thisisyesterday Mon 29-Nov-10 14:28:06

don't see the problem.
i think it's a good idea, especially if the road was very bad last time it snowed

nice if all the neighbours could grit their bit and share the load and make it safe for everyone

perhaps they did the notes because most people are working during the day? or because they didn't want to disturb you

sethstarkaddersmum Mon 29-Nov-10 14:28:15

yes the way it's written is nauseatingly patronising and bossy - 'could you please....' etc.
instructing people to do it is just rude; if no 31 wants to help people do it in a constructive way (eg by offering to help people who can't do it themselves, arranging a group grit purchase (you can get it easily enough but you would need a car to get it home!)) that would go down better.

cherrybea Mon 29-Nov-10 14:28:41

Well why don't you break the ice (no pun intended) and speak to no. 31 about where to get grit or tell them that you can at least clear the snow.

Maybe this could be the introduction to your neighbours that you need.

TuttiFrutti Mon 29-Nov-10 14:29:09


Perfectly reasonable note, and quite a sensible idea. Why do you object so much? If everyone did this, our roads would be a lot safer.

aDarkStarWithStrangeWays Mon 29-Nov-10 14:29:16

YABU. Maybe they are as shy of knocking on neighbours' doors as you and everyone else who lives there. They also probably assumed that everyone will be out at this time on a Monday - more people work out of home than not.

fayc84 Mon 29-Nov-10 14:29:17

It does sound a bit patronising, but it is good that someone is trying to get the street organised and if each person does their own wee bit then it will be good for all the residents. Last year I was shocked at how much people expected the council to do, like right up to their own front door, but they wouldn't do the tiniest bit for themselves or their neighbours.
The people at No 31 should've knocked the door though IMO rather than just pushed a note through. I presume it was a standard letter they did for all the nearby houses and you weren't singled out, so don't feel too put out by it.

thisisyesterday Mon 29-Nov-10 14:29:37

hecate, sadly i think your road is in a minority!

Firawla Mon 29-Nov-10 14:30:26

i think its fine really? maybe you are a bit over sensitive

TattyDevine Mon 29-Nov-10 14:30:32

Its a bit bossy. Its a good idea, and feasible enough, but its almost like you have no choice, or are being told what to do, which tends to bring out the rebellious teenager in some people (myself included!)

Its worded in a way I wouldn't be comfortable with if I were delivering the note.

I would have made it more of a suggestion, and included details of where to get grit - i.e if there is indeed a grit bin somewhere then I would draw attention to it, etc.

And I would make it seem less like a requirement and more like an idea worth considering.

lobsters Mon 29-Nov-10 14:31:27

Thanks for the views, last year (like everywhere) we had a lot of snow, it was cleared, everyone got out and cleared their bit of the road, it worked, we didn't need a note. It was slippery and treacherous, because despite everyone's best efforts the snow melted in the day, partly due to the grit and then refroze into sheet ice at night.

I might have misread it, I thought it was asking me to grit it now, before the snow arrived. We don't have grit binds, we used to but the council took them away last year just before all the snow

TheSmallClanger Mon 29-Nov-10 14:32:08

It is patronising. No. 31 sounds like a bossy old trout. No-one likes their first introduction to someone to be a series of instructions.

lobsters Mon 29-Nov-10 14:32:39

Tatty you've just described how it's making me feel, like a rebellious teenager

Ormirian Mon 29-Nov-10 14:33:30

I think it's a good idea. Are you going to do it?

Callisto Mon 29-Nov-10 14:34:29

I don't think the note is patronising or high-handed - I'm amazed that some on here do. Perhaps your neighbour didn't realise you were at home, perhaps he/she was too busy to stop and chat. Either way it is a really good idea, and yes, people do need to be told to do things that don't immediately benefit themselves. People are generally selfish and short-sighted imo.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: