Annoyed by my friends comment tonight...

(312 Posts)
Tomato345 Tue 30-Nov-21 23:10:35

My best friend of 11 years and I occasionally have our disagreements but I love her like a sister, however a comment she made tonight has really pissed me off and has made her look like a snob imo.

We were with our kids, talking about different careers as we've both recently changed jobs, when her eldest son announced that he wanted to be a bin man when he's older. Friend turned to him and said "aim a little higher please" and started laughing. I made a comment about how bin men earn a pretty decent wage (in our area at least) and that the perks of working for the council, such as weekends off/decent pension etc are good. She was adamant that it's a shit job and that the only reason someone would do it is if they didn't have any qualifications. It certainly came across that she would be embarrassed if her son ever becomes one.

Her reaction was the same last year when her partner showed an interest in becoming a HGV driver, so it's not the first time this has happened. I'm not sure why it's got my back up, maybe because I use to be a delivery driver and now I work for a cleaning company, so I'm wondering what she thinks of me as I would say those types of jobs are linked. We both only want the best for our kids at the end of the day, but what's wrong with it if it makes someone happy and provides them a living? Perhaps I could understand her point if she was earning mega bucks herself, but she earns minimum wage, which is actually less than what a bin man earns...

A job is a job in my eyes, but I'm not sure if I'm being sensitive or not. After all, we're all allowed to have an opinion... so AIBU?

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GreenLunchBox Tue 30-Nov-21 23:12:55

She could have been more sensitive but I too would try to get my kid to aim higher, so for that I think YABU

Mandofan Tue 30-Nov-21 23:15:11

Agree, the way she said it wasn’t pleasant but if my child told me they wanted to be a bin man I would definitely encourage them to aim higher. You said yourself that parents just want the best for their kids

MrsSkylerWhite Tue 30-Nov-21 23:17:40

Yes, we are all entitled to an opinion, you just duffer.

Honestly, I’d have been disappointed if our (now adult) kids had done that. It’s probably fine when you’re young but who wants to be doing that kind of hard, physical work in all weather’s when you’re 60 plus?

ThinWomansBrain Tue 30-Nov-21 23:21:42

we all need bin men, but it's not exactly an aspirational career.
Maybe she wishes she wasnt in a minimum wage job, and hopes that her son will have better opportunities and aspire to achieve more.

If she had a high flying career and you didn't, I can see why you'd feel irked by it - but given that you're both in an apparently similar position, I can;t really see why you'd interpret it as her looking down on you.

MaintainTheMolehill Tue 30-Nov-21 23:22:12

There's a big difference between how you feel about a job and how you feel about your child doing that job. I wouldn't choose it for my kids but also wouldn't look down on someone doing it.

Birdsnesting Tue 30-Nov-21 23:22:58

My lovely FIL worked for decades as a bin man and later a driver of bin lorries — back in the pre-wheelie bin days when you hoisted up a metal bin and carried it to the back of the truck. His health suffered— not only did it require hard, dirty physical work outdoors in all weathers, sometimes starting at 3 am, but he risked injuries from bags of broken glass and syringes etc — he has serious back problems now, aged 80.

It’s not an occupation I’d be happy to my nine year old to be considering.


Tomato345 Tue 30-Nov-21 23:23:30

@MrsSkylerWhite admittedly it's not the best job for someone in their 60's as it's physically demanding but in general, I don't know what's wrong with it if the person is happy and earns enough to keep a roof over their head and food on the table.

It is definitely a job that is looked down upon by people, but funnily enough the world would crumble without bin collectors. Same with care workers, shop workers etc

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Birdsnesting Tue 30-Nov-21 23:23:35

He is a wonderful man, I should say. But it’s a job that takes its toll.

claymodels Tue 30-Nov-21 23:24:00

It's a shit job though - why would anyone want their child to aspire to being a bin man?

Starcaller Tue 30-Nov-21 23:24:54

How old is her child? Maybe one thing to encourage him to push himself if he's 18 and about to launch his professional career, but if he's a young child then who cares? I wanted to be loads of things as a kid 🤷‍♀️ I'd just say 'Sounds great!' and wait for the next one!

MrsSkylerWhite Tue 30-Nov-21 23:25:21

Not sure I agree: can’t speak for others but I don’t look down on our bin men. I certainly couldn’t do it, I’m just not fit enough.

I imagine most people are grateful that they chose to do the job.

Cocomarine Tue 30-Nov-21 23:25:56

If I were her, I’d be annoyed with you - there I am, just throwing in some light hearted but genuine advice to my child, and you start backing them up! Not the time or the place, I think.

Sure the pension’s good - now. And what if the LGPS is reduced (again) or the bin collection is given to private sector with poor pension provision?

Better to have aimed to have more options.

It’s not that there is anything wrong with working on the bins - but it’s always better to have as many choices as possible.

claymodels Tue 30-Nov-21 23:26:04

It is definitely a job that is looked down upon by people,

Because it's a shit job. That's not to say anyone is looking down on refuse collectors, it's just that people recognise it's not a nice job to do.

Tomato345 Tue 30-Nov-21 23:27:30

Even though we earn a similar amount, I would say her job title sounds much more sophisticated than mine 🤷🏼‍♀️ @ThinWomansBrain It's certainly not a job that you would think pays minimum wage anyway.

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Mandofan Tue 30-Nov-21 23:27:52

I don’t look down on bin men and I’m grateful for what they do but let’s be honest, it’s not something most people seriously aspire to. It’s something people fall into when they don’t really have many other options. Your friend also earns minimum wage so I doubt she’s looking down on you. She just wants her son to have more than she does. There’s nothing wrong with that

Skysblue Tue 30-Nov-21 23:28:40

Yabu. She’s right to encourage her children to aim for something more pleasant. I know refuse collection is an important job and I mean no slight to those who do it, but I also see the guys who collect our rubbish every week and they look miserable and fed up. Way too hot in summer and forced to wear far too much uniform. Out in all weathers in winter. Constantly changing shifts. And worst of all handling stinky rubbish.

There are better jobs. Now aim for a builder I get, that’s way more fun and has potential to run own business and make very good money. I even get aim for a postman if you’re a total introvert who likes constant outdoor exercise. But a bin man is something you end up by accident, not something you aim for.

TurnUpTurnip Tue 30-Nov-21 23:29:23

Hmm I probably wouldn’t want my child to be a bin man tbh. My little brother use to want to be one when he was little and I was telling my kids the other day and we did laugh, now I sound like an awful person 😬

Tomato345 Tue 30-Nov-21 23:29:42

@Cocomarine I didn't say it directly to her child, I said it to her, he just happened to be in the room.

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HireStarter Tue 30-Nov-21 23:29:54

Do I want my child to aim higher than a bin man? Of course!

I want them to aim higher than most jobs Ive done. Not because they're shit, but because I want them to find something fulfilling and meaningful. I respect bin men completely but I think you'll struggle to find one who says they find the job fulfilling.

I think you're being a bit sensitive here. We all want the best for our kids, if disposing of waste is the best you want, I think maybe you need to look inwards and wonder why you're aiming so low for your children and whether you're projecting your own insecurities on them

LaurieFairyCake Tue 30-Nov-21 23:30:08

I don't think it's that shit a job - there's so much worse than that

Retail and hospitality are MUCH worse than refuse collector as there's so little autonomy and you have to work face to face with the nobhead public

My bin men are great and have loads of autonomy and they're always having a great laugh - ditto my postie. Both jobs with loads of autonomy.

Cocomarine Tue 30-Nov-21 23:30:32

How old is her child and how academically able are they?

Babyfg Tue 30-Nov-21 23:31:03

My sons first when I grow up I want to be ... was a bin man! I thought it was cute as most kids love watching the bin lorry. I think her comment was quite snobby if her kid is quite young.

He now wants to be a footballer one half of the week and a doctor the other half so I don't think he has low aspirations.

They have plenty of time to think of a proper career path before they leave school. Maybe her son said it to wind her up as she's a bit of a crank up his arse.

LaurieFairyCake Tue 30-Nov-21 23:32:09

Bin men in London earn 3 times as much as a retail minimum wage job with security, pension, 30 days holiday

Tomato345 Tue 30-Nov-21 23:32:10

She also knocked her partner back when he said he wanted to be a HGV driver and postman, so it's not just bin collectors that she disapproves of 🤷🏼‍♀️

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