Dear Refuse Collectors

This is the kind of thing I’ve found myself doing lately … complaint letters!  I’ve just realised that it’s my own form of primal screaming! In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever complained in writing before, but this last year, since Neil was diagnosed, I can remember writing at least five. How very ‘British’ of me!

I’ve accompanied ‘Dear Refuse Collectors’ with a box of chocolates as I remember it working on myself and a flatmate when we received ‘To the Noisy Girls Upstairs’.

I’ll let you know tomorrow morning if I’m yet again cleaning up after them or there’s chocolate smeared down my front door.

Louise x

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This was another case of trying to find somewhere justified to place the anger. For three weeks in a row, I had been left a trail of dirty nappies and rubbish all the way down the lane. Their truck was too big to take to the house so they had to walk down to it and carry the rubbish back up. They didn’t seem to care if a bag split on their travels and if a fox had managed to get into the bin and open a bag, then that bag would be left. I was so tired it felt personal, so I wrote them a letter.

“Dear Refuse Collectors,
Please forgive me if some weeks I have not tied my rubbish bags up properly or not recycled to the required standard. I can not apologise for any mess made by animals, only offer that none of the animals making the mess belong to me. I have my hands a bit full with an 18-month-old baby boy and a husband who is at the end stage of a crippling terminal illness which has left him with no mobility apart from his lower jaw. Given this, can I kindly request that fall out from the rubbish is kept to a minimum around the bin area and down the drive. I ask this prior to contacting any council authorities. I will try to be more prepared myself in future. Enjoy the chocolates.”

My conscience wouldn’t let me see it through, I took it all back inside before the morning. I realised I shouldn’t have tried to make the refuse collectors feel bad just because things in my life were not going so well. I should have just phoned the council and gone through the proper complaint channels, instead of trying to use the ‘human element’ as a shortcut. I put it down to lack of sleep, physical exhaustion and pent up anger. – Louise (2013)

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@breathingfilm tweeted this page. 2013-05-29 17:54:56 +0100
Louise's complaint letter to 'Dear Refuse Collectors' and why it never got served. #Plattitude #MND #ALS http://www.iambreathingfilm.com/dear_refuse_collectors?recruiter_id=2
commented 2013-05-29 17:53:54 +0100
Comments on Louise’s original post:

Sas
February 4, 2009 at 11:08 am
You’re good at those letters – i remember the one you wrote about buggy design faults. Hope the latest missive has the desired effect. Screaming is good by the way – my best effort a few years ago was whilst driving, which was probably verging on dangerous – though it isn’t mentioned in the highway code – your field is probably a better bet (sorry horse) Lots of love to you xxxxx

Susan Bailey
February 4, 2009 at 3:08 pm
Hello Neil and family

Hope all is ok and you and your family are as well as can be.

£210 was raised in respect of my mum and has been donated to MND Association.

Thinking of you

Sue x
THE THIN SPACE BETWEEN LIFE AND DEATH
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