... in the bin people

Published on 15 May 2020
Some bins

My black bin was emptied today.

Recently a news presenter was roundly criticised for referring to people who do that kind of work as unskilled workers.  This term implies that they lack something, or, even worse, that they have failed to learn something.

Looking out of my window it strikes me that refuse collectors work quite skilfully.  Long practice at collecting the bins and loading them onto the lorry, which must move on at just the right time, makes the whole operation look like a dance.

What is skill?  Why do we admire it?  Why do we pay so much to people who have certain skills and look down on people who do work that we think we could do too?

Maybe when all this is over, we will have learned to value the people who do what needs to be done

all day


That is real skill.