ASK PETE YOUR FIRST WORLD PROBLEMS SOLVED!

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Underpaid and overvalued – sound familiar? Yes it’s Pete, here again to tell you “what you should do”!

Hi Pete every day I make my lunch in the staff kitchen, and we have always seem to have one of those charity snack boxes, you know where you take a Mars Bar or packet of salt and vinegar chips and drop your money in the box. I’m losing faith in mankind though as I’ve observed one particular co-worker short-changing the box not once, but twice. Should I speak up?

Kirsty, West Footscray (via email)

Hmm Kirsty this is a tough one. We’ve all been there you know, standing at the edge of roaring hunger with our $1.80 in hand, tongue hanging low and gazing at the wonderful magical box of $2 treats that seems to self-refill like it’s being constantly monitored by the genie from the Tim Tam ad. The thoughts have crossed all of our minds. Will I go to hell? Will I be 20 cents short worth of karmic credits? And will the genie (or anyone else) notice? But… given you’ve used the word “mankind” I suspect there may be a man involved, and yes, we all know the type. An entitled, self-important buffoon with not a care for the little-athletics, seeing-eye dogs or tree-planting programs sure to benefit from the charitable efforts playing out in kitchens across the country. But before you join me in judging said fellow, let’s stop to think – maybe he really is doing it rough lately, in which case next time you see him sneak a pack of Nobby’s Nuts and not quite pay his full dues, perhaps earn some karmic credits of your own by dropping in a few coins to make up the difference? Think about how much better it will make you feel…


Pete I have a recycle bin dilemna. Yeah I know you probably have better things to do. A few weeks ago I put out the neighbour’s bin for them late at night (on bin night) when I noticed they had forgotten. It was pretty chockas. Got no thank you or anything, even though I bumped into all of them at different times in the street and front yard. 2 weeks later its bin night again and I could see they’d forgotten again, but this time I just thought whatever, and left it. Later I wondered – does that make me a bad person?

Nigel, Altona North (via Facebook Messenger)

Not putting out the bin of an ungrateful neighbor doesn’t make you a bad person Nigel. Misspelling “dilemma” however is a grave offence in my book. What were you thinking? Where do you think we are? What kind of society is this we’re living in? We are civilised beings Nigel. It’s not that hard to either spell check, Google it, or even get out your trusty dictionary, unless you’ve recycled that already, considering how obsessed you are with empty bins? Wouldn’t surprise me. I bet your neighbours never made a mistake like that.


Pete I’ve got a beef with all those cafe and restaurant wait staff who clear tables and take food or drinks away while people at the table are still going. Just because one person’s finished doesn’t mean we all have!

Neil, Williamstown (via email)

Beef? Ha ha I saw what you did their Neil. It’s funny because no one would try and whisk away your creamed tripe or vegan sausages before you’d slurped up the last morsel! But beef? Second only to lobster my friend. What am I talking about? It’s a game Neil. Waiting is boring – where do you think it got its name from? So although it seems you might think they are just in a hurry to get home by cleaning up your half eaten nachos before you can scrape that last bit of cheese off the plate, they are actually playing the game of “Who can steal the most/best food away from the table and get away with it”. The stakes are high and no prisoners are taken. Some nights, when the pressure is on and the blowtorch is really applied, you might see some hapless diner managing but a single bite from their duck l’orange before the whole thing vanishes, along with half a bottle of Bourgogne Pinot Noir, protests be damned. And people like you Neil, practically licking your plate clean, do you think you’re helping? Your time will come….

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