How Can We Be Perfectly Intolerant – Is Such A Question An Oxymoron? It’s Official – I’m Talking Rubbish!

I want it and I want it now – or I’m throwing my rattle in the bin!

I was not always a student landlord. I, like most, was once a student too – but I was perfect! Actually I remember failing at school in every conceivable way. It was worse because others (mostly teachers and especially the really clever ones) couldn’t understand what I couldn’t understand, so perhaps they were not so clever! I was incapable of explaining what I did not know. Teachers, though they knew, were incapable (and thereby arguably culpable) of communicating what they knew to me. Result – raaaah! This was a frustrating time or, in modern parlance, “a rubbish time”. Some of the best teachers are those who took longer to grasp subjects themselves and thus knew how difficult it was for others and how important it was to ‘spell it out’ by repetition!

We live in an instant society with same day delivery, “Today Not Tomorrow”. Personally I hate queuing! This instant expectation impacts upon how intolerant we are or become. Older long-term residents know when bin-day is and this to the point they never forget it. I could wonder that such events are the highlight of the week for some, given the importance attached to it when compared to other matters of higher priority to most. Long term residents also know ‘what’ to put inside each bin. Yawn, the complexities of what to put in recycle sacks; they know to position the bin, with lid sealed closed, exactly touching the boundary of their properties, failing which bin men (sorry ladies, bin operatives) almost certainly go out of their way to ignore one’s bin. Meanwhile it remains uncollected attracting a ‘Street Scene’ fine, rodent revelry and disdainful resident demeanours. No impliance connecting the latter two. Locals know that if they do not return the bin after refuse is removed, the bin might be stolen, or used as a means to access a window when keys to a neighbouring property are misplaced following a student 21st party night out (the issues of noise can wait for another time); locals know that an uncollected bin set on fire by the front door might prevent escape. They know how to recycle: plastic, aluminium, card, paper, all of the correct grade, etc. Residents know that, as yet, Canterbury has no door-step recycling of glass, unlike other cities from whence students came. Residents seem to know it all. All that is… except one tiny, but majorly important thing… one thing that fails to credit their many years of gaining wisdom – they do not know why other people do not know what they know and take for granted.

Some local residents belittle students who have yet to reach long-term resident minimum standards of perfection. Try and explain notions of tolerance and you are likely to be met by a pair of determinedly deaf local residential ears. To locals it is so very obvious, but not yet to students. On the other hand, when explaining to students the importance of “rubbish rules”, they are green-minded, apologetic, open and very responsive, with most eventually grasping it. Others seem oblivious to the rules slipping between wet fingers. One house which has been ‘trying’ as regards rubbish, have improved enormously, but still they have not yet got the hang of ‘it’, not because ‘it’ is hard, but because ‘they’ are hard. What are “they”? “They” are the numerous rules, do’s and don’ts in Canterbury, compounded when compared to the rules back home.

Personally, I would choose my imperfect but reasonably minded student tenants for neighbours over such perfectly intolerant local neighbours any day! This is not to say all local neighbours are intolerant. There appear to be a large number of locals who just don’t understand what students don’t understand.

What do you understand, sorry, I mean what do you think…?

What are your thoughts?

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About the author


Formerly a student living in a rented room my vision focused on excellence. Letting phenomenal student houses soon became more than a day job - more a way of life.

Continuing to look after our tenants I subsequently also founded what is widely recognised as a phenomenal student lettings agency.