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Dear Metro: Inconsiderate commuters, dodgy employers and what to do about our cruel world

Inconsiderate commuters, dodgy employers and what to do about our cruel world

Dear Metro: Inconsiderate commuters, dodgy employers and what to do about our cruel world

Jul 10, 2019 Society

A ubiquitous presence on New Zealand’s celebrity scene, Colin Mathura-Jeffree is an actor, model, TV host – and now agony uncle, for our Dear Metro advice column. Colin is dropping by for a few weeks, doling out sage advice with a little sprinkle of spice.

As our guest columnist, let Colin solve all your problems – and if your letter runs, you’ll be rewarded with a treat from his goody bag haul. To write in, email

Read last week’s Dear Metro advice: Colin’s first appearance as Agony Uncle

Dear Colin, 

Sometimes, when I’m on the train commuting to or from work, there will be a person talking on their mobile phone so loud the whole carriage can hear. My natural instinct is to tell them to shut the fuck up, but I always chicken out. What should I do?

Much love

Commuting Chicken

Dear Commuting Chicken

Now I’m a Lexus Ambassador and am all for their experience, amazing, but thanks to my Dad, I absolutely love, love, love going on train rides, so often, to dodge peak hour traffic I catch a train and have fun imagining I’m in a locomotive-inspired movie based on the people-watching around me. Now you’re so right, there always is “that person” who shouts a conversation so we know what kind of bossy big shot he/she is… so my best advice to you is to not get uptight but enjoy the performance… listen up, stare with intense interest and if he/she glances at you- nod in agreement… while eating a banana slowly. 

The next letter is our LETTER OF THE WEEK! This week’s winner gets a bottle of No1 Family Reserve Estate Methode Marlborough and a $60.00 dine in voucher for Bird on a Wire.

Prizes!!!! Photo: Agony Uncle Colin
Prizes!!!! Photo: Agony Uncle Colin

Dear Colin,

I haven’t been paid in a month. I work in television but this is my first job in the industry my bosses are really shady and have left me out of the loop on why I haven’t been paid. They make it sound as if I am so fortunate to have the opportunity to work for them. But in all honesty I’m working my ass for free.

Anon TV Girl

Dear Anon TV Girl, 

Once a freebie always a freebie. 

No matter how people create a false budget narrative, this business has money or they simply couldn’t create TV shows. Our industry is full of talented,  good, hard working people, it just takes a couple of rotten eggs to ruin it. Find out if their shows are TV On Air funded. Also look at your contract/agreement. Remember everything you allow them to do to you will define you on their terms. This is NOT charity (though they’re shades of grey too), it’s a job and simply you need to be paid for your work. I am so thankful for the bosses that took a chance on me and assisted me in every way to be so successful that I have my own personal set of hideous cyber trolls I can call my own. In truth, they need to pay you and not play you. Good luck…you’re worth it. 

[Metro ed adds: NOT PAYING YOUR STAFF IS ILLEGAL!!!! They’re breaking the law, refuse to work a minute more for them until they pay you everything they owe – and if they won’t, leave and take a look on the Citizens Advice Bureau website to consider your options.] 

Dear Colin,

Whatever happened to civility, kindness, courtesy, forgiveness and consideration.

I’ve asked this question to myself and others to varying degrees of satisfaction but can not pinpoint any specific answer. It cannot wholly be blamed on cell phones. I have one and though it does get a great deal of my attention (in fact, I’m using it now at the gym to write you this), I like to think that I’m a decent human being.

Can it be blamed on permissiveness? Letting people get away with bad behaviour because they feel entitled? And what or who entitled them then?

I will hold that door open for another, and people often still perform small civilities like that. But on the whole I’ve seen so much apathy and narcissism that I’m very discouraged.

What say you, o wise guru?

Dear Discouraged,

Have courage!  

Fascinating question. Imagine if we were having this deep conversation over bottles of INVIVO in some little wine bar… I’d secretly blame the influencers for their flatulence! But in truth its about ego, fear, loneliness. I think YOU are the change the world needs to see. You absolutely have empathy enough to see our bigger picture. You are the hug our time needs, and it does have a domino effect on our communities.  All that yummy kindness, warmth, civility, courtesy and love will spread like the laughter when we watch drunk daddies dance with wild abandon at BBQs, or smile at sunsets sharing fresh hot fish & chips unwrapped in newspaper with a friend, saying “good morning” to neighbours or strangers as you walk down the road. We just forgot that it’s all about having wonderful moments and making memories by keeping it real.




To write in, email


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