Friday, September 08, 2006

Talkin' Trash

That's what I've been doing for a month: talkin' trash.

Not in the "boasting" sense. I've literally been talking about solid waste disposal with The City since we moved.

You'd think it'd be simple, right? We pay The City for certain services like providing power to our home, pumping clean water into our homes, and taking trash and garbage AWAY from our homes.

After finally getting a garbage can from the city, we still hadn't received the calendar they said they'd ship to us; y'know, something that'd tell us their collection schedule for curb-side pick-up, bulk items, etc.

Meanwhile, we played it by-ear, sticking with the schedule from our old place. Sometimes, they garbage men would take our garbage can to the curb, then the truck would back up, pick up everybody else's crap, and leave ours full and funky as fuck.

Thanks a lot.

Now, in the beginning, there was always the possibility that these missed pick-ups were due to misunderstandings or mistakes on our part. By last week, though, I'd called them multiple times every single week, to clear up the matter and have them take our garbage away. (We still hadn't and haven't received that calendar, by the way.) Even if this situation was born of a misunderstanding, it endures due to apathy and professional lethargy.

After already having spoken to two or three people, last week, Friday came around (one week, ago) and our garbage was, once again, left unemptied. I informed The City and left it in their hands.

When we returned on Monday evening, the garbage was not only unemptied, but it was also on its side and so were ... wait for it... maggots.

Nasty bastards.

My response.
Tuesday morning, I contacted The City, again. I spoke to someone who was very courteous, but nigh-impotent. I told him that he could have a supervisor give me a call if he wanted to, but that I'd spoken with an admin. a couple of times before and, if anything, the situation's gotten worse. So here's what I'd do:

I planned to leave work, still dressed-up, go home, grab my maggot-lined garbage can, load it into my truck, and then meet them at their garbage facility. (They wouldn't give me the address, but my girlfriend had already found it online and forwarded it to me.) Supposedly, they don't "receive customers" there, but they were going to "receive" me.

I told him I would drag the maggot-can to their facility and demand satisfaction. If they didn't provide me with satisfaction, I would drag the maggot-can right into City Hall and demand satisfaction there.

I concluded the call by saying that there was no way he'd avoid such a spectacle unless he could put me on the phone with someone who could 1) authorize a reduction in my trash collection charges for the month of August, 2) make sure my garbage was emptied, AND 3) get a new garbage can to me.

They said they'd have a manager give me a call. I wasn't interested in waiting on that call. I informed my office-mates of my plans (as I wasn't sure how long it'd take) and departed.

I grabbed some food first, since I hadn't eaten and expected a rather energetic morning to follow.

Saved by the Bell.
Right when I approached the front door of my home, the manager called (one I'd spoken to twice before). He assured me that it'd be taken care of within 30 minutes, as the collectors were on their way. By this time, though, it was Tuesday, again, so our garbage was set to be emptied that day, anyway.

Fine. If they were going to be there in a half-hour, I'd wait.

When I told him I also wanted a new can to replace the maggot magnet we were sporting, he said he'd definitely get some folks written up or whatever, since they've had people visit my home four times and my garbage still hadn't been emtied BUT... they don't switch out garbage cans just because they stink.

I polite replied, "With respect, sir, this is a sanitation department. Having a bunch of maggots crawling all in my garbage can isn't sanitary, at all. I don't think I should have to clean a can we've only had for a month, but which is nasty as if we'd had it for years.

I'm not asking for a new can because mine isn't pretty enough. I'm asking for a new can because it's only in this wretched state due to the fact that it hasn't been emptied regularly for a full month."

He said he'd get on top of it and would get on the garbage men who were responsible. I said, "I appreciate that and whatever else you'll do to resolve the issue, but I'm guessing the men who empty my garbage aren't the same men who were supposed to mail that calendar to me, weeks, ago."

In other words, the problem is more widespread than he's willing to admit.

Anyway, I decided that I'd give them a chance. I enjoyed my lunch break and went back to work. I figured it was a bad idea to sit around looking at my watch for thirty minutes. Instead of thirty minutes, I'd give them the remaining four hours or so.

When I got home, we had a new recycling bin (which we'd requested weeks, before). I assumed things were taken care of, then I realized I was making an ass out of me and umption and took my ass back out there.

Same nasty-ass can. Same nasty-ass garbage. Same nasty-ass maggots.

I resolved to jump my ass up, the next morning, and it would be ON. I wore jeans that next day so I could put in work. I don't remember, right now, why I went to work, first, but I did. While there, I called The City AGAIN and told them to expect me.

Before I could leave, I received a call from a different person saying that they'd taken care of me, already - complete with a new can. I was pleasantly surprised.

He also said he left the old one, but I told him I didn't want it. He said there was another residence around the corner, so we'd need two, anyway. I wasn't gonna argue with him, so I told him I'd take the clean one and the other folks could complain about their Campbell's Chunky Maggot Soup. I was done with it and would interpret this as a victory.

Good. Cuz I was prepared to bring my tripod and video camera to record the whole can-draggin' spectacle at City Hall.

Our local news outlets were going to receive a video record of the latest local interest story.

"Big Pussy."
Now that it's all said and done (supposedly), I will admit that I had a few "Soprano's" moments in which I remembered what Tony's "business" was and what happened when people complained too much.

Luckily, this episode ended without bloodshed... so far, anyway.


Luke Cage said...

"Cuz I was prepared to bring my tripod and video camera to record the whole can-draggin' spectacle at City Hall.

- Awww, brotha West bringing that heat! That was a crazy sequence of events man. Glad to see, at least in principal that everything's been rectified... for now.

West said...

Thanks, Power Man.
I don't know why I didn't call you up for some super-powered back-up. Maybe next time.

But do me a favor and leave the tiara, at home, please. :-p

JoJo D. said...

You were determined to get to the bottom of things, huh? But 'ya know, sometimes you have to put your foot down and "demand" what you need in order to get satisfaction. I would've been mad at the maggot trash can, too.

Remnants said...

Who would have thought that it would be so difficult to have your trash picked up? I am glad you got it resolved. Although, I feel sorry for the new neighbors that get the maggot filled trash can.

princessdominique said...

Yeah in some places trash and sanitation are a joke. I see you've written a gang of post. Let me see if I can catch up.