Monday, March 9, 2009

What would you do?

Have I mentioned that I don't like taking the trash out? I really don't. (Aside: Whenever my home teacher comes over and asks, "Is there anything I can do for you?" I always say, "Yes. You can take my trash out," and he does. Sometimes I will purposely not take out my trash and have, on occasion gone around the apartment emptying all of the trash cans just so I have something for him to take. Best Home Teacher Ever. I'm pretty sure he looks forward to it, and it's not like my last home teachers who asked and I said, "Can you please move my two-ton piano across my carpeted living room floor?") It's a lot better since I've changed apartments. There are three dumpster locations at the Hub and all of them were approximately 18 miles away from my old apartment, which meant that on the long walk down I contemplated life without fingers as the trash bag strings cut off all blood flow to them. I'm much closer now but it still does not change the fact that I have to put on shoes and sometimes a sweater to take the trash out.

This is all beside the point - which is that a few months ago I was taking the trash out and I opened the door to the dumpster and there was a gentleman inside rummaging for recyclables. I was stumped. Because what is the proper etiquette for this?

Do you:

a.) Avert your eyes and stammer, "," and walk away, trash bag still in hand.

b.) Smile, say hello, and gingerly place the bag in the dumpster, like you come across this thing all the time and know exactly how to handle yourself. You put it far enough away from him so that it doesn't mess up any form of organization he may have working down there but close enough so if he wanted the tin cans in the bag he would have easy access to them.

c.) Climb in and help him look.

d.) None of the above. You have a Wealth Benefactor who takes the trash out for you.

I did b but my mind was totally going for a. Awkward!

I was reminded of all of this when I drove by the dumpster this morning and saw a hand with a trash bag pop out of it. I'm pretty sure I had a heart attack.


Andrea said...

Something similar happened to me about 10 years ago. I was working at a scrapbook store in downtown Upland. I took some stuff to the dumpster, I just tossed it all in there. After which a man popped up from inside the dumpster and gave me a nasty look. I freaked out and ran back to the store as fast as I could.

The Katzbox said...

This was hilarious...and yea, it's the "new age etiquette"....I'm with you! I would just gingerly heave that sucker into the bin, tell the diver to have a nice day, and then turn around and be gone. Basically, he/she's the intruder here....But here's my new fave scenario:

You know how Tyra likes to challenge the girls on their walks-to see if they can maintain their grace and stability, etc. Well, have them do this: wear those big, stiletto monster shoes, designer gowns, up-does, full-tilt make-up, and then carry nasty trash bags down steps, over uneven sidewalks, through cracked and overgrown pavement and then, gracefully, heave that sucker into the dumpster...get it all on film, and then judge them on it...all the while making fun of's so wicked evil I hurt myself just to pay penance, and that's not even part of my religion, but somehow it feels like something I should do....I don't know, I think it's a hit...

Rach said...

I laughed and laughed. I've never personally experienced this, but if I do, I will probably do choice a, because whenever I'm faced with something awkward I panic. But good job doing b. And Katzbox, I'm with you on the Tyra idea. It's genius! You should email Tyra and tell her about it. I hope I'm never the diver in that scenario, Rachel, by the way.

Anonymous said...

oh, i'd for sure talk to the guy! i'd say, "anything in particular you're looking for? cuz i might have it in here."

that way, he'd know i wasn't freaked out by the sight of him (even though i would be) and i might also get my curiosity as to what he's diving for satisfied.


(katzbox, my dear, i have no clue about reality tv. none whatsoever. but a reality tv show about dumpster diving TOTALLY does not surprise me. alas, nothing does anymore.)

Gina said...

Rachel, Was it the guy with dark hair and beard? He is scary even out of the dumpster. Honestly, that man crept me out when I was living in the Hub.

Maija said...

Oooh! Oooh! Please pick (c) and take pictures. Lots and lots of pictures.

Liz the Poet said...

Rachel, I've had a similar experience with Dumpster Barney. (That's what I call him.)

And now my sisters and I put all our recyclables in a seperate bag and place the bag next to the dumpster. (But not on Mondays or Thursdays, because that when the trash gets picked up. (Yes, we have a system.))

Dumpster Barney takes it when he comes, and I feel that I'm fulfilling a two-fold mission: helping the environment, and helping the homeless.

And all this from the convenience of my apartment!

colleeeen said...

i would be startled, for sure. but i've dumpster-fished so many times (for fun and profit) that i would quickly recover and ask if he found anything good. and then i'd offer him my recyclables.

Mr. Hall said...

Better to see a hand with a trash bag pop out of it than to see a trash bag with a hand pop out of it!