THIS BLOG IS MY BLOG. THIS BLOG IS MY BLOG. Welcome to the Home of Hyperopia.: On Things That Are Difficult - Part 1

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

On Things That Are Difficult - Part 1

It is very difficult to throw away an old trash can. Think about it.

You put it out on the curb for the garbage collectors. They pick it up, expecting to find trash in it that they are supposed to dump out ("collect"). If it's empty, they might be confused, they might be pleased (less work!), but I would bet dollars to donuts that they wouldn't toss the empty garbage can into the truck.

They wouldn't think the empty garbage can itself is trash.

From the garbage collector's perspective, he's likely to think about the situation from the point of view of self-preservation. (Aren't we all?) That is, he's faced with at least three reasonably likely possibilities. First, this empty trash can could actually be "garbage," in which case he should pitch the empty can into the truck and move on. Second, it could be that this particular customer put the empty garbage can out by mistake. And third, it could be that this particular customer just never got around to taking in the trash can after it was emptied by these garbage collectors the last time. In each of the second and third cases, the garbage collector would be making a significant error if he threw the empty garbage can into his truck (and he would also probably be risking considerable hassle and headache back at headquarters; the customer might call to complain).

Even if you put a sign on the unwanted garbage can that said "THROW AWAY" or "GARBAGE" or something like that, you're still going to have problems. In this situation, I'd say the garbage collector would be perfectly justified believing that the sign was intended for the customer. Or that, in the case of "THROW AWAY," the intention was to command the garbage collector to throw away the contents of the garbage can, not the garbage can itself.

You could also put the unwanted garbage can inside another garbage can (perhaps a newer one to try to give the correct impression that the old one is unwanted). Here, however, you have the problem of the garbage collector thinking the customer just never got around to taking in the trash cans from the last pick-up.

The only method I've thought of that seems to be pretty much guaranteed success is for the customer to physically drag the unwanted garbage can to the garbage truck and throw it in herself. I have actually thrown some of my own garbage into a garbage truck (once when I was too late when they came by my house but I caught 'em on the other side of the street). So it can be done.

Any other ideas?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Take it for a 'walk' in the country.

7:00 AM, October 25, 2005  
Blogger The Velvet Fog said...

This is what they are paying you the big bucks to think about?
Like the Big Toe Captain?

Our garbage service provides us with fancy garbage cans.

equip your can with some concrete boots and take it out for a Godfather III boatride on your treasured swamp.

7:02 AM, October 25, 2005  
Blogger Complete Game said...

There's always someone in the hood remodeling who leaves their nice big remodeling dumpster wide open and undefended in their driveway after dark heh heh. Or the grade school's dumpster. The garbage service also wont take old gas cans; other perfect fodder for the friendly neighborhood dumpster. Dead squirrels or birds in the yard? Dumpster.

The dumpster folks are creative when picking names for their companies. My fav is 'A Quick Dump', or in the case of the bloggers on this site, 'A Quick Smith'.

8:15 AM, October 25, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't call that garbage can lifesaver, call it s**thead.

8:22 AM, October 25, 2005  

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