Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Angry Trash Man

In the building where I work there is a cafeteria. It is insanely overpriced, not that good, and usually crowded. Nonetheless I eat lunch there pretty much every day I'm in the office.

Well, ask anyone who works here about the Angry Trash Man and they will know exactly who you are talking about. The trash cans are by the conveyer belt for the tray-return, and around 1:00 every day the young, stocky, Angry Trash Man emerges from out of no where to empty the three side-by-side bins.

He does this in a rage, slamming the doors to the bins open and closed, throwing the overfilled bags to the ground, huffing and puffing, and mumbling under his breath…not even so much under his breath as over top of it. It is clear that he is pissed and he is always like this.

It goes beyond the fact of having an unappreciated and low wage employment. People are both amused and kind of scared of him, and definitely try to stay out of his way in case he really snaps. Something happened to that man -- or a series of things happened to him -- in his life that has made him this way.

I wonder what it was? Don't we all have crazy shit that happened to us somewhere along the way that screwed us up on some level? Aren't we all only one traumatic experience away from being the Angry Trash Man ourselves? Don't we all feel like slamming our work around and cussing out people bringing us more of it? And don't we have moments of believing we have only the two options of either collapsing under the pressures of life or venting them out somehow?

Maybe we all don't, in fact. But I just see a little bit of myself in that Angry Trash Man and I steer clear, like I know he'd want me to – like I know I would want me to.

Anyway, I have a lot less sympathy for the guy who cooks the pizza. He's not angry, he's just an asshole. But I digress.

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