This is a post about taking out the trash — literally.
It's amazing that, in a salon comprised of a single 200-square-foot room, people are able to sneak stuff into my trashcan without my noticing. Stuff like their dinner. Next thing I know, I open the trashcan only to wonder what the heck got put in it?! And when?! And was it already dead when they threw it away? Gah.
I don't love taking out the trash. It's not a particularly gruesome chore, nor is it terribly labor intensive. Nevertheless, I prefer to wait until the trash is actually full before I haul it downstairs to the dumpster. So when I discover that someone has managed to throw away their leftover burrito without my noticing, it doesn't matter how empty the trash is, it's got to go out again.
Which, obviously, is what is happening this morning.
So, as I went through the salon only moments ago and tied up the liners in the small trashcans (yes, 200 square feet and I have three trash cans) and put them into the big trash bag and double-tied it — because it stinks — I got to thinking about taking out the trash at one of my previous locations.
For eight years, my salon was located in a small office complex that was located at the back of a narrow, triangular lot behind a convenience store/gas station (which I learned quickly not to call a "liquor store" — which is what it largely is, but it turns out that other states don't have the same liquor laws that California has, so it was difficult for some of my out-of-state friends to comprehend why teenagers would frequent a liquor store after school... well, they sell gas and sodas too) and a popular 24-hour drive-thru donut shop.
Previous to opening at that location, I had lived briefly in Torrance, Calif., and worked in Hermosa Beach — where I could see the ocean from my desk. For the eight years behind the liquor store I joked (more like lamented) that I had given up the ocean view for a view of the dumpster — but at least I was queen of the dumpster view!
Problem with being queen of the dumpster view was that I also had a view of every person who brought their personal trash to my dumpster. I particularly remember going out to tell the lady with the minivan who was dumping box after box into our dumpster — in the rain — that she could not use our dumpster for her personal trash. She said "but they're just books" as though somehow that was OK. We are talking about boxes, giant, TV-sized moving boxes, full of books. If I hadn't stopped her, she probably would have exceeded the trash truck's maximum lifting capacity!
And the dumpster divers.
I remember one night walking out to meet the young man and what appeared to be his mother. His mother was inside the dumpster, breaking open the salon's trash bags and carefully removing each of my acetone-and-monomer-soaked blue cotton "shop towels" (thick paper towels made of cotton).
I was deeply disturbed that she was handling these — aside from the whole trash thing — they were not washable and they were soaked in chemicals that made them inappropriate for reuse! Not to mention exposing her to potential skin irritants and other health issues.
I tried to explain this to them but I'm not sure it made any sense.
Mostly, I'm very glad that I can't see our dumpster from my window anymore. It's nice to throw out my trash without worrying what happens to it. And the view from the window is so much nicer too.