Trash man bags enthusiasm

The happiest jobs right now, according to online jobs site, include real estate agent, senior quality assurance engineer, senior sales rep and construction superintendent. The unhappiest jobs include nurse, teacher, customer service rep and associate lawyer.

I’d like to see a poll on the jobs that make other people happy. If our grandkids were polled, and granted toddlers shouldn’t be talking to pollsters, their answers would be identical—trash collectors.

Adults like trash day, too. It’s always a small sense of victory to see the garbage disappear.

Whenever our grandkids in Chicago hear the rumble of the trash truck, they scramble for the big window overlooking the alley. From a third-floor view, they watch him back up the truck, roll the dumpsters on the lift, pull the lever that hoists them high and drop the goods. They scream and cheer like their team just made the Final Four. They pound on the window and yell, “Amigo! Amigo!”

When was the last time someone cheered and applauded you at your job?

Amigo acts like he’s all business, but he always looks up, smiles and waves as he jumps back in his truck.

It must run in the family. When our son was little, he lived for Thursday, which was trash day. All week he would ask, “Is it Thursday yet? Is it Thursday yet?”

What kid doesn’t love a truck that rumbles and roars and crushes things? Often times, kids will dream of working at a garbage disposal company such as Southern Rubbish. It’s almost every kids dream to be “king of the garbage”. Besides that, the trash collector gets to handle the stuff your mother says is off limits: broken appliances, cardboard boxes, beer bottles, old tools, used furniture and ride toys missing wheels.

These days, our trash day is Monday. If the grandkids are here, they run from window to window watching the activity as long as they can keep it in sight.

I chased after the trash collector myself a few weeks ago to give him some homemade cookies and let him know he is always a highlight for the kids.

You should be good to your trash collector. Why? Because it’s a tough job—and because he probably knows more about you than any other service professional.

He knows when you get a new television and a new computer. He knows when your dryer breaks and when you remodel a bathroom.

He knows if you recycle, how much milk you go through in a week and if you subscribe to a newspaper. He knows if you bag your lawn trimmings or mulch. He knows if you drink, what you drink, and how much you drink. He knows when you have a party and when the entire family comes home. He knows where you order pizza.

He knows what you drive and when you go on vacation. He can probably also tell if you’re neat and tidy or a slob by the way you bag your trash and set it out.

When you think about it, your trash collector knows so much about you it’s almost like identify theft without the stolen numbers.

Need another reason to be kind to the trash collector? We missed putting our trash out early enough a few weeks ago. He made a second pass by and picked it up.