Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Garbage Man Made My Day

Every Wednesday around 7:30 a.m. our garbage man comes around and collects the garbage. For some reason we always forget to put our containers out the night before and because I go to the gym at 6:00 a.m. I usually get the lovely task of setting the garbage out before the truck comes.
So, yesterday morning, I was in the kitchen with my husband and my 10 year old daughter. I'd just made breakfast for them (which is quite noteworthy since I never cook breakfast) and they were eating their eggs when suddenly we heard the roar of the garbage truck coming into the cul-de-sac. I looked at my husband and he looked at me and we both paused, waiting for the other one to run out and move the cans to the curb. By virtue of the fact that I was wearing shoes and he wasn't sealed my fate. I pushed the button to open the garage door then stopped. "I'm too embarrassed!" I cried and went back in the house. I didn't want to go running outside and drag my garbage cans through the snow. Besides, he was almost past my house so it was too late anyway.
Then, I heard a horn honk. It honked several more times. Was that who I thought it was? I peeked out of my garage and sure enough, there was the garbage truck sitting in front of my house. The driver pointed at my garbage can at the side of my house.
"Oh my gosh!" I exclaimed to my husband and daughter, "He's waiting for me."
Feeling like an idiot I flew out of the house, grabbed the green recycling bin, and headed for the curb. The driver yelled, "blue, blue," at me and I ran back for the garbage bin instead and brought it to the curb.
"Watch out for the ice," he called out his window as I positioned the bin. He kindly told me I had it backwards, but that he could still dump it, then proceeded to do so.
"That sure was nice of you," I told him. "I was embarrassed to run out here."
He smiled and said, "No problem."
"Thank you. I hope you have a nice day."
"Happy New Year," he said, as he shoved the truck into gear.
When I walked back into the house my husband and daughter were laughing. They had stood at the window and watched all of this go down.
Now, it wouldn't have been the end of the world had I not gotten my garbage out this week. But I'm telling you, that cute little garbage man with his piercings and tattoos, totally made my day. He didn't have to wait for me. He certainly didn't have to go to all the effort he did to make sure I got my garbage out, but, he did. His kindness put me in the best mood and all day I found myself meeting friendly people at the post office and then again at the grocery store. It was such a great day and all because someone went out of their way to be nice.
Just think, if everyday we had a goal to be nice to just one person, how much better the world would be.


Anna Buttimore said...

Wow, Michele, what a coincidence you should say that today! With all the Bank Holidays, etc, our rubbish collection has been mixed up, and we haven't had our bins collected since before Christmas. So at 7 this morning hubby and I dragged the bins, recycling, glass and textile recycling to the curbside. Now, it's really icy and dangerous on the roads at the moment, and we're being warned not to drive anywhere unless it's completely necessary. So I walked the children to school, thinking it would probably be another week before the bin men came, but when I got back (ten minutes ago), there they were, skidding everywhere, but collecting our bins and recycling. I thanked one guy for turning up to work. He told me lots hadn't and he was pulling a double shift. So in my opinion, bin men are the salt of the earth. Nice to see it's true everywhere.

P.S. We can't put ours out the night before because the foxes get them.

Jennie said...

Niceness does make a person's day. A kind note or word early in the morning can set the tone for the whole day. Any chance you'd like to trade garbage collectors?

Stephanie Black said...

I love this story! What a great guy to go to that extra effort for you.

Cheri J. Crane said...

I totally agree with your idea, Michele. It would be a much better place if we were all nice to each other. Great post. ;)