Monday, April 16, 2012

A Rubbish Job

On my cycle to work every morning I pass a small rubbish depot. The bins in the neighbourhood are collected by little electric vans and brought back to a sub-station where the rubbish is compacted and then a bigger lorry comes to take that away. All very efficient.

I was a rubbish collector (or dustman as we quaintly call them in Britain) for a few months while looking for a 'proper job' after graduating. I was the guy who filled in for the regulars who were otherwise on holiday, sick or skiving. Combined with an earlier series of paper-rounds and holiday jobs filling up cigarette vending machines, it would not be an exaggeration to say that I have visited every house, office, pub, restaurant & factory within a 10 mile radius of Chichester. In those days it was big, heavy, metal bins. In the countryside there'd be the occasional rat, but worse were the dogs who'd come to 'greet' you as you walked up the garden path. I was once told to get out of the cab and pick up a pheasant we'd just hit - the driver had it for dinner on Sunday. At the end of the day we'd disgorge the truck's contents onto the city's dump, while being careful where you trod, holding your nose and dodging seagulls. Happy days. Chinese rubbish dumps must be interesting...  

No comments:

Post a Comment