The Trashman Chronicles I


I’d like to say that I’m slowly starting to realize my role in this world of ours, even if currently it’s just one trash bag at a time. That’s right, loyal heapsters. Me, your master heaper, has been making use of his Notre Dame diploma by being a trash man. Is the economy really that bad, that a qualified, charming young man as myself can’t get a decent job, or at least a better smelling one?

Someone get me a Hooverville.

No it’s not that bad, friends. It was about time for that life update now, wouldn’t you say? Well truthfully, the only reason I had to do this now is because I’ll actually be up to some pretty cool stuff in the next few weeks which inadvertently fall in the life update category. So obviously I couldn’t tell you about what I’m doing if I haven’t told you what and where I’ve been!

Really though, garbage has been my business for 4 years already at Notre Dame. It was the reason I was able to pay my bills and go out and drink. It also paid for numerous date nights, DQ blizzards, and Golden Dragon. If you know my work history, I have a tendency to prefer manual labor type jobs. While many people my age go and get their internships or work at malls and stuff, I would jump right into the assembly line of a truck cabin factory (Leggett & Platt, formerly known as America’s Body Company), or go work in houses for my dad’s contracting business. For me, learning various Cuban dialectal phrases, getting second degree burns from welding, and bucking rivet after rivet in a literal sweatshop did it for me. It was an income at least, and I feel I learned pretty valuable lessons in relating with people who come from diverse backgrounds.

Oh, and how the trash is no different. I’m not your typical garbageman. I don’t get to ride around on the compactor on wheels. No, my endeavor involves picking up trash bags from the doorsteps of apartments. The catch? Stories… the type with stairs leading to them. There are 62 flights of stairs I have to go up and down every day. Yes, exactly 62. I’ve counted. Not to mention the walking involved to get to said staircases in my sprawling metropolis that is the Colonial Grand apartment complex. I work for a company called Valet Waste, and I get 275 dollars a week for roughly 15 hours worth of work. I work Sunday – Thursday nights starting at 8 until I finish (usually 10:30). Sundays I bring a partner, because as you can guess, we’re picking up trash accumulated by my wonderful residents from Friday and Saturday. Lucky for you I took some pictures so you can see me in action!


That’s me in my sweet super reflecting vest. I guess I forgot to say no flash photography while we worked. And there’s the car magnet with our company name.


The next few paragraphs probably belong in The Rant. I’ll try to control myself. This is a pic of the crap that has failed to make it into the compactor because some of the residents don’t know how to do that. What’s easier than leaving stuff in a pile right?


Ohhhhh, here’s our answer. A totally packed compactor. Makes sense. Except that the residents could just hit the “Compact” button a rid the problem. No, that would be too simple. The brilliance of the management here at CG feel that compactor activation can only be handled by us or themselves. I can sure as heck guarantee you they don’t come in on the weekends to make sure that it’s not backed up. See, every profession has to deal with various stressful issues!


Here’s our resident movie expert Chaz helping me out on a Sunday. He’s got his hook shot down pat. Nothing but truck.


And here is the inspiration for the title of everyone’s favorite blog! After going up and down stairs retrieving bags full of who knows what, we finally have a full load. That’s a lot of bags!

And well, summer really wasn’t too exciting. I’ve gone to some Rays games. Spent a lot of time at home just relaxing and winding down from my time at ND. Spent time with family and friends. Everything I’ve needed. I’ve applied for a few jobs, interviewed a few times, but nothing has really worked out. I’m not really trying that hard I guess. I’ve been mulling over my life direction, pondering what is my calling, and I think I have known all along. I belong in the field of education, and ultimately perhaps administration. It’s funny, because when I do the trash, I feel I have my best talks with God and have been able to effectively reflect on the issue of the day. I felt the happiest imagining my classroom, grading and commenting on papers, teaching the importance of effective writing, and just talking about and acting out scenes from a Shakespeare play to awkward silence. I love it. I love the idea of me doing it. I would be happy. But ultimately, I feel I could be an asset to the community through administrative duties, such as a principalship or something like that. I’d like to get in the classroom as soon as possible and start working towards that.

But of course the GREATEST part of my summer was Angel’s visit! She came to stay for 5 days in the middle of July, and we had a total blast. How’s this for a surprise? She had me believing that she was coming in late in the night, and she showed up at my door in the afternoon! In shock, all I could say was a bewildered “What are YOU doing here!” And then we went with the fam to Olive Garden. And of course, we went to the midnight premiere of The Dark Knight!. Friday we relaxed, and we ended up going bowling with my HS friends. That was a lot of fun. Saturday we went to Disney, where we managed to visit 3 of the 4 parks in a 14 hour period. Ridiculous. It was so romantic watching fireworks at the end of a long, tiring day. But of course, Tower of Terror provided the BEST photo op of the trip. Check out the Tazmanian death grip on my hand!


Things are going quite well between us, and I’m actually going over to Texas to go visit her! Sunday was also a great day, because it was family dinner night! Everyone came over, including Mike and Chaz, for an authentic Puerto Rican meal, complete with a side of “Mooseballs” and my very own delectable cheesecake cupcakes! And of course this was followed by some hardcore Rock Band and a game of Shout About Movies… that was a tough loss. I’ll never hear the end of it. And Finally Monday we went to the beach! Perfect weather in St. Pete, as we had been getting our typical 3 pm showers most of the days she was here. Tuesday, she went back home! So sad!

So that’s what’s been going on heapsters. Just living the dream, you could say. I’m surviving. I wish you all the best in your current endeavors. They are certainly quite broad, ranging from Law and grad school to teaching in interesting parts of the country to the top of windmills in the Mohave Desert. I promise to have more regular updates on what I’ve been up to! There should be one on Saturday!

I’ll leave you with a picture I took at the apartment complex where I work, where they have small ponds close to a wooded area as a reminder to look for beauty even in the trashiest of times!