This afternoon I left my home in order to run a few errands. I planned a route that in my mind was the most efficient… and was making note of my brilliance as I pulled into stop #1 – the recycling kiosk. Just as I got out of my car, the young man in the kiosk, yelled “Sir, I’m going on my 30 minute break after I assist this person.” First of all, it’s 95 degrees… and I’m menopausal… Just opening my car door started “Niagra Falls”… and Niagra Falls is accompanied by a rather snarky temper! Second, are you kidding me? The last time I came to this particular recycling center, the young man in-charge told me the same thing – he couldn’t help me because he was going on his lunch break! What are the chances?... and third, “Sir?!”…
Now, if I were of the masculine persuasion, I just might have used this opportunity to jump out of my monster truck with the oversized wheels… rip off my shirt… flex my enormous biceps… and smack the guy… Instead, I gave my best “Are you kidding me?” look… accentuated by a visible heaving huff… and climbed back into my 1999 Honda Accord! And as I drove away… I threw a mental tantrum…vowing in some way to get even… by taking my business elsewhere (like he cared!)… all the while making my case with the part of me which was rolling its eyes at my ridiculousness.
Anyway, I drove down the road to another recycling center. As I got out of my car, the man said, “I’m going on my lunch break. I’ll be back in 30 minutes.” To which I replied, (I had made the mistake of getting out of my car… heat… menopause… snarky temper!) “Really?! The guy down the road told me the same thing!” and I got back in my car, obviously displeased. I felt like a “donkey” when the (really nice) man came over and gave me directions to another center. When I asked why I should go there, since the operator at the next site would most likely be on his lunch break as well (Obviously, Temperamental Tina was still my spokesperson), he told me that the operator at the next stop had already taken his break.”
So… off I went. By this time, I was still feeling a little snarky, however, the more mature part of me was gaining a little ground. After all, I am a former union representative as well as an understanding human being… I know how important the 30 minute break is to people. When I reached the location of the 3rd site… there was no center to be found. I circled the area for several minutes before heading to my partner’s office to drop something off. I shared my experiences and she shared the location of a 4th site which I could try. (By the way, the “sainthood” for which I was going to nominate the nice man at stop #2 was promptly pulled.)
As I drove into the parking lot of site #4, I noticed it was definitely not open. The sign said, “Closed on Mondays”. Of course. I thought I might be able to use the automated redemption “thingy” but it wouldn’t take crunched up bottles. (My partner has been pushing everyone in the house to crunch up their bottles to save room. Of course.)
So… It had now been over an hour (so much for my brilliant plan of efficiency) and I’m headed back to site #1. (I was sure the young man operating the center was not only back from his lunch break but well warmed up with the other customers he has helped since I squealed my 1999 Honda out of the parking lot!) I finally decided it was time to make the best of it… so I basked in the sun…whistling “Every day’s a Holiday” (from Mary Poppins)… while waiting for the 2 customers ahead of me to turn in their bottles. As I moved closer to the kiosk, I noticed the sign clearly stating the employee’s lunch break and made a mental note. (I hate it when I have to eat “recycled crow”.) The young man obviously didn’t remember the “Sir” he turned away… and was very polite and helpful. In the end, we exchanged a smile… and I got my $11. As I drove away I thought… "I can see the humor in this"… and that deserves an ice cream cone.