Sunday, February 04, 2007



Was trying to comment, but had too many characters for the form.  Stubbornly:

The only negative remark I have to make about this is that it’s not true about the janitor(s).  For one thing, they are Sanitary Engineers (last time Bob, my cat, checked, on the Internet, like); and for another thing, well, I dunno… but check this out.  There’s a guy where I work, who I think is called the Maintenance Dude, or something like that.  His name is Paul, whether or not I am mistaken. 

Mind you, you never see him “just standing around”.  He’s always busy doing something.  He has a nicer car than I have.  He works HARD.  I don’t think he’s making bad money.  After three years of MY working there (gawd knows how long Paul’s been there), Paul is finally starting to condescend to talk to me.  This is a true story.  I think he’s starting to realize that I’m watching him, and that I’ve noticed how hard he works. 

Paul doesn’t smoke.  But a lot of us do.  He has to clean up after us, and we have to deal with his inefficiency at cleaning up after us. 

He bought these weird outdoor ashtrays, to Deal with us.  Lord knows what he was thinking, or what the people who designed them were thinking.  Picture this.  It’s black, and tall, and kind of tubular, with one little hole at the top.  You can just throw your cigarette into it.  There’s really no way (on the device itself, if you can call it a “device”) to put the cigarette out before you throw it in; there’s just the little hole.  You can poke the cigarette in there, but there’s nothing to put it out on, first.  The cigarette falls down into the hole.  Guess what happens next.  I bet you can.  It sets all the other cigarette butts on fire, and the thing sits outside, blowing noxious toxic fumes into the environment, endlessly.  Smoke billows endlessly out of the little hole. We stand there looking at it during our coffee breaks, freezing our asses off and wondering what to do.

Some of us smokers (there are even a few non-smokers, though not many, who come out, just to keep us company—because let’s face it, smokers tend to be more sociable, brave, and fun)... as I say, some of us have taken up thinking about trying to figure out a way to Foil Paul. 

It’s not that we don’t LIKE Paul, but we would like to stop the noxious toxic emissions.  Save the environment! Well, or help/foil Paul!  He’s trying to be a good Janitor (hah!) but he doesn’t smoke.  He doesn’t (apparently) know anything about Fire, and neither do the people he got the ashtrays from. 

We godforsaken smokers (and friends) have been trying to figure a way to get some coffee into the little hole where you’re supposed to stick your cigarettes into the tubular ashtray. Anything that would put out the horrible mess that’s going on in there.  Smoking is one thing, but hey—even smokers know that smoking TOO much is another. Global warming?  Janitor???  HAH. 

I, personally, have been imagining one of those bendable straws that you can get, if you’re in the hospital; but they don’t have any at my job, and Paul and I are not on THAT good speaking terms, yet.  It’s only been three years. 

The only reason he likes me at all is because he was trundling some garbage by, one day, as I was outside by myself having a smoke, and I said, “Dammit, why don’t I ever see you standing around the corner of the building, doing nothing?”

A lot of other people can regularly be seen doing that.  But not Paul.  Paul, of course, sees all, knows all.  (Except how to deal with cigarettes.) 

He laughed, and after I said that, now we are (a bit) friends. 

He never stands around doing nothing.  He works and works, cleaning up after us, at work.  I think he makes pretty good money.  He has a decent vehicle.  It’s a funny job he has, though, just based on the fact that it takes three years just to get on speaking terms with him.  He’s the ONLY one who does the job he does.  He’s pretty good at it, apart from the ashtray thing, and I still don’t really know him well enough to approach him about it.

So the other day, he went one way, as I was going the other.  I was coming back from the Smoking Area, and he was on his way out, past the Smoking Area.  It was snowing, and he was trundling more of our garbage out of the building.  Frankly, he must be disgusted with us, because I see how much garbage he trundles every day.  It’s a job.  It had better be a GOOD job, because I see how much garbage he trundles. 

He may be the only person I know with a nicer car than me, that I don’t mind that he has it. I even think it’s a good idea. 

Anyway, I was on my way back in, and we passed each other.  He was looking down at the ground, at all the cigarette butts that were lying between the smoking area, upon the smoking area, around the smoking area, and around our door…. just pretty much everywhere that there could be a cigarette butt, there WAS one. 

And he said something like, “I have to clean this up, grrrrrrr.”  (I can’t remember exactly what he said, but that was the gist of it.)

Over my shoulder, I could see the smoke billowing out of the useless ashtray invention that Paul had gotten the Company to pay for. 

I didn’t say anything.  I just liked Paul, and went back to work. 

I haven’t thought much about it, until this thing you mentioned about the “janitors”.

There must be BAD, LAZY janitors in this world.  But they all aren’t.  However, if anyone has any good ashtray suggestions, please forward them to Paul, care of ME.  If I have enough nerve, I will forward them to him.

Back to Voting

Old Comments

  • yep, see, read this, and totally (as a smoker) related to it, too.

    grrr.  as if i have to decide which is better.

    Posted by mmpottlehill  on  02/04  at  10:25 PM
  • decided to go with “janitors,” because i like the premise of the form not having enough character spaces thing you do here.

    i hate that, too.

    Posted by mmpottlehill  on  02/04  at  10:27 PM
  • Grrrr.  You have to decide.  You have to!  Otherwise… well, I don’t know.  Otherwise we won’t know which one you liked better.  Is that so bad?  Heh, no I suppose not.  But anyway, you have to!

    Oh, I know.  It’s just voting all over again.  It’s your civic duty to choose.  Yeah, that’s it.  Otherwise the system doesn’t work and we end up with rulers who send our kids to war to get physicially and/or psychologically damaged.  So pick one.  Janitors is a fine choice.  Well done.  I’ll send you a “I voted” button so you can glare smugly at people who don’t have one.  Just kidding.  I don’t have any of those buttons either.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  02/05  at  03:36 AM
  • i actually own a button machine.  let’s just say that i have a tendency to get involved in various political fundraisers, and it comes in handy. it’s a badge-a-minit.  i could make up “I Voted!” buttons for the top 10 voters, haha.

    Posted by mmpottlehill  on  02/05  at  10:52 AM
  • Cool!  What would it cost to make 100 of them and send them out to 100 different people?  I mean, I could add a “Buy a Button” link to the Support Litmocracy page and make it a little, microscopic, teesny weensy business for us.  I want no profit from it - just the visibility from people wearing them in public.

    Of course I tried this with bumper stickers once…  But I guess a button is a lot easier to deal with than a bumper sticker.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  02/05  at  01:33 PM
  • I’m not sure how much they would cost—- I’ve never done it for anyone else, before…  just for myself on a pretty small scale.  but it wouldn’t be that much, really.

    I’ll price it out and get back to you.  I’ve got a friend visiting from out-of-state for the week, so if it takes me a minute, just know that I’m getting to it… smile

    Posted by mmpottlehill  on  02/06  at  12:22 PM
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