A Concentrated Contamination Of Willful Ignorance

, , , , | Right | September 12, 2019

I worked one winter as a seasonal driver’s helper for a popular shipping company on a combined business/residential route. Most of the time the customers were happy to see us.

A small personal care and beauty products store received shipments at least once a week. The owner and sole employee was known to be highly eccentric but I didn’t realize just how bad it was until I worked for the shipping company. We always parked around the corner from the shop and scanned the items as delivered before exiting the truck. All packages were left on the sidewalk outside the door, and said sidewalk was almost always littered with soggy cardboard bits.

The regular route driver explained that the owner wouldn’t accept packages delivered from a foreign-built vehicle — the truck he drove was an import brand — or that he knew had been scanned with “the evil contraption.” He washed the packages open before taking the product into his shop, spraying the cardboard boxes with a high-pressure hose nozzle until they fell apart, because they may have been handled by “those people.”

My high-school-age daughter was a volunteer page at the adjacent public library and the shared wall was always wet and moldy. They discovered that he was not only washing product on the sidewalk, but also regularly hosing down the product as it sat on the shelves to wash away any lingering contamination.

That shop has closed — I believe evicted due to damage — the library has moved to a new, larger location, and a different business is now occupying an area of the shopping center that includes both storefronts. They said they had to totally strip, seal, and rebuild the interior where that shop was located due to water damage, mold, and mildew and even now, several years later, an occasional customer will comment about a musty smell.

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