Right Working Romantic Related Learning Friendly Healthy Legal Inspirational Unfiltered

If There’s One Thing He Knows, It’s Trash

, , , | Working | August 16, 2021

I work as a receptionist in an office. Once a week, a garbage truck comes to collect our garbage. They need a key for the gate and they always come inside to pick up the key. I use this moment as an excuse to get off my bum and bring the key to them. It saves them maybe a minute and I get an extra five-minute break. This means I talk to many of the garbage men (and one woman).

One of the men I meet most is a man of around fifty years. I am in my early thirties. One day, the cleaning crew forgot to take out the trash, so I bring the two bags outside.

Me: “All right, which of the two do you want first? Left or right?”

Garbage Man: “How about the one in the middle?”

Me: *Taken aback* “I don’t think my husband would agree with that.”

I stay polite but remain short in what I say. After he leaves, I immediately tell the building manager.

Me: “It may have been a bad attempt at a joke, but I want this registered.”

Building Manager: “Have you had any issues before? Do you want me to call his boss?”

Me: “No, this has never happened before and this was all he said. Maybe it was just a slip of the tongue. I’ll let you know if he crosses the line again.”

Two weeks later, I see him again. I make sure to say nothing that can be interpreted differently.

Garbage Man: “Hey, we meet again! Look, I’m letting my beard grow!”

Me: “I can see that.”

Garbage Man: “So, what do you think? Don’t girls like you get horny from men with beards?”

Me: “No… I need to get back inside. You can drop the key on the desk for me.”

I keep an eye on the key but head to the building manager right after. The junior building manager is there, as well.

Me: “I don’t care if he considers me ‘one of the boys.’ That definitely crossed the line and I will not take the key outside for him anymore. The others, I don’t mind, but that man absolutely crossed the line.”

Building Manager: “I will take this up with his boss. Unfortunately, I can’t be here all the time. [Junior Building Manager], will you keep an eye open for him, as well? I want to avoid a ‘he-said, she-said,’ so it might be best if there is a witness.”

Junior Building Manager: “Of course. What a creep! Did he say anything else? Are you okay? Did he do anything? Did he touch you?”

Me: “I’m fine. As fine as you can be, anyway.”

Two weeks later, he returns and I stay at my desk. [Junior Building Manager] sees the truck coming and comes running (literally). I am also very glad that at that moment, the phone rings.

Garbage Man: “Hey, good morning, sunshine! We missed you outside!”

Junior Building Manager: “She’s on the phone. Here is the key. You can bring it back when you are done.” *Crosses his arms*

Garbage Man: *Less cheerful* “Eh, sure. Anyway, she always helps us.”

Junior Building Manager: “And she’s busy. It’s not her job. It is yours.”

The way he states it shuts up the garbage man. He takes out the trash and returns with the key. A day later, the building manager joins me and the junior building manager for coffee.

Building Manager: “Oh, we got a complaint from [Garbage Company]. One of the garbage men complained that the ‘young man next to the receptionist’ was very rude and hostile to him. I told the manager I would look into it and then asked if he had already looked into the harassment complaint I filed two weeks ago. He didn’t really give me a clear answer and said he would get back to me.”

Two weeks later, there was a new garbage man. He asked me the procedures, as he was new. He was a lovely man, always polite. The previous garbage man was appointed to a different route. Can’t say I miss him.