Paper Recycling Has Become A Toxic Task

, , , , , , , , | Working | October 18, 2018

I used to work in the credit department for a regional department store. My job was attached to the collections department, but I wasn’t a collector. We had a dress code, which was ignored by the collectors. Since we weren’t the only business in the building, we had a code of conduct to prevent swearing in the elevator or the lobby. That was also ignored, also without consequence.

The high point came with the paper-recycling bin. Each group had a large rolling bin to put paper in for recycling, which was picked up weekly by an outside company. One group of collectors used theirs for garbage, including fruit remnants and packaging, and the recyclers refused to touch it. Since it wasn’t in the trash bins located at each desk, the janitorial staff wouldn’t touch it, either.

It sat there and rotted until complaints got to the VP. I was told to take it down three floors on the elevator, wheel it across the street and over a block to the store, dump it in the compact, and bring it back. I tried making the point that this wasn’t my job, that I’d had no part in creating the problem, and that it should be fixed by the people that did create it, but that didn’t fly.

I did as instructed, and parked the stinking bin — rancid juices streaking the sides, flies orbiting around it — in front of that supervisor’s desk, and told her she could clean it.

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