Friday, September 5, 2008

Word on the street #5: The guy who takes your trash out

garbage truck
The brave men and women who collect our garbage toil day in and day out for very little respect. Their job is one of the most important in our society, as without them we would be wallowing in filth all day. It is, after all, our cleanliness that separates us human beings from the DAMNED DIRTY APES! So when you interact with one of your waste-aggregating friends, it's important to refer to his or her job in the correct manner. So here are 10 such terms, listed from most offensive to least, or in other words, from the one that will make the G-man want to throw you in the landfill (10) to the one that will make him/her rather happy to sort your recyclables for you (1).

10) Shit shoveler
If you say this around a woman over the age of 60, expect an exclamation of "Well I never!" to follow. "Golden girls" (i.e. old hags) were brought up to respect the brave men and women who shovel their shit into a truck every day and would never refer to them by such a vile (yet undeniably accurate) term.

Typical New Jersey streetThermometer9) Trash man
"Trash" is a much less sophisticated word than "garbage" and is often used to refer to girls from south Jersey (the place shown in the photo on the right). Not a pretty picture.

8) Garbage man
The same term is used for the guy who cleans up the "trash" at the club just before closing time and goes home with whatever he can get. Nobody wants to be that guy.

7) Dustman
This British import isn't terrible, but it minimizes the hard labor that garbage men do by calling trash "dust." Picking up dust is not very hard, but trash can be a real bitch sometimes.

6) Hector the Collector
Most garbage guys will appreciate this clever attempt at humor. However, recent studies have shown that 14.8% of garbage collectors are not named Hector, so in these rare cases you might cause some confusion.

5) Garbo
Do you want people to think you're Australian? Me neither. Whenever someone uses this term, expect the next sentence out of his/her mouth to be "G'day mate, let's put another shrimp on the barbie!"

4) Refuse collector
Refuse is always a nice word for trash, as in, "I refuse to ingest this year-old maggot-infested beef carcass, therefore I believe I shall place it in the dustbin." Makes you sound high-class.

3) Collection agent
Not bad, but unfortunately the same term is used for the douchebag who hounds you about your overdue credit card bills.

Sanitation engineer2) Waste management specialist
Sounds like a highly skilled job. You'll earn some brownie points with this one.

1) Sanitation engineer
Garbage collection requires a lot of mental horsepower. These people often find themselves constructing SolidWorks simulations and writing Matlab procedures to calculate the optimal way to dump the trash into the truck. If they're not engineers, nobody is (except people who drive trains of course).


David said...

Those guys deserve all the respect in the world.

If they don't do their job, the rest of us are buried up to our earlobes in junk, garbage and yuck.

Nick said...

How right you are. Uttering the words "shit shoveler" in reference to these honorable men and women should be made a federal offense!

Diesel said...

I prefer to call them the Evidence Disposal Service.

Who links to me?