Trash Talkin’

Earlier today I discovered that, for the second week in a row, my yard waste container was not emptied. Immediately, my blood began to boil and my skin tingled with anticipation and sweat. My pulse raced as I picked up the phone to call 311, praying that she would answer. Lately, almost anything is an excuse for me to call and hear her sexy instructions for better citizenship. Within seconds, her sweet, stern voice informed me that she was aware of the situation.

Oh baby, tell me more. Tell me that all your public services are going to satisfy my needs. Tell me how important my call is to you. Make me feel special.

For almost three months, I have been in love with the woman on the 311 recording. I imagine her to be short with wavy raven hair, fiery eyes and bold Iberian temperament. In my dreams, we wane away the late nights eating tapas and sipping porto, listening to the sad classical guitar of an elderly gentleman.

I squirmed anxiously in my seat as she confirmed that trash, recycling and/or yard waste receptacles were not picked up along many routes. She recommended that I leave my container on the street and it would be serviced…eventually.

Yes, give it to me.

Fox40 reports that the reason for the missed pick-ups is the lack of truck drivers. One-quarter of the city’s drivers are out sick, on vacation, or otherwise unable to work, which is sure to infuriate those already complaining about inefficiency in our city services.

But not me. The busier the 311 operators are, the more time I spent with my sweet senorita who is always waiting there for me and appreciates my patience.

6 thoughts on “Trash Talkin’”

  1. “Otherwise unable to work” meaning out on workers’ comp with paid leave. Dangerous job, driving a giant truck at slow speeds around residential streets, activating levers and whatnot.


  2. 311 always fixes my parking meters, potholes, and billboards too close to the street, on time.
    Nice that the 311 chiquitas are riotously sassy. The reason your Sac. City refuse pickup bills have increased by 53% in the last four years (well over 10% a year while, for example, my raises are about 2%) is directly related to the fact that 10% of the workforce is on “workers’ comp,” or some other government program designed to transfer wealth to “those in need.” For what my block pays (about $27,000 a year), we could hire someone full time/dedicated to do the same thing with daily pickup. With scale, Sacramento Property Owners should be getting, at the least, regular service.


  3. Great point on how much your block pays per year for utility services!

    The alternative view on the garbage pickup delay is that this is one of those non-critcal things were the city should in fact be staffed to meet the pickup schedule 90% of the time, but not 100% of the time. If it saves the city a few million but once or twice a year my garbage pickup is a day late; that seems a totally reasonable trade-off to me.

    Not to sugar coat your point of course that the utilities dept is wrought with fraud, the representing union is even worse and taxpayer money is literally going down the drain.


  4. Having to negotiate with my neighbors on garbage contracts kind of sounds like a nightmare, especially if in your scenario it is not going to save me a cent.


  5. I have some property on a private road up in the Sierras.

    We have a special assessment district or somesuch (I am on the board, but can’t remember the exact name). A recurring fee is added to each parcel’s annual property tax bill, and the board manages the funds and hiring contractors as needed.

    In our case we hired a resident at the end of our road to do the plowing and road repairs. So our road is always plowed long before the county is able to get the areas nearby that they maintain, and our potholes are filled promptly. If this doesnt happen, the annual contract will not be renewed and we hire someone else. Great example of local solution for a local need, and less work then paying a monthly bill to the city.


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