He may not be Bill Gates or Barack Obama or one of the other hundreds of celebrities and notable figures jumping on Reddit's "Ask Me Anything" trend.
But a Calgary "sanitation engineer" (or garbage man, as more commonly known) took some time recently to field questions, under the screen name "Furiousness," about one of the least desirable jobs in the world.
Despite it being a dirty job, Furiousness comes clean about nearly all aspects of being a garbage man and this AMA is one of the more interesting we've ever read. He's often laugh out loud funny as he answers questions about porn, sex toys, what's the weirdest thing he's ever found in the trash and more.
Click through our slideshow below to see some of the questions and answers submitted to the thread. We also recommend reading through the whole AMA over on Reddit.
<strong>Question:</strong> "Before the bins, what was the worst thing that the hopper squirted at you?"
<strong>Answer:</strong> "Liquid grass clippings. I know it doesn't sound bad but since it's a plant product when it breaks down it ferments and turns into a vile smelling liquor. The stench is <em>terribad</em> and does not come out of your clothing, you don't dare wash it with things you like so you just throw it away."
<strong>Question:</strong> "Weirdest porn you found? I still remember to this day opening a can to dump in the truck and their was a bin full of foot fetish mags."
<strong>Answer:</strong> "I guess weirdest was gay bondage porn. But I'm from the internet so it was less 'OMG WEIRD!' and more 'Hey, go hard friend.' With that being said I did come across some weird receipts. Someone had ordered books on man/boy love and the art of torture. Definitely a deviant of sorts, but nothing illegal so I couldn't say anything."
<strong>Question: </strong> "Have you ever kept anything you found? My old neighbor worked as a garbageman and was constantly bringing home...well...garbage."
<strong>Answer:</strong> "Since I am employed by the city and since the law states that once you put something into the garbage (outside of your property) that stuff has no owner and is thus up for grabs to the first party. Well I am the first party to touch it but since I am on company time it now belongs to the city. So for me to grab something then decide I want it would be stealing and is dealt with...harshly. That being said Ipod, Xbox 360, (2)PS3, some really wicked dye cast cars, various dressers, my bed frame. When I used to work in very upper class neighbourhoods there was a lady who found out her old man was cheating on her so she was waiting for us to come by so she could throw his shit in the back. We managed to liberate some of it for the greater good but still gave her the satisfaction of throwing away all his clothing and letting her work the handles to crush it."
<strong>Question:</strong> "What can someone do to make your job easier? It's common sense to use good bags, not overload them, and place the bin somewhere accessible for efficient disposal, but are there any other common sense things people should be doing?"
<strong>Answer:</strong> "Fill your bin, no really, fill it to the top. I have no issues getting out and throwing away the excess if you fully utilize all the resources you have, but if it's not full the first time and there is stuff on the side I will take it, the second time you can keep it. 19/20 people get the hint. I am however pretty laid back compared to others. I don't have an issue pulling out your bin and placing it where it should be. But if you do have an issue with something try to talk to the guy doing your garbage. For me if you leave a note with words like "please" and "thank you" in a manner that is not sarcastic...Well bro you just got a friend for life. Seriously."
<strong>Question:</strong> What is the nicest thing someone has done for you at work? not including coworkers, just random people.
<strong>Answer:</strong> "Like I said earlier I work in places with an older population. An older gentleman would come out to talk to me for about 5 minutes, just shooting the shit kind of stuff. Well I didn't see him for about a month but didn't dwell too much on it. Turns out his wife died in a car crash and he was massively depressed. When I finally saw him again he told me that story and said I was the only person he could talk to. So I let him talk for about 20 minutes. At the end of it all he thanks me, shakes my hand and said "that is the first time I smiled in months." Right in the feels."
<strong>Question:</strong> "Have you ever found anything disturbing in people's garbage?"
<strong>Answer:</strong> "Story time! This first one came about 6 months into the job (of which I have been here 6 years). So there I was throwing the bags in the back of the truck. Well this one I tossed hit the side of the truck and the bag split open spilling the contents all over the street. What was inside? Well about 100 dildos of course. Just rolling around the street in a upper class neighbourhood. The other one was a fetus."
<strong>Question: </strong> "Please tell us what happens when you find a fetus. Police involvement? And this isn't pleasant... but was it carried to term, or did it appear to have been miscarried?"
<strong>Answer: </strong> "Without getting into too many details after I saw it I told my driver (I was still pretty new). He came and looked, called his foreman to come pick us up and called the police. I don't know what happened after that. I asked to be taken off that particular route in question."
<strong>Question:</strong> "Do you think Calgary should have an organics waste bin?"
<strong>Answer:</strong> "Nope. I think we still have to master the recycling bin. If you fill up your bin and have more than it can handle save it for next week, it won't go bad, it shouldn't take up that much space either. If it does though break it down as small as you can and put it next to the garbage. The recycling fellers do not have to get out of their truck to pick up excess, I do. If I see cardboard in giant pieces I'm going to leave it. If you take the time to make my job easier, I will take the time to take it away for you."
<strong>Question:</strong> "How often do you encounter drug paraphenelia?"
<strong>Answer:</strong> "In Forest Lawn I found lots of meth pipes, I found a few needles in the Ranchlands area. They were however diabetic but were warned if it happened again they would be blacklisted. They eventually were. I work in places were the people are predominately older so it's a thing of the past now."
<strong>Question:</strong> "Please explain blacklisting. Their garbage will no longer be collected? For what length of time? How does a house get off the blacklist if sold. What are their alternatives?"
<strong>Answer:</strong> "When a person breaks rules that can put the safety of me in danger. Like really really bad things we just straight up stop. No warnings, no nothing. We wait for the owner to contact us. If they don't bylaw is sent out to constantly give them tickets. It's a dirty tactic I admit. But it usually draws attention. To get off they have to clean up their act, less they face criminal prosecution. This takes a lot of messing up to do though."
<strong>Question:</strong> "This has always made me curios; how are you able to line up the bins with the arm? Is there a camera or after a while do you just know how far ahead to pull?"
<strong>Answer: </strong> "There are three cameras. One to help align the fingers with the bin. One to show the contents of the bin once it has been dumped and a back up camera to surprise surprise help you back up. When I first started the new system my eyes were glued to the cameras, so much so that it caused a few incidents. Now however I just glance in the convex mirror to give me a picture of how far I have to go. I don't use the first two cameras unless I hear a giant bang. After a minimum 600 a day you get used to it pretty fast."
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