another thing I don’t understand, #159

this one got a little long… you’ve been warned!

Sometimes when I’m working at a pump station and the door is open someone will pop their head in since they’re curious what’s inside. “Oh I go by here all the time and always wondered what it was,” or some such. Sometimes they are fine with just the visual, other times they’ll have some questions or we’ll chat a bit. One day I was at one of the District pump stations that is out in Open Space, along a fairly popular route for walkers and runners, and heard someone at the door and figured it would be one of these events.

Nope, this fellow wanted to know if there was a trash can inside. (Granted, there is a water fountain at the site, but not right near the building.) No, no trash can. He had a couple of to-go coffee cups and lids. He then asked if he could leave them by my van. Thought bubble later said, “yeah, you could, but that would be littering.” although in the moment I didn’t know quite what to say, so didn’t say anything. I must have had a perplexed look on my face though, as he continued on to explain himself, “I’m trying to avoid having to carry them back.”

whwhaWHAT? Again speechless, but perhaps my face conveyed the “you have got to be *ing me” message, as he did not leave them there by my van. When the thought bubble caught up, it was with several things, such as “if you didn’t want to carry them back maybe you shouldn’t have brought them with you” along with the fact that he was fine carrying them when they had something in them (and were heavier) and “what would you have done with it if I wasn’t here?” Maybe just as well that I didn’t make any comments, as he seemed a little put out by the fact I didn’t jump to take his trash.

So what is it I don’t understand? Asking if there was a trash can, whatever. But the continuing on past that, as if it were someone else’s responsibility to deal with something he was done using, that’s the part I don’t get.

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