The Corner

Garbage In, Garbarge Out

I pay a lot of D.C. taxes and get very little to show for it. One of the only concrete services I benefit from is garbage collection. And, all in all, I think D.C. sanitation workers do a very good job. That’s one reason why I have always tipped them come the holidays. It’s also why I was so intrigued by this passage in the Metro section of today’s Washington Post.

Trash collectors are also not allowed to accept tips and gifts, which can lead to awkward interactions with grateful residents such as the woman who approached Bland and Nix’s truck as it idled behind a townhouse development off of Arizona Avenue NW. She tried to hand an envelope to driver and crew chief, Tavis Clinton, 34. It takes some doing before she gives up, gets into her red Prius, and drives off.

The author of the story, Annys Shin, may be too young or naive to understand that the crew chief is not going to violate policy in front of a reporter from the Washington Post. But her editors should know better. Even if they don’t tip the sanitation men, they surely know that it is expected and happens across the city. Indeed, in many areas in Washington the driver of the sanitation truck pounds the horn over and over as he drives through the neighborhood in order to notify residents that the truck is coming and that they should have the yearly gratuity at the ready. Again, I have no problem with any of this, it is hard work done well. I just think it’s amusing the Washington Post tried to pass the trash this way.


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