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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 06-27-05, 05:00 PM   #1
sanford_w/o_son
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too proud to pay a mean guy $5 for his "trash"

so i'm standing in the alley, helping a friend move stuff into his place, when suddenly a dumpster garbage truck backs up to us from the street. what do i behold atop the most recently collected trash in the truck's bin but a schwinn letour frame and fork (and most else except wheels) in visibly good condition. it was like fate itself was commanding me to fixie up this bike.

until the garbage guy came round back from the driver's cabin.

concerned that he might freak out if i just reach in, i ask "hey, can i take this bike?" to which he responds "if you pay me." i give him a suprised smile, to which he keeps his deadpan expression and sour attitude and responds "i'm serious." still smiling, i ask "well, how much do you want?" and he responds, still deadpan, "five bucks." so i consider it for a second. i tell him "it's yours" and casually get back to my business.

now, most bike folks acting rationally would easily hand over the five bucks and grab the frame with a smile. but i just didn't want to make a mean guy five dollars better off for helping him unload some of his "trash", even if the trash was my treasure. it was an emotional decision, i know, in that we would both lose out economically but i'd at least keep my pride in not helping out this guy i didn't respect. but, of course, i still waver between regret and pride.

did i do the right thing? is there a garbage truck etiquette that i'm not aware of, which holds that even the "trash" the garbage workers think is trash can be for sale to those who value it? or should the guy have just been cool about the frame and told me "yeah, take it--it's trash."
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Old 06-27-05, 05:05 PM   #2
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Technically the trash becomes the property of the trash collection company. Until that point it's the property of the homeowner. But whatever.

Sure, he should have given you the frame for nothing. It was obviously no skin off his back. On the other hand, you're disrupting his routine and he figures it's a good way to make a couple of bucks. I mean while he's selling you something he doesn't own, you're asking him to give you something for nothing.

Who's in the wrong? If I wanted it, I would have given the $5. I mean it's just $5.
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Old 06-27-05, 05:27 PM   #3
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$5 for a LeTour? Ooh, I woulda done it...
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I explained that he could never pay me enough cash for the amount of work I had put into that bike and the only way to compensate me for it was to ride the hell out of it.
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Old 06-27-05, 06:00 PM   #4
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Yeah, those guys will get like 50 cents for it when they sell it to the scrap metal place.

The junkers take LOADS of bikes to the scrap yard every day here in Chicago. Well, at least the one by my house.

Dude. If I have those junkers sell 'em to me. Then I sell 'em on CL.

Maybe.
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Old 06-27-05, 06:08 PM   #5
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The dude was within his rights to ask for $5, HOWEVER, that does not absolve him for being a dick about it.

I wouldn't have paid him either. What's to keep him from just taking stuff, and holding it for ransom in the back of his stanky truck? Best nip this problem in the bud, after all, if the United States of America does not negotiate with terrorists, why should you?
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Old 06-27-05, 06:17 PM   #6
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maybe I missed something but what exactly did the guy do to disrespect you?  Iím sure the guy was loaded and was asking for $5 to be a dick. Seriously, if this is the worst thing that happened in your life today, consider yourself fortunate.
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Old 06-27-05, 06:30 PM   #7
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The guy was a lame wanger. The bike wasn't his to sell. Some people just get off by taking a piss in someone else's Cheerios....
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Old 06-27-05, 06:39 PM   #8
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I would have given him the five, and another five to have him reach in and get the bike for ya...
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Old 06-27-05, 07:00 PM   #9
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a perfect time to haggle. I would have said how about a buck.
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Old 06-27-05, 07:05 PM   #10
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Man, pride and ego are overrated. I've been busting my ass trying to find ANY decent frame around here to fix up, and it's been a huge pain. If it was a decent frame, I would have GLADLY handed him 20$ for it.

You have your "pride" and now a bike that could have ridden the streets again is going into the trash heap, and you're out a frame.

But, then again, I'm definitely not you, and as illogical as the decision might have been, it was a strongheaded one, and there's nothing wrong with being a little strongheaded...
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Old 06-27-05, 07:13 PM   #11
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It may have been worth the $5 bucks. Sucks that it was only trash to him until someone else expressed interest in the item.

I also find your username somewhat ironic in this case.
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Old 06-27-05, 07:15 PM   #12
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To put things in perspective, can you still get a cup of coffee for under $5 in Chicago?
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Old 06-27-05, 08:08 PM   #13
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I bid 25$!
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Old 06-28-05, 12:56 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twiz
a perfect time to haggle. I would have said how about a buck.



I'd like to tweak the interpretation on this just a little.

Sorry to maybe try and overanalyze you for a sec, sw/os, but maybe it wasn't just your pride working here. Maybe it was a certain conviction on your part that you shouldn't validate such blindly crappish behavior.

Personally, given my big mouth and somewhat sour disposition, I would have taken this as an opportunity to give him a small lecture and at the same time, try and soften him up a bit: "REALLY? Are you kidding? It's merely trash, I'm offering to unburden you a bit, maybe even make your job a little easier, and you're actually trying to make money off of it? Man, I can't believe I actually thought you might be cool! Guess I was wrong. That's so uncool." Sounds ridiculous, but guilt is a weapon employed my moms the world over and throughout history to great effect.

Then, if he were to respond with some further dickishness, I'd proceed with Twiz's strategy. But the best position to get yourself into is him walking away from you and not vice versa. Basically, then, you're looking at a guy who is not only rejecting an opportunity to be nice for a sec, but who's also too dumb to make anything off of a piece of trash that he's going to have to deal with later anyway.

In that case, he's a lost cause no matter how you look at it.

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Old 06-28-05, 01:17 AM   #15
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Should've bargained.
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Old 06-28-05, 01:36 AM   #16
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Or dove into the back of the truck and made a mad dash for the hills with the stinky frame
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Old 06-28-05, 11:18 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peripatetic
[color=darkgreen]Personally, given my big mouth and somewhat sour disposition, I would have taken this as an opportunity to give him a small lecture and at the same time, try and soften him up a bit: "REALLY? Are you kidding? It's merely trash, I'm offering to unburden you a bit, maybe even make your job a little easier, and you're actually trying to make money off of it? Man, I can't believe I actually thought you might be cool! Guess I was wrong. That's so uncool." Sounds ridiculous, but guilt is a weapon employed my moms the world over and throughout history to great effect.
If I were the trashman in this case, had you said it to me, I would have hit the compress button. Well, no, I would have the bike in the CAB of the truck. But, in reality, I'd do what it takes to piss you off completely.

The reality being, he wanted 5 bucks. It's reasonable. You expect something for free, at any moment, from a complete stranger, you, are unreasonable.

Given that the original poster was mad because the driver wasn't nice, let me ask you something.

Did you want customer service from a guy who picks up **** all day long? Are you that ****ing ********?
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Old 06-28-05, 11:37 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sanford_w/o_son
so i'm standing in the alley, ....
i love stories that start off like this.
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Old 06-28-05, 11:49 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by William Karsten
If I were the trashman in this case, had you said it to me, I would have hit the compress button. Well, no, I would have the bike in the CAB of the truck. But, in reality, I'd do what it takes to piss you off completely.

The reality being, he wanted 5 bucks. It's reasonable. You expect something for free, at any moment, from a complete stranger, you, are unreasonable.

Given that the original poster was mad because the driver wasn't nice, let me ask you something.

Did you want customer service from a guy who picks up **** all day long? Are you that ****ing ********?

Chill out, Willy. The above is uncalled for.
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Old 06-28-05, 11:55 AM   #20
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Chill out, Willy. The above is uncalled for.
OK Lala, you're next. First, it's slick Willy. Or *******. But not Willy. OK?

And, while I think it was called for, I'll revamp what I said.


To the poster:
Did you consider it your right to receive customer service from a guy who picks up other people's refuse all day long? Are you mentally challenged, or do you honestly feel you have that right?
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Old 06-28-05, 12:07 PM   #21
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the OP didn't talk about "rights" , he just said he didn't respect the guys candor. he asked a simple question, the guy didn't budge, he was taken back, and then went about his business. i wouldn't have paid him either.
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Old 06-28-05, 12:31 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timmhaan
the OP didn't talk about "rights" , he just said he didn't respect the guys candor. he asked a simple question, the guy didn't budge, he was taken back, and then went about his business. i wouldn't have paid him either.
You're right, he didn't. But the question remains, what did he expect from a guy who gets paid very a very average wage to do something that is A) Dangerous, B) Crappy C)At times laden with corruption?

Sometimes, the approach is everything. It is my assumption, and I could be wrong, that the approach was not done with the manner which is portrayed here. Certainly his demeanor toward the guy could be seen as not to friendly. Perhaps, we can look at it from the Trash collector's point of view.


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So there I am, in the alley, doing my rounds. The radio has been blaring all day and my back is killing me. The same person had a 40 pound can full of used cat litter and when you dump that @#$# you get @#$y dust all over yourself. Man, if I had only finished college. Anyway day is half done, Iím behind because every jerk in a SUV has cut me off only to double park. Iíll have to finish and possible not get over time. Add to that, I just got done arguing with some jerk who was mad because I wonít take 10 gallons of motor oil.. ďno one will find outĒ. Sure sure.. I get fined for that ****. Some guy comes up to me yelling out loud, like I canít here ďHey can I have that bike in the back of your truckĒ. Now, I can get fired for this, people climbing on my truck. Heís clean as whistle and Iím just about to go. But, hey, the guy wantís a bike, itíll go to good use, maybe for his kid or something. So I tell him ďsure, if you pay me..Ē. Iím late, and he looks at me like Iím some sort of freak. The guy looks like heís got cash, and I didnít bring lunch money today, and when jerk in the SUV swerved in front of me, my lunch got chucked on the floor so Iím starving. He looks at me like Iím some sort of used car salesmen trying to sell him a warranty. So I tell him Iím serious. He ask how much and I figure 5 bucks is fair. Iíve seen the bikes going for 25 Ė 50 in the stores, and itís one of them old Schwinns like I used to want when I was a kid, not them cheasey new ones. He gives me that look like I should just let him rummage through the back. Iíd get fired for letting people do that and Iím late. People.. donít know about them sometimes. Figure that since Iím trash guy I should be happy they talk to me.
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Old 06-28-05, 12:37 PM   #23
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ha ha

today is the best day EVER for the forums in a long time - mayo and WK in full effect. and that boston craigslist post.
thanks guys!
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Old 06-28-05, 12:53 PM   #24
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I would have at least offered to Roshambo for it.

Enjoy
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Old 06-28-05, 01:08 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by William Karsten
You're right, he didn't. But the question remains, what did he expect from a guy who gets paid very a very average wage to do something that is A) Dangerous, B) Crappy C)At times laden with corruption?
Actually, considering the hours they work, trash collectors receive quite a good wage. If they work for local municipalities, they're also unionized and that gives them lots of benefits and time off. If they work for a private contractor, chances are that they're paid well and have decent hours, and probably not there as a permanent worker. I'd rather do trash collection than janitorial work anytime. I've had friends who worked in trash collection, and while they wouldn't describe it as a dream job, they also found it fairly lucrative.

I think you're kind of selling the garbage man short here. Just because a person deals in trash, one should not assume that they're going to be sour or resentful. I'd say postal workers are probably worse.

Quote:
Originally Posted by williamkarsten
Sometimes, the approach is everything. It is my assumption, and I could be wrong, that the approach was not done with the manner which is portrayed here. Certainly his demeanor toward the guy could be seen as not to friendly. Perhaps, we can look at it from the Trash collector's point of view.
Actually, it kind of just sounded like the guy was copping attitude, and maybe even trying to f#!k with the OP's head. As I stated above, the OP probably could have worked him a little more, played the friendly, chatty neighborhood dude. Why do you think being direct about asking for a little kindness would immediately engender a nasty reaction? In my experience, people, no matter who they are, don't like feeling mean when a stranger's just being friendly and direct.

A simple greeting in advance of the OP's request probably wouldn't have hurt, and could have paid a nice dividend. But it didn't sound like he was playing the 'spoiled brat,' either. You're jumping to a lot of conclusions and reading a lot into this scenario that wasn't really related, WK. The above tirade sure seems disproportional to the OP. You're doing the equivalent of online bellowing.
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