Readers of my previous post in this series will remember that ol’ Pappy has undergone a transformation of late: my newfound obsession with woodworking has come with unexpected side effects, namely the urge to recover every ounce of usable wood from a premature end. It’s taken over a goodly share of me mental facilities (which didn’t necessarily have a lot of room to spare to start with.)
Marching under this new banner of Responsible Resource Use I arrived at work the other day with thoughts revolution on my mind. No sooner had I made it out of my car than I noticed something peeking out at me from over the tops of cars parked on the far southern edge of the lot. It was a massive, and I do not exaggerate about using the word “massive”, burn pile. There were stumps, logs, about 75 shipping pallets, 3 or 4 dozen sections of service desk cabinetry, plastic buckets, and who knows what else in the pile. I work in a casino that is currently undergoing a $60 million expansion/renovation, so I knew immediately where it had all come from. It just surprised me because the tribe that owns the casino has been very diligent about supporting paper, aluminum, and computer recycling programs in our community. Why not wood?
There must be some mistake, I decided. Ten minutes later I was speaking with the Facilities manager.
“No, Pappy, there’s been no mistake,” he said condescendingly. “That is a burn pile.”
“But, there’s nothing wrong with all those cabinets!” I protested. “I’m sure a local school or church could make use of them. And what about all those pallets? I know there are companies who will pay you to come pick them up.”
“Pappy, Pappy, Pappy….” He looked at me as if I were a hillbilly at a wine tasting party. “It’s just business, you see? The cabinets have already been deppreciated off the books. They don’t exist. We cannot donate something that doesn’t exist, can we? And yes, there used to be a company that came to pick up the pallets, but they said we had too many for them and stopped coming out this way. Don’t worry about it – Purchasing Department has it all under control now.”
I may be gnomish in appearance, but simple I ain’t – um, aren’t. Whatever, me no be stoopid.
Gnome-tracks over to the Purchasing manager’s office.
“No, Pappy, you cannot take any of the pallets, nor the cabinetry. If we let you take it, then we’d have to let every employee have access to it, then there would be concern that people would throw out perfectly good items just so they could pick them up from the garbage later.”
I nearly fainted from the knot-headedness of it all, “But you’re already throwing away perfectly good items!”
“I’ll tell you what, Pappy, if it will make you feel better I’ll let you have three pallets.”
“Five,” I countered.
“Four, and that’s all and you aren’t allowed to tell anyone else about this, okay?”
I spat in me grubby paw and we shook on it. Thankfully, neither he nor his assistant, nor the security guard who’d somehow appeared at the door during the conversation noticed my other hand behind my back: fingers crossed.
Eight hours later it’s time to claim my booty.
I backed up the Jeep to the pile, rolled up me sleeves, and started loading. Round about the time I got the seventh pallet in the back, the Sherriff of Nottingham, the smuggish security guard from the previous scene pulls up with a wicked grin on his face, wagging his finger, and making this “tsk tsk” sounds by sucking on his teeth.
He was kind enough to help me unload all seven of the pallets just as the Groundskeeping crew arrived with several large cans of gasoline. He was also kind enough to console me as we stood there and watched the entire pile go literally up in smoke.
Some days, even Robin Hood meets his match…
-- --==[ Pappy ]==--