The Adventures of a Mystery Shopper

I didn’t plan to imitate the abominable snow man on a shop, staggering around and making some odd noises.

The directions said to dump one bag of household trash. “How hard could that be?” I thought to myself. Just a quick drive to a landfill, have a look around, ask a couple of questions and dump the bag. “Piece of cake” I told myself……

Yeah, right.

It was an unusual thing to find a shop of a landfill in my area and I thought it sounded a little different. I like to try new kinds of shops and expand my repertoire whenever possible. Not being opposed to learning new things I took on a landfill shop for the first time (and my last!)

It was a small site, open only two days per week with just a few recycling bins all neatly labeled,and one very large pit in which a semi-trailer parked to receive it’s offerings. Next to the pit was a small hut in which the employee sat, rang up dumping fees and in general giving non-answers to questions.

It was a busy day, cars and trucks darted in and out of the parking area to quickly unload and be gone before it closed for the day. I paid my two dollars and hurled my bag over the railing and down into the pit below. Suddenly I heard a tell-tale beeping of a large garbage truck backing into position and moved quickly to get out of the way.

I was out of the way of the truck but overlooked one small detail—- I also happened to be just downwind enough to catch the fallout from the load being dumped into the pit. There isn’t any easy way to jump out of the way of a thick white cloud of asbestos dust from a construction site and before I knew it I looked like a refugee from the arctic.

The employee in the hut was stared open-mouthed at the apparition before him before offering me a tissue. I made some suggestions as to what he could do with his tissue before shaking myself off as best I could and leaving for my next shop.

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