Friday, May 4, 2007

What Happened With the Bin-It Guy

I started my saga with the Bin-It guy last Thursday (see An Africa Day). Here’s the rest of the story, if you're interested:

On Friday I continued to wait all day for the guy to come with the contract. We had many phone calls. Finally, late in the afternoon, he calls to tell me he is on Ridgeway Drive but he cannot find our place. I give him directions for the fourth time. They go something like this and I think they are very clear (I could not think of a way to make them clearer):

Turn onto Ridgeway Drive at the U.S. Ambassador’s residence. After about 100 meters you will pass a residence with a huge green wall marked Plot 8. Take your next right. You will see a black gate. Go through this gate and you will be in our parking lot. Call me from there and I will come up and find you.

The Bin-It guy calls again. He is on Ridgeway. He cannot find our place. I repeat the directions. He calls back. Still no luck. I repeat the directions, three times. By the end I am yelling. I tell him I will go out to the road and stand in front of the gate.

I go out to the road. Soon a car pulls up with four men inside. The man in the passenger seat tells me I do not live on Ridgeway Drive. I tell him my address is indeed Plot 11 Ridgeway Drive.

“This is not Ridgeway,” he says.

“Then what is it?”

He says something I cannot understand. The Bin-It guy gets out of the backseat with the contract. “Do not worry about it,” the Bin-It guy says, all smiles, though the man in the front seat is clearly irritated with me. Funny, I am quite irritated myself.

I fill out the contract, but in my rush to get out to the road, I forgot to bring the money and I am now quite a distance from my apartment. “No problem,” Bin-It guy tells me. “We will come back tomorrow to get it.” I know this is a bad idea, but I am quite angry and do not want to deal anymore. Besides, I figure at least they know where we live now.

“Do you pick up trash from anyone else here?” I ask.

“Nearly everyone,” he answers.

Confusion ensues.

I let it go and ask for the special bags we need to leave our garbage in. He hands me three orange garbage bags from the back seat of his car. We have signed up for the silver collection service, which allows us three bags each pick-up, with pick-ups on Mondays and Fridays. I ask where we need to leave the garbage and he tells me it should be left outside the gate early in the morning. It is unclear how I get my three new bags to use each time. It also does not seem convenient that we will have to bring our bags outside the gate twice a week—it’s not exactly right outside our door. But I am so frustrated, I do not pursue any of these details. They need to come back the next day anyway and I am hoping J will be around for back-up. I had been so proud of myself for finally handling something on my own, but I have by this point given up all pretext of being capable. I need J.

It is now Saturday. Bin-It guy has told me he will come back for payment by 11:00AM. J and N. go to Kabira to play tennis. I want to use the internet and work out myself, but must sit around the house for a third day waiting for the garbage man. 11:00AM passes—no surprise there.

J comes home and we go out for lunch close by. I keep my phone out so if Bin-It guy calls to say he is there, we can hop in the car and rush home to meet him. He does not call.

I call in the early afternoon to see what his deal is. No answer.

I call an hour later. He answers and hangs up without a word.

I decide J must call on Monday. I become convinced this has something to do with my gender and that if J handles things, there will be no problem. J is busy on Monday and doesn’t get around to it. Tuesday is a national holiday and we assume no one at Bin-It is working.

Meanwhile, on Monday afternoon, a man passes by and sees a bag of our garbage sitting on our front deck. He knocks on the door. When I go out, he tells me that he will pick our garbage up each morning from our front deck for a monthly fee. He says he did this for the last person to live here. I tell him I will have to let him know. I try to explain that I have signed a contract with another service but there is a possibility I can get out of it, seeing as though I have not paid them yet and they don’t seem to want my money. This is not fully understood, but the man takes my one bag that is sitting out and I figure I can always just pay him for the one bag if need be. He tells me he is a guard and will be around and I tell him I will see him later and let him know if we would like to use his services. It certainly seems more convenient to have our trash picked up right outside the house than to have to bring it out to the gate.

It is Friday again; it has been a week since I have signed the Bin-It contract and I have not heard a peep out of them. I have not paid them a cent, they have not picked up a single bag for us. I can’t imagine that they will ever call me back and I am hoping the mysterious man from Monday will return today so I can negotiate a deal with him. I might be able to figure this out on my own after all…

1 comment:

Alaina said...

now i'm dying of suspense to find out what happens next! i hope you let us know soon. oh and thanks for sending out the link to your blog. it is really interesting, i read the whole thing at work today. :)