A Bad Day for a Trash Man

Stuart Spenck’s day began much like any other. Rolling out of bed he willed his eyes open against his every instinct. While he enjoyed being a waste removal professional, the hours were not ideal. Slowly his mind began to function, and he rolled out of bed to prepare for the day.

It wasn’t until after his usual breakfast of a bagel and coffee that anything began to seem amiss. Walking to his car in the grayness of pre-dawn, something seemed to be off. He paused for only a moment or two, trying to pin down exactly what felt different, but when no answer sprung to his mind he hopped in his ’99 Ford Taurus and headed to work.

The sense that all was not right persisted throughout the 15 minute drive. It became abundantly clear just what Stuart had been missing as soon as he arrived at the dump. There was no trash. The massive piles of garbage which had always inhabited the landfill had disappeared. All the tires, old appliances, plastic bags, and rusted out bikes were gone. Even the trash cans in the main office had been cleared, as if no refuse had been housed there at all.

For those outside of the waste management field it would seem a gift to come home to zero waste of any sort. For Stuart Spenck, this was a nightmare. Stuart ran the second largest waste management site in the city of Bartford. Bartford had contracted with Spenck Waste Management since Stuart’s grandfather Spencer had founded the company in 1952. Under their longstanding agreement, Spenck would receive payment based on the amount of waste collected, and this had always worked splendidly. Until Sart Barr came to town.

Sart Barr made his fortune through the automation of the waste removal process. Beginning with his hometown of Chartville, Sart built an empire by designing and using the first driverless garbage trucks to all but eliminate the expense of wages. Six months ago Sart’s operations expanded to Bartford, but met with an unexpected challenge. While Sart’s prices were lower, and some people did abandon Spenck for Sart, by and large loyalty won out and the residents of Bartford stayed with Spenck. While Sart could financially withstand this, his pride would not allow it.

The only way that Sart could get Spenck’s customers would be to eliminate Spenck, and so a plan was born. While they were not paying him, there were no laws against Sart collecting residents’ trash for free, and with an automated work force the costs to Sart would be minimal. Additionally, Spenck’s contract with the city meant that his success was predicated on actually collecting the trash, with no guaranteed fees whatsoever.

And so we come to Stuart Spenck arriving, horror-struck, to a waste management plant devoid of waste. At this point he knew what had happened; it was clear as day. For years he had known that his business’ Achilles heel lay in the unique contract his grandfather had negotiated. His grandfather had intended the contract to hold his company to high standards, and ensure no shirking of duty. Spencer Spenck had believed in the best of people, and never contemplated the treachery which Stuart would eventually face.

Stuart knew he couldn’t just give up, and he had a plan to fight back.

To be continued maybe….



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