Stinky butts


You may (or possibly may not) remember that the store recently underwent some pretty major construction. New pumps, new walkways, new parking lot. This has been great for business, but not so great for me. Seems that my boss wants to keep our new walkways and parking lot looking nice and clean, so he added a new item to my already long list of Things To Clean Every Night:

Sweep up all the cigarette butts from the parking lot and walkways.

I must state, for the record, that cigarette butts gross the hell out of me. They’re stinky, frequently smoldering, saliva-covered remnants of legalized addiction, and I resent having to deal with them. Why smokers can’t take care of the damned things themselves is beyond me. The last time I knew, ashtrays still came standard in every automobile. There are no less than four ashtrays prominently on display in front of the store. And yet, every Monday-Wednesday morning, promptly at 1:20, I must go out into the parking lot and spend a minimum of fifteen minutes sweeping the little fuckers up.

I say ‘a minimum of fifteen minutes’ because on Mondays I usually spend at least twice that amount of time outside with a broom and dustpan. Seems the guy (we’ll call him “J”) who works third shift opposite me–himself a smoker, and frequent butt chucker–can’t be bothered with this little chore. Not that it surprises me. He can’t be bothered to do much else, either. My boss knows this, but won’t do anything about it. J’s sole purpose for being employed at this rural convenience store is to deter troublemakers from making trouble on the weekends. He’s a pretty big guy, and apparently his mere presence keeps the rowdy crowd in line. That’s all fine and well, but it means I get stuck with all the real work.

If only I was 6’8″ and had a penis.

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About R.J. Keller

R. J. Keller is the author of Waiting For Spring. An avid independent movie enthusiast, she was Managing Editor of The Movie Fanatic website and created episodes of the writer-centric YouTube series, Inside The Writers' Studio, with author Kristen Tsetsi. She co-hosted Book Chatter with Stacey Cochran from 2011-2014. She lives in Central Maine with her family, where she enjoys gardening, collecting geeky memorabilia, and watching other people cook. View all posts by R.J. Keller

6 responses to “Stinky butts

  • spyscribbler

    Oh MAN! That would get to me. I would tell my boss that I’d be happy to do the chore, but I would not sweep up co-workers butts. Mr. co-worker is going to have to learn to use an ashtray.

  • bunnygirl

    Wow. I think I’ll quit grumping about having to do a reclass salary review and benchmark a few new job creates now.

    Off to count my blessings…

  • Sid Leavitt

    Sorry to be just catching up with your past week’s entries, each of which made me want to comment:

    — Cigarette butts rank right up there with fast-food litter and jettisoned beer cans. In my youth, I had several bartending jobs that also required men’s room cleanup. If you think sweeping up butts is bad, try fishing them out of a urinal. Maybe that’s why I eventually quit smoking.

    — Walmart. Screw them.

    — Your ear infection sounds frightening, and I wish you the best of luck — and comfort — with the treatment.

    — Last but by no means least, Chapter 26, which I found to be one of the strongest chapters in your novel, Waiting for Spring. What I took away from that chapter was neither pro-life nor pro-abortion but a sensitive portrayal of a procedure that even pro-choicers find tragic. I know the chapter was a product of the art of writing rather than of politics or ethics, so I’ll make it political and ethical: Good for you. And shame on those who oppose the alternatives, including birth control and family planning.

  • Mars

    I hatehateHATE cigarette butts. I don’t smoke ( I think it’s vile), so maybe my feelings are prejudiced, but what makes these people feel entitled to just throw smoldering garbage everywhere? Whenever I see someone throw a lit butt on the ground, I always go grind it into the sidewalk to put out the still glowing-red tip. Come on! Fire hazard! Some people are so inconsiderate.

  • Kit Courteney

    That’s one of the funniest last lines I’ve ever read.

  • R.J. Keller

    I’ve been remiss with the commenting back lately. Sorry about that.

    Spy and Mars…yes, it’s pretty dang gross. No let up this week, either. Ugh!

    BG…I’d like to say, “I sure am glad I don’t have to reclass a salary review and benchmark a few new job creates”, but I’m not sure what that means. I’m sure I’m glad I don’t have to do it, though.

    Sid…thanks a bunch! That really means a great deal coming from you.

    KC…thanks a bunch, too! LOL. Although upon reflection, I’m kinda glad I don’t have a penis. I do wish I was 6’8″ though.

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