Rats, Rats, in the workplace?

Working for the man, you learn a lot about office management, good contracts and bad contracts. Recently, the powers to be have decided to enter into a new contract for our office cleaning services. “Clean” being the operative word. Since we switched companies and this new contract came about, the office has been anything but clean. In fact, the office in an uproar over a new recycling policy. Don’t get me wrong- I think recycling is great! But whoever came up with this contract was smoking something not so good while drafting the requirements. Basically, we have to bring in our own trash cans from home and liners. Under the contract, the “cleaning” crew only takes your recycables from the unlined grey wastebaskets in your office. For example, a Starbucks coffee cup (if rinsed out properly) can be recycled. My snotty Kleenex- not recyclable. A soda can (if soda is dumped out in its entirety) is recyclable, my lunch tray with residue of beans and channa masala, not so much so. Now, if I cleaned it out, it is a plastic and that can be recycled but seriously, who has the time to go rinse out their frozen lunch tray? Forget that!

So, I have noticed a trend in the office as a result of this new “cleaning” contract and recyclables requirement- namely, no one recycles. It seems too complicated and no one empties their trash can more than once a week which causes the obvious issues: foul odors, gnats, and just general nastiness. The cleaning crew refuses to take our trash bags because that is not in their contract or requirements and they do not want to start a bad trend. The entire office is in uproar and I am concerned about a more important issue that rears its ugly head around summertime here- rats. I kid you not. We get rats in our building and with the extra trash laying around and the recyclables going into an unlined can, will that attract more rats and if so, how long will the problem go on? Will our powers-to-be take some action? After all, we are the client and without us, the client, they would not have a contract with the “cleaning” crew. I am certain that someone will have to write the Rocky Mountain Times or Denver Post to get it the attention it deserves but ‘til then, I better go take the trash out – it is after 4pm and I have an hour or so left in the day to get real work done – your tax dollars hard at work. Oh, and if I kill a rat, is it recyclable? I am guessing not but I will put it in the unlined can and see what happens.

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