Being part of a club is nice. It fosters a sense of belonging that is important to a person with OCD since we feel different and isolated in many ways. So I was excited when a few people in my office decided to form a “cappuccino club.”
I don’t follow trends much, but the lure of cappuccino was as strong as its aroma. I wasn’t a coffee connoisseur, but it sounded like fun experimenting with flavored syrups and the like. We had a crash course in brewing by an experienced co-worker, and some members of the group ordered custom mugs. All was well for a couple of months, and I was enjoying my new discovery, then “it” happened.
I was in the break room at the same time another club member was brewing her cup. When she finished, she took the metal filter with the grounds to the garbage can and turned it upside down. She started shaking the filter, and it slipped out of her grasp and landed in the can. The garbage can was fairly full, so the filter sat there right on top – for about one second. My co-worker reached for it without the slightest hesitation. It is true that she took it to the sink and washed it off, but that is not enough for a germophobe. I was out. No more cappuccino for me. The money I donated for the machine – gone. No more club.
It never ceases to astound me how something as offensive as garbage does not cause a person to recoil. If I had dropped the filter in the can, I at least would have paused to consider the best course of action. Then I would have used a baggie to pull it out, rinse it off, and place it in the dishwasher where it could be sanitized. (Yes, we have an automatic dishwasher in the office.)
For all of those readers who don’t understand what is so horrible about pulling something out of the trash (because I assume that some of you are relatives or friends trying to understand your loved ones), consider the chain. Perhaps you are thinking that you were just eating part of that food that was tossed in the trash, or you wiped your face with that paper towel, so how could the garbage possibly be that dirty? What happens when the can is full? The bag must be taken out to the large receptacle (or toter, if that term is used in your area) to wait for the weekly pick up. Have you taken a good look at the filth covering those garbage trucks, not to mention the smell? The trucks contaminate the receptacles (toters), the receptacles contaminate the house trash can (you can’t touch one without touching the other), hence, there is no way for the house trash can not to be filthy. Pulling something out of the kitchen trash is tantamount to pulling it out of the garbage truck. But then there are people who have no qualms doing that.
You must consider the chain of contamination.