Friday, 18 January 2013

The Binside Word

Luke O'Donnell, a new customer centre employee shares his take on answering calls at The City Bin Co.'s headquarters...  

Rubbish is a great leveler. Notwithstanding that age-old adage elevating one man's junk to another's treasure, trash ties us inextricably and fairly evenly to one another, to the animals, the corporations and the councils. We all produce. We all consume. 
The City Bin Co.'s €99 all-in-for-a-year offer tied me and numerous others to a decent chunk of the capital city too. We're in Galway at The City Bin Co.'s headquarters,  so we don't see Dublin's most iconic attractions on a daily basis. No Spire of Dublin, no O'Connell Street, and no St Stephen's Green. Don't panic though we have drunkenness and rain out west, so we're not entirely deprived. We deal instead with Dublin's rubbish, (or its foremost producers at any rate). In fairness, it's not a bad old way to deal with Dublin. It could be worse, we might be on the phone all day to The Dail. I don't even know if they use bins, most of their rubbish is picked up by the media. Dubliners have proven, for the most part, indelibly charming. We started at the end of November about the time Love/Hate's third series wound to a close. On the balance of that viper's eye view of The Pale we didn't know what to expect? As far as the accents went Nidgey, Darren and Dano were hanging off every second call.  One only wonders what they'd have put in their brown bin?

The phone traffic since December at our end has been immense, and where many were paying €230 to €280ish for a year's collection, that response was hardly surprising. The real eye-opener was what we heard. Dubliners are a passionate breed; an ever-burgeoning 550,000-strong DCC population and jampacked maternity wards attest to that. But the verve and vigour on show at Croker throughout football season (and celebrations therafter) paled in comparison to what we were getting. To say people were fed up with the status quo was to describe Darth Vader as "awful bold". Effin' and blindin' was par for the course, and "that thieving shower..." kicked off many an opening sentence. That was the women. While often no more eloquent, the men were a geat deal more colourful articulating their sentiments.

Quite apart from talking rubbish (and talking rubbish), we've talked about Galway, rugby, local body politics, family and Irish history. For an urban geography lesson, the craic has been mighty altogether. And those of a non-Irish extraction are not immune to the messin' either. Dees and Tees, Esses and Effs, and Bees and Pees on crackling phonelines are nearly indistinguishable. Rattling off impromptu verbal alphabet soup with local Dubliners can be funny enough be they "a for apples", or "d for diddle" (been said, I assure you); alphabet soup with foreign nationals and the odd "c for sugar" is deadset hilarious.

Throw a Galway (or Kiwi) accent in there at our end, and suddenly all hell breaks loose. It's hard to know whether 'basket' or 'bravo' even feature in the Asian sub-continental vernacular, or how common other words might be to our African and Eastern European clientele, never mind the occasional writer's block, "p for ...ummm, pregnant pause?" A great leveller indeed. Whether it's talking rubbish or talking rubbish, Dublin - good to talk to ye, take it handy now.

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