Reusable, Recyclable: Tales of a Certified Collector of Randomness

I AM GOING TO GO OUT on a limb here and say that I’m really not ready for school to conclude.

Well, alright. Sleeping in every day would be fine by me, and I’m cool with being semi-totally unproductive for oh, the next three months. Is getting a job optional? Can I please just lay in the sun and watch reruns of The Office while inhaling double-stuf Oreos? Please?
I think what I’m dreading most about the end of the year is packing up all of my crap. It is to my disadvantage that I am not even kind of a pack rat — I am actually a certified Full-Blown Collector of Random Useless Objects (FBCRUO). Unfortunately I have accumulated a ridiculous amount of rubbish over the past eight months and the mere thought of boxing it up gives me a headache. 
I like to blame this “problem” of mine on my campus recycling job. Every week, twice a week, I let myself loose in the residents halls, plastic bags in tow, ready to save the planet. You may have seen me even. If, by chance you’ve observed a small childish-looking figure exhaustingly toting around 12 bags of salvaged bottles, cans, and paper, well then, you’ve seen me. Generally I am unshowered, unkept, and look as though I’ve crawled out of a cavern and/or dumpster.  I would best describe myself as a Santa Claus/Captain Planet/Neanderthal hybrid. Yeah, that sounds about right.
The point of the story, however, is not how ridiculous I look as I’m saving the world. The point is, I tend to end each day of recycling with more than I began with. I’ve taken to collecting things along the way, completely invaluable objects that I supposedly “can’t live without.”
For example, last week as I was vacating the likes of the residence hall recycling bins in a particular female-exclusive residence hall (while starts with ‘D’ and rhymes with ‘mall’), I came upon what may very well be the greatest unearthing in the history of my recycling discoveries: A Hollister New Hire Forms/Associate Handbook. Jackpot.
Anyone that knows me knows that I find this kind of material to be pure gold. And really, how can you not? To have the secrets of Hollister at one’s fingertips, without ever actually having to be employed there! BRILLIANT!
With my newly-acquired Hollister scriptures, I suddenly saw windows of opportunity fly open, windows which I never knew existed. I could have all the answers! I can have all the answers! Oh, wait — I have all the answers!
So what did I do? Well, naturally I looked over my left, then right shoulder to ensure that there were indeed no onlookers to witness me rescuing the Hollister Handbook from the captivity of the recycling bin (the fact that I am telling you this actually makes the secrecy of this act counterproductive.) After that? I summoned my deepest unanswered questions of Hollister Co., of course.
“So, Hollister, why do you insist on playing your music at an obnoxious volume? Do you wish your customers deaf?” I asked.
And, lo and behold, right there on page 19 of my newfound Hollister bible, under a headline titled “CUSTOMER SERVICE: MUSIC COMPLAINT” I found my answer:
“Well, Jenny, I apologize if you find the music level too loud. The music is set at a certain level in order to create our atmosphere.”

Create their atmosphere? Create their ATMOSPHERE? It all makes so much sense. I guess I’d always assumed it was to brainwash me into buying a pair of $45, 2-inch “shorts”. My bad.
(Don’t get me wrong — I’m sure I’d gladly throw down excessive amounts of cash money for shortie shorts if I had a sweet pair of legs to accompany them. Thanks, Dad.)
This store associate handbook has changed my life. Now not only do I know the Hollister story, general information, policies, and practices, I also have inside information on break and meal periods, conduct outside of work, and the ever-mysterious appearance/look policy (how do they do it?!?) I would never go to the lengths of using any of said material in a damaging nor destructive way. 
This is just one of many items I’ve brought home after a day on the job, the others generally being brightly-colored paper or empty Russell Stover chocolate boxes (don’t ask — seriously. I had a plan for it at the time.)
Now that you have a little more of an idea of why I’m not thrilled about moving out, perhaps you’d be willing to help me box it up and move it to my new residence? Yes?
In any case, continue recycling and I will soldier on picking up your trash. Several things, however, that I ask you keep in mind:
a) For the love of Pete, dump out your pop cans. I’m sure you enjoyed consuming 3/4 of that Dr. Pepper, but I sure don’t love wearing the last quarter of it.
ii) What the heck gave you the idea that it’s OK to throw your empty tuna cans from your tuna salad sandwiches in the recycling bin? HUH? Did you see a bin labeled “TUNA”? Did ya?! Funny, I’m not seeing it. (P.S.: If you knew what they would smell like three days later, you wouldn’t even think about doing it.)
3) I love it when you toss an entire semester’s worth of work into the paper bin — NOT. You, my friend, may have just added two more years of back problems to my life. Sweet.
IV) Contrary to popular belief, fairies do not pick up the recycling. It’s me. And I do not like the smell of curdling milk. Neither do you — and neither do fairies. Don’t. Do. It.
and finally
E) If, by chance you “dropped” a $50 bill in the bin — I totally wouldn’t mind.
And that’s the way it was.
Until next time,

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