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Dumpster Scum, Domestic Abuse and Money(Deliveries 4/17)

Some Fridays are busy right off. Some start in the dumpster.

My shift starts at 6:30 PM. I’m delivering solid for about an hour until the end of the dinner rush under normal circumstances. There are days, however, where the dinner rush starts a bit late. You could call them Sleepers. You show up. The delivery screen is empty. Drivers are doing prep, gabbing with greeters or cleaning.

It feels like it’s going to be a slow night, then BLAM. ORDERS.

Friday was one of those nights.

The bell chimed its normal chime as I stepped into the back of the restaurant. Cap’n was helping some people with computer stuff in the back. She scurried up to the front to get me ready in the system. The cooks weren’t too busy. The greeters were laughing about something on their cell phones.

I started looking for work.

I went to the dishes. Two drivers were already washing the dirty and stowing the clean. I went ahead and pulled a few buckets of dishes from the front as needed and added to the dish queue. Then I was back on the hunt.

Trash was next. I found plenty of greasy, empty boxes and full trash bins. I took out full bags and put in fresh ones. I pulled empty boxes to the front and piled them near the door. Soon it wasn’t a pile. It got promoted to a mound. Then a heap.

A third tier pile like that requires multiple trips to the dumpster, so I decided to take boxes first. They were awkward. Orders had appeared on the screen so I took several out still assembled to save a few seconds. And I was lazy.

I got to the dumpster and lifted the front lid. Someone had thrown other items away, but it wasn’t full. I hoisted my cardboard cargo and tossed it into the pungent depths of the dumpster. The last couple boxes got stuck so I reached in to dislodge their bottom edges.

Pain shot up my hand. I ripped it out of the dumpster, fearing I would never see it again. It was my thumb. I looked at the nail.

On the inside of the dumpster is a scum. It is about an inch thick, black, and littered with more chunks than a chocolate chip cookie. It is also solid in places. You would be, too, if you had yourself covered in garbage water and solid food waste day after day, year after year without someone showing any concern about cleaning you.

Embedded under my nail was a large chunk of this scum. Think wood sliver. Or when you’re scraping stuff off of the lasagna pan and it ends up beating your thumbnail at a fist fight.

I returned to the restaurant, told my tale of woe and asked Cap’n if I was going to make it. Would I ever play piano again? A coworker chimed in that I should probably get a tetanus shot, or amputate.

I figured a paper clip would help either way. I bent one out straight and pushed most of the scum out with slow strokes. Most of it. Some was too far gone.

I just looked at my thumbnail again as I was typing. It still throbs, and barks a little every time a press the space bar. A small dark splotch is the last remnant of that painful experience. Unless I get an infection.

Remember, the “BLAM. ORDERS” part I told you about earlier? It happened right after that. I dropped my paperclip and started kicking butt at deliveries. Dave Ramsey and his Thursday callers kept me fired up. Especially one lady, dealing with her own scum.

Listen to the Thursday archive of the Dave Ramsey Radio Show and start at 29:00. Her name is Heather. She’s in an abusive relationship. It’s not a spouse or boyfriend, it’s her parents. Dave’s emphatic assistance was heartwarming. His comments afterward were poignant. I paraphrase them here and add selective emphasis and links.

"Here's what the statistics tell us about domestic violence, which is typically husband or boyfriend on wife... There's a high correlation between extreme levels of financial control and domestic violence.

"For those of you that are out there that run across people where the husband or boyfriend is given extreme amounts of control over the money... and I'm not talking about basic control freak like I am, I'm talking about, you can't even go to the grocery store and buy a head of lettuce without him having a major issue. He has to go with you to the grocery store to buy a head of lettuce because that amount of money you can't be trusted with. That's weird, toxic, extreme amounts of control over the money.

"If you find that, about ninety-nine times out of a hundred you're also going to find out he's hitting her. It goes with the territory. In 25 years of financial counseling I have run into that. Many times.

"By the way, if you are hitting your wife, you are the lowest scum on the planet. And you can quote me on that. And if you don't like that, come see me, we can talk about it. Jerks.

"If you are in a coaching... counseling setting... pastoral situation and you see those extreme levels of financial control by either party, but certainly especially by the male party, you are likely, statistically, to see corresponding domestic violence.

"The same place that's broken in that relationship shows up in the money. Money problems usually aren't the problem, it's the symptom of other problems..."

‘Lowest scum on the planet.’ Makes me think of the stuff on the inside of that dumpster that hurt me. That’s pretty low scum.

I can think of scummier things that people can do to other people. You can, too. The point is, though, that people who are abused suffer for life. Abuse breaks minds and bones, and changes the temperament of the abused and the abuser. It slashes love and compassion to shreds and leads to illness and death: mental, spiritual and otherwise.

And isn’t it interesting how abuse is reflected in finances?

Dave urged that young woman to leave. To pick up her savings, get in her car and fly away. Although that should definitely happen in many circumstances, it is NOT that easy to free yourself from an abusive relationship and its affects.

I still have some scum left under my thumbnail. It hurts. It will take a while for it to clear up. I now know to be more careful. But the scum that beats on women and children, or the scum that beats on men and children… that scum is different. And dangerous.

Don’t treat abusive scum with a paperclip remedy and some patience. It doesn’t work that way. If you are in an abusive relationship, you need to call and talk to someone about it first. They can help you figure out what to do next for yourself and anyone else that is affected.

Here is a link to They are legit. They even warn you when you first get to the site that your visit to the site might be monitored, and recommend you call instead if you are worried it could be traced by your abuser.

I’m not going to go clean that dumpster because it injured me. And you can’t clean up an abuser with a power washer. You could keep them subdued for a little while depending on the PSI, but that’s about it.

This blog is about money problems. But it’s not about money problems. Money problems are the symptoms of much deeper problems. Selfishness. Lack of discipline. Immaturity. Neglect. Abuse.

Think about that. It’s intense, and it’s true. Do what you can. Seek help, especially if you are in an abusive relationship, and most especially if you are an abuser. Get the ball rolling. It will change your life for the better.



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