Life Lessons for Garbage Man Joe – Vacation Time

Last February, Joe started his own little Garbage Can Curbside Service.  For details, go HERE.  In short, he asked our neighbors if he could roll out, and then back in, their garbage cans on trash day.  In return, they would pay him 25¢ each week.

Although there have been weeks when he did not want to work, he seems to have built up enough stamina to take out 7 trash cans each week.  He has not complained in weeks and has learned a lot of valuable lessons.  The latest lessons was about preparing for time off.

Last week Joe went to visit his grandparents in New York.  Before he left, we talked about what we needed to do to prepare for vacation.  Of course we had to pack out bag and get our plane tickets.  We also needed make sure dad had enough supplies to take care of our cat.  But perhaps most importantly, we needed to be sure our neighbors, who rely on us to pull out the trash cans, knew that we would not be available.

Joe helped to write a letter telling our neighbors the date that he would be gone and the date that he would return.  He also offered to provide an alternate (his dad) if they really needed help.  Joe then took these to each of the 7 houses.


Joe did not question this extra little job and knew that no one would want to be left with stinky trash on trash day.  Being reliable is a trait that I want each of my kids to have.

Joe got back to work today and learned one more lesson about vacation time.  One neighbor paid him for last week and wrote him a little note:

“Many workers get a vacation with pay – a week or even 2 weeks.  This extra quarter means you get a week’s vacation with pay.  Thanks for a job well done!”.

Now Joe knows about paid vacation time, and he’s a big fan.  (Me too.)


  1. What a good work ethic Joe is learning — and what good parents he has!

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