When I brought in our trash barrels yesterday — Monday is pickup day in our neighborhood — there was a note attached which read, “Happy Holidays! We wish you a delightful holiday season, with warm wishes!” It was signed by two of the guys who do this route.

Gee, isn’t that nice? Just out of the goodness of their hearts, expecting nothing in return, they left me a generic holiday greeting. Riiiiiight.

I’m tempted to leave them a note in reply:

Dear Trash Men,Thanks for your holiday card. I know you’re expecting a tip or a gift to end the year, but that’s not how I roll. You don’t get a bonus just because the calendar says it’s that time of year. The people who receive something extra from me are the ones who do something extra for me. I‘m generous with restaurant employees who bring me more water without my asking for it, or the woman who cuts my hair who always remembers how I like my beard trimmed, or anyone else who gives me personal service that goes above and beyond the bare minimums of the job they’re already paid to do.So if, every Monday, I found my trash cans emptied and then placed neatly upright with the lids on tight, I’d be shocked, but I’d consider that the basic description of your job. If, on a regular basis, you returned the barrels to the side of my house, I’d say, “Wow, these guys really care about giving quality service.” But since each week, I find our barrels knocked over, often with the lids getting run over in the street — just like all of our neighbors do — I’ve taken that as a message that don’t care about your customers. And so, the feeling is mutual.Have a happy holiday.P.S. If you’d like something special from us, please help yourself to the three broken barrels we have in the back, which we’ve tried to leave out as trash, but you won’t toss in the truck.