The Law of the Garbage Truck

Beware of Garbage Trucks
by David J. Pollay

How often do you let other people’s nonsense change your mood? Do you let a bad driver, rude waiter, curt boss, or an insensitive employee ruin your day? Unless you’re the Terminator, for an instant you’re probably set back on your heels. However, the mark of a successful person is how quickly one can get back their focus on what’s important.

Sixteen years ago I learned this lesson. I learned it in the back of a New York City taxi cab. Here’s what happened.

I hopped in a taxi, and we took off for Grand Central Station. We were driving in the right lane when, all of a sudden, a black car jumped out of a parking space right in front of us. My taxi driver slammed on his breaks, skidded, and missed the other car’s back end by just inches!

The driver of the other car, the guy who almost caused a big accident, whipped his head around and he started yelling bad words at us. My taxi driver just smiled and waved at the guy. And I mean, he was friendly.
So, I said, “Why did you just do that? This guy almost ruined your car and sent us to the hospital!”

And this is when my taxi driver told me what I now call, “The Law of the Garbage Truck.”

“Many people are like garbage trucks. They run around full of garbage, full of frustration, full of anger, and full of disappointment. As their garbage piles up, they need a place to dump it. And if you let them, they’ll dump it on you.

When someone wants to dump on you, don’t take it personally. You just smile, wave, wish them well, and move on. You’ll be happy you did.”

So this was it: The “Law of the Garbage Truck.” I started thinking, how often do I let Garbage Trucks run right over me? And how often do I take their garbage and spread it to other people: at work, at home, on the streets? It was that day I said, “I’m not going to do it anymore.”

I began to see garbage trucks. Like in the movie “The Sixth Sense,” the little boy said, “I see Dead People.”

Well, now “I see Garbage Trucks.” I see the load they’re carrying. I see them coming to drop it off. And like my Taxi Driver, I don’t make it a personal thing; I just smile, wave, wish them well, and I move on.

One of my favorite football players of all time, Walter Payton, did this every day on the football field. He would jump up as quickly as he hit the ground after being tackled.

He never dwelled on a hit. Payton was ready to make the next play his best. Good leaders know they have to be ready for their next meeting.

Good parents know that they have to welcome their children home from school with hugs and kisses. Leaders and parents know that they have to be fully present, and at their best for the people they care about.

The bottom line is that successful people do not let Garbage Trucks take over their day.

What about you? What would happen in your life, starting today, if you let more garbage trucks pass you by?

Here’s my bet. You’ll be happier.

Life’s too short to wake up in the morning with regrets, so..
Love the people who treat you right.
Forget about the ones who don’t.
Believe that everything happens for a reason.
If you get a chance, TAKE IT!
If it changes your life, LET IT!
Nobody said it would be easy…
They just promised it would be worth it!


I got this forwarded email from a friend. And it was so timely. Because awareness is half the task. After that, you get to choose how you feel.

My hope for you and me? That we choose not to let the garbage in.

trust me

Surefire way for me RESIST doing an important task.


Nag AFTER I say I have a plan of action already.
Nag when you’ve given me instructions 3 times already.
Tell my peers to nag me to do the task.
Just nag.


It doesn’t work with me. Instead of getting the work done, I feel that I’m not being treated as an equal. I feel that I’m not trusted to get things right.

What happens when I resist?

I either won’t do the job entirely, delay doing the job, or will do it but not put my 100% thus poor result.

Bottom line. Don’t nag. Just trust me.

facebook fever

After reading Maeyo’s post on Facebook, I got inspired to create my own account and see what’s the hype. And OMG, it was like a St. Mary’s reunion! 😀 I saw many of my classmates from Dubai there, and it was so good to be updated in what’s going on in their lives. It makes me feel how much we’ve all grown, and how, even if we were lightyears apart, we’ll all still be part of each others lives. (Not much friends from Pinas, I guess we’re still addicted to Friendster, hehe!)

Thanks for the comment Sharmeely and Becky. Will email you soon. 🙂