The Cold-shouldered Carcass

An L.A. County worker lies dead, unnoticed in her cubicle, but let’s consider it through the eyes of the janitors we ignore everyday.

Original story: KTLA News

Is it really that surprising a dead woman went unnoticed or ignored at her desk when cleanup crews and janitors aren’t given any reason to bring attention to themselves? Given the risk of being called an illegal immigrant or of having past legal troubles put on display for all to see, wouldn’t you think twice before running down the hall to alert your supervisor about the dead white lady you just found?

If I was a $9-an-hour janitor and came across a dead Rebecca Wells, I might find myself wondering why I should do anyone any favors, especially on a Friday. I’m just sayin’. I, too, might keep right on going, even at the risk of bumping her feet as I vacuumed around her.

How many times have you thrown something away that you knew the person emptying the trashcan wouldn’t enjoy? Not to say that emptying trashcans for living is enjoyable, though some take pride in it; you know what I mean. You dump a foam container with leftovers spilling out of it into a basket intended for recycled paper or you splatter barbecue sauce on the wall as you wing your waste into garbage on your way out. It’s no big deal right? It’s not a sin or a hate crime and it’s not like you’re just leaving it out to rot, right? Ah, but it’s still the tip of an iceberg, an iceberg of indifference toward those we swear up and down are our equals but whom we shelve away with these thoughtless little actions.

As far as the death of Rebecca Wells, it’s regretful that her grandchildren are left with the legacy of grandma’s cold-shouldered carcass. By all accounts the woman was a hard worker — though it’s silly to try to assign blame as the media stories seem to spur, maybe in the hope of impending lawsuits on which to report further. Wells was found, presumably more than once, in the unfortunate position of having died in her cubicle, a circumstance arguably as degrading as cleaning toilets or barbecue sauce from office kitchen walls in exchange for her dedication. And there’s really nothing to say to that but ouch.

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One Response to “The Cold-shouldered Carcass”

  1. Gina Olmeda says:

    I read your post on the Rebecca Wells story, and my co-workers and I truly enjoyed your writing style. Well, your comment was funny and touching at the same time, without taking a crazy turn in the middle, and it got us talking about our night clean up crew and how some of the office staff does exactly what you described. Thank you for being the voice of the people who have no voice. Your efforts and talent have not gone unnoticed. Have a great day!

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