Don't Hate Me: I'm Just Here to Clean Up

Clearing the detritus of owners' dreams from bank-owned homes
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 30, 2009 12:07 PM CDT
Don't Hate Me: I'm Just Here to Clean Up
Workers remove furnishings from a foreclosed house.   (AP Photo)

Cindy Reid doesn’t want you to think she and her boss—and boyfriend—are the “bad guys.” But it is difficult when her man is the one “you never want to see pull up to your house. He has eyes that go flat when you offer excuses,” because he doesn’t have time for them: He’s there to empty your repossessed home. “On paper, the business is pretty straightforward,” Reid writes. “What's not on paper is how you feel cleaning up behind a family's dead hope.”

Reid likes her work, particularly guessing about the owners’ lives based on what they’ve left behind, though the picture is often macabre. “The wedding album discarded in the garage while the used condom sits inside a nasty pizza box in the living room,” for one. “Dog carcasses in freezers,” or the “small child’s artificial leg.” Reid doesn’t feel sorry for the former owners, she writes on Salon, but she feels for the kids “whose school pictures I have tossed into a garbage bag.” Mostly, she just wants a fare shake. “We're just trying to clean up after others.” (More foreclosures stories.)

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