Norm LeMay is releasing his first book, “A Garbageman’s Guide to Life: How to Get Out of the Dumps.” The book, co-written with Steven Kaufman, will be out Jan. 31.
It has a simple premise, grounded in a metaphor: Physical trash is the same as emotional trash.
The garbage in LeMay and Kaufman’s book addresses intangible trash — thoughts, beliefs, negative opinions, anger. But there’s one thing that isn’t trash.
“People are never trash,” LeMay said. “But the contracts we make with relationships become unworkable.”
The book tells the tale of a fictional garbage man who shares what he learns from people’s “trash,” LeMay said. It is a how-to guide for dumping the trash in life.
Metaphors can be found chapter by chapter. Examples include “Find Your Route,” “Keeping it Empty” and “Park Your Ego.”
In LeMay’s view, metaphors hold the unique power of visualization. The mind carries an image, and it manifests itself in behavior, he said.
LeMay recently moved to the Gig Harbor area. His name is recognizable: His father, Harold, founded LeMay Industries.
LeMay has experience as a route manager for 28 years in the business of actual garbage. The company is now part of Waste Connection, but LeMay continues to be involved in the industry.
Outside of his father’s company, he was an art teacher in the Bethel School District for 14 years.
LeMay said he’s excited to see reactions to the book. The book’s website contains a test to see what kind of garbage a reader might be carrying around.
“The stuff in the garbage has no value,” LeMay said. “The idea is that you’ve got to get rid of it.”
LeMay and Kaufman also do some public speaking related to the book’s premise. They have spoken at Rotary clubs and more, LeMay said.