Saturday, January 19, 2013

I Get to Work Today!

I have not had a paid job since before Christmas.  Oh, I had a piece in an art gallery that sold but that is not the same as a "job".  A job requires a schedule, a time frame, responsibility and a specific performance.  It requires some organization and forethought and, frankly, I love this.  I dream about it and if I have the time, these are recurring dreams.  I build the project over and over again while I sleep.
    I am a list maker and write everything down:  gas in the truck and the address written down, two ladders, two battery screw guns with extra batteries, a grinder and little cut-off saw, pliers to tie the wire.  The wire to fasten the barbed wire, the barbed wire, the brackets and a special locking devise I made for the back door.  The screws!  A tape measure, and an extra, just in case.  These are all packed, ready to go and I am as excited as a kid on Christmas morning!
   It is a tiny job, I admit it. Maybe three hours of field time and eight hours of shop time and a couple more just running around time.  My local little grocery store, the neighborhood kind is owned by an Indian.  No, not Cherokee! A guy from India.  He is like we used to be, has all the hard work ethic we have long let go of, works a 12 hour day, every day.  Now he bought another little store in a neighboring little town, a store that had been for all intents and purposes, abandoned, run down and in need.  He will totally remodel it (I don't do that any more!) and inject life into it with new lighting, new and bigger freezers and coolers, better products and fairer pricing.  That is what he did to my little store a few years ago and he is now doing it again.
   The "American Dream" requires hard work and we have forgotten about this.  I know another guy from India who owns the local McDonald's.  His whole family works there.  I have seen him mop the floors, cook the hamburgers and serve the food, always with a smile.  They work long shifts too.
From nothing, in twenty years he will own it.
   I have a friend from Mexico who works at the local powder coating factory.  He also works odd jobs in the evening and every weekend.  He has a family and is buying a house.  He is legal now but came here 20 years ago as a kid of 17, crawling across the desert to pick fruit and whatever he could find.
He is an American now, a citizen, and I am proud to call him a friend.
   Where did we go wrong?  It is now these foreigners who come here and show us what we used to be.  In my little town there are people on almost every street corner begging for money, almost always, white people.  Never have I seen a Mexican or Latino, and certainly not an Indian, American or other.
We want it now and we want it free.
   Anyway, I am happy to be working, even if just for a few hours.  I like what it does to my brain, to my attitude, gets me out and away from my shop, which sometimes is a good thing, away from reading which I have been doing far too much of and gets me to anticipate.  Something someone Wants of me:
I like that!


Optimistic Existentialist said...

I love the two examples that you give, of the gentleman from India and your friend from Mexico. I love how you dispel the sterotypes that we American's have. You mention that it's white people that you normally see on street corners. I have found that to be the case as well. Great post sir!!

rama said...

In America, I saw well dressed beggars, wearing sports shoes, a decent jacket, and wearing reasonably good jeans, standing in front of cafe's, very softly asking " Change please, change please.."
When I first came across one fellow like that I could not understand why a well dressed man was jingling his tin jar and asking for change, when my husband told me he was a beggar begging, I was shocked. I was more shocked when I saw him enter the cafe and order a coffee, and something to eat with that, and here I was thinking twice before ordering coffee in the same cafe, for even a small cup is quite expensive compared to the lovely coffee we get in India.
In India you would find beggars dressed very shabbily, and would also look very dirty, and they would stand near traffic lights and beg, and also bug,trying to touch you, if you happen to have the car window open by chance. A few women beggars would carry their little babies, who would be looking quite cute and chubby(but of course dirty), the mother saying she needs money to feed her baby.
Many Indians would take pity on them and give them some coins, they have the fear of God in them that makes them part with some change, they believe that by doing so they would be blessed by the good God in heaven.
There are also many Indians who don't believe in encouraging these kind of beggars, who seem to be quite fit enough to find some job any job, and live a poor but decent life, instead of making it their job to do nothing but beg all day long.
There are various organisations that help provide some training in certain skills and also providing them decent jobs, but some of them have become so used to begging, that they don't want to do anything else, for the have become lazy.
That is why India is stuck with the phrase that it is a land of beggars, fakirs and snake charmers.
There are gangs actually making money out of such people who are professional beggars, who kidnap young boys and girls maim them and send them to the streets to beg, and they are supposed to earn money and the money is collected at the end of the day, and these children are fed something, and made to live and sleep in highly unhygienic conditions.
I really feel very bad for the way our country has turned out to be.
There is so much yet there is also so little.
All Indians who go to the US, work very hard, even the highly educated ones, for we have been brought to know the value of money, and saving money is ingrained within us from a very young age, and it continues even when we have enough money
Oh,I am sorry my comment has taken so much space.

Anthony said...

Nice blog...