Sunday, March 26, 2006

Run for the Border

Tonight they had me moving matresses and really heavy furniture at work. When you do that they give you a "temp" to help you out. They call these temps "perma-temps" because they work there everyday. Basically, it is safe to assume they are illegals from Mexico. The last temp I worked with acted just like all the other losers I work with, just in Spanish. He commented on every girl he saw (I learned that "caliente" means "horny" in addition to meaning "hot."), he talked about how he doesn't like being stereo-typed as a Mexican even though he stereotyped others: "Chinese don't know nothing. Nobody in China is educated." When he asked me what my heritage was and I said, "Native American... Indian." He asked, quite seriously, "Don't you think there are too many Indians in this country?" I said, "Maybe if you count all the white people who think they are Indian." Otherwise, the answer is "never."

But the temp I worked with tonight was really nice. He said to call him "Yair-moe" (Guillermo). I started asking about his life when he saw a baby-bath-pillow that was going to be loaded onto a truck and he got all sentimental. I asked, "Are you having a baby?" He said, "Some day." I asked, "Are you married?" He said, "June 10th."

He said he's been in the United States for almost a year. He used to attend a university in Mexico, that's where he learned English. He said he studied Electronics and that the Mexican government told the people in his city that the Ford Motor Company Factory in their city was one of the most promising opportunities a worker could have, so he went and got a job there. He said he welded the exhaust systems on Lincolns, Mercurys and Fords (including the new Ford Fusion). He said Ford paid him $40 a week (400 pesos). When he found out that the people working at Ford who had the same degree he was trying to attain in school made the same pay he did, he quit school and quit Ford. He decided to get serious about life. He left his girlfriend in Mexico and he is in Utah until it's time for his wedding to earn money for the festivities and to get started in life (he said he originally chose Canada to make money but he was worried he would lose his car if he went there). He also intends to buy a lot of tools here that he can use to make a living in Mexico. I told him he could try his hand at online auctions if the economy was really bad where he lived; in the sense that it's a viable way to draw money to a place that doesn't have any.

Don't worry, Fraud Squad, he seems like a level headed guy who wants to work hard and earn what he's after. But he's just now figuring out that working hard isn't enough, you know, the whole "dog eat dog" thing. I was exalted in his misery: He said, "You are 29? I'm 24. You look younger than me. And you're stronger than me (we were moving some heavy, heavy stuff). I feel old."

I said, "I've been lifting heavy boxes five days a week since December and you have a mustache."

4 comments:

Native Minnow said...

He sounds nice. I hope you get a chance to work with him a little more often. It might make the job a little more tolerable.

But I didn't realize that a mustache sapped one's strength ;-)

Alpha said...

I think you need to write a movie and be in the Sundance Festival next year. You are SO much funnier than say, South Park.

PsychoIntern said...

I think he meant a mustache makes you look older...Kind of like the 12-year-old kids that can buy beer...

slimysculpin said...

When I have a beard, kids call me "sir." When I shave, I'm "Hey you."

I think I prefer Hey you.