Tuesday, March 25, 2008
IN THE JOB I'VE held the last six months I've had to work through rain, sleet, snow and below-zero temps. I've worked in the edge of the country and in the suburbs and in the city. I've been falsely arrested once, had the police called on me countless other times, and been treated as an idiot or (worse yet) a total nonentity countless other times. I've been berated, had doors slammed in my face, been pushed around and been called a nigger. I've been in mansions, million-dollar condos, mobile homes, houses of squalor and the more charming and picturesque "white trash houses." I've met butchers, bakers, guitar makers, executives, and one ex-powerful-congressman-turned-convict-turned-regular-citizen. I've met a guy who from all appearances was one of the original "Goodfellas" and I've met good ole boys with deer heads on their wall (or a skinned deer hangin' from the garage rafters) and yuppie traders who've got the world by the balls. I've met immigrants from all parts, including perhaps every country in Latin America as well as the Carribbean, Africa, England and Scotland. I've had a biker chick invite me to ride with her and met countless other customers I didn't feel at liberty to flirt with. I've had an old man ask me whether I had a girlfriend and I've had an eighty-some-year-old woman invite me into her bedroom. (To see her expensive Persian rugs and tapestries -- and her circular bed!) I've been ripped off by a gypsy woman and I've seen a dude with falling-down pants and only a thong underneath run repeatedly past my car, like he ... wanted me to notice him or something. And those are only the things I can recall off the top of my head right now. I have made some of the smallest -- and the biggest -- paychecks I have ever seen before or am ever likely to see in any other job. Provided I keep producing more of the latter kind of checks than the former, this blue-collar job, which does not even require a high school diploma, will the first one I've had that would actually enable me to pay off my college loans.