Friday, April 18, 2014

Laborer

I recently updated my Linkedin.com profile to have a title that doesn't make any sense and sounds more like I'm trying to pad my resume than actually describe what I do. . .

I do a lot at the office, even if sometimes I don't feel like doing anything at all. One of the not-made-up-but-looks-made-up titles I have is effectively "facilities manager." And being that I am facilities manager, I decided that our landscaping needs some serious help. Our building is located right between two busy restaurants (that serve alcohol) and across the street from a newly finished construction site. The parking lot that is sandwiched between our building and our neighboring restaurant is a breeding ground for trash. I don't think the weird wind patterns help. So yesterday, as I was managing my facility by picking up trash, pulling weeds, and sorting between our pretty (expensive) decorative rocks and random pieces of concrete, a guy walks by, stops in his tracks and says, "Shit girl, what are you doing? That's a man's job!" To which I replied that no, it wasn't a man's job and besides, at least it got me in the sun and away from my desk and he said, "Well, I guess it ain't exactly hard work," as if to imply that women can't do hard work.

He wished me well and said that as long as I was getting paid for it, and I was happy, that was the important thing.

Well said, sir.

I continued my way around the building. The other side of our building serves as a smoking post for one of the restaurants and their were cigarette butts EVERYWHERE. There were a lot on the other side, but nothing like this.

Side note: When I was younger and my dad had reroofed our house, he paid each of us kids a penny a nail. We spent a whole summer scouring the yard for nails, just so we could earn enough pennies to go to the Drive-Thur and buy candy cigarettes. (Ah, the irony.)

This, of course, is where I got the idea. I want to write the owner of the restaurant and encourage him to have his employees use the smoking booth that is provided about 50 feet away from our office, and if not, I would charge a quarter per butt that I have to pick up. I'm certain that I could make a fortune. I also wondered how ethical it would be to just pay a homeless person like. . . $20 to pick up as many as possible in one hour. How hard would they work for an hour?

Which brings me to my last story.

A few months ago the boys and I stopped at my office to see the progress of the first floor remodel before going to City Creek. A guy knocked on the window and was sobbing - SOBBING - about how he was stranded and just needed $16 in order to buy a plane ticket to get back to Texas and could we please help? I think the boys were less affected by the story, and more anxious to get the flamboyant, crying man away from the window. We gave him money. Only, not but an hour later, we found him hitting others up at City Creek for money. James confronted the guy, and saved one family from listening, but he can't be around all the time now can he? On Wednesday, Andre and I were sitting in the car of my office lot, and there was our little gay friend, as bold as ever, hitting people up for money. Then yesterday, as I sat picking up broken glass from amongst our rocks (a task only a little less worse than picking up cigarette butts), there he was again! He knocked on one person's window and was not crying this time. But then he passed by me a few other times, mumbling the F-word under his breath. I asked him if he wasn't meant to be in Texas months ago, and he just waved his arms at me and kept walking.

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