It was a bittersweet day last Wednesday: I started working again. Between our bicycle tour, and the economy, It’s been exactly a year since I last held a steady job. The reality is that I didn’t think that I was going to find work for quite a while, and NO ONE has bought a pair of my bacon shoes, so, in a last ditch attempt, I responded to an ad on Craig’s List with a temp agency, and I was off to work two days later. It was rather shocking. The placement is with West Coast Event Productions, a company that, among many, many other things, rents those gigantic tents and sets up chairs for weddings. It is one more in a long line of menial labor jobs throughout my life, but this one is the best because all I really have to do is lift heavy shit all day.
One of the first lessons I learned on the job was about how it’s true that Mexicans are running things these days. Of about 40 employees, thirty are Mexicans, and maybe 5 of them can speak english in conversation. However, all of them bust their ass. I remember hearing a serious joke somewhere that Mexicans are in the process of staging a takeover of the west coast, specifically California. In other words, they plan on taking it back. I used to think that that would be an amusing reality until last week when I realized that it could actually happen. After spending just a few days going through the back doors of a lot of places, rather than the front, it was plain to me that if Latinos decided to stop working all at once, at least here, industry would come to a grinding halt. I also think the odds of this happening are precisely nil. It’s just interesting to consider. Anyway, there I was sitting in the back cab of a truck on my way to Reed to set up a tent with a couple Mexican guys up front, and all I could think was my my the tables have turned.
Between then and now the company has asked me to come on and work full time for them, which I almost entirely look on as a blessing. I spoke with a number of other people that started there the same day I did through the temp agency and many of them told of months without a single day of work, and the inability to even get an interview. Only one of that group besides myself is still there. Clearly there are very few jobs available, and I am grateful to have gotten one of them. However, it is hard, tedious, thankless work with long hours (4 of 5 days so far have been 12+ hours). I am likely to become incredibly fit, though, so check for me at the club.