The following is more or less a commentary of the current state of the American work force.Â
One of the great things about owning a business on the intersection of Unemployment and Desperation is that you never know who is going to wander in off the street. I was working the front counter at the gym on Saturday when what seemed like an enterprising young man entered with a business proposition for me. He asked me if I currently have anyone washing the windows of my building. I told him that I did have one local cracky but he has since been incarcerated and I haven’t seen him in a while. Even my old squeegie guy seemed like just your run of the mill, meth addicted black dude I kind of liked him because not only would he clean my windows but he would also shuck and jive as he regaledÂ meÂ with tales of the most incredible bullshit stories about his life that I knew were bullshit but they were so hilarious and unreal that I would always listen. Â I even saved his ass one time when he came around with just a dirty rag to do my windows. I said, “Yo, where is your bucket of dingy water and your squeegie?” He said that he fell asleep somewhere in public (I didn’t ask for the details on that one, but I can only imagine how down an out you have to be to steal a homeless dudes squeegie) and when he woke up his bucket and squeegie were gone. I felt bed for him so I actually went and gave him a bucket and a squeegie that I had here, which were way better than the one he originally had, therefore catapulting him back into business.
The young go-getter then asked me how much I used to pay the old squeegie guy and I replied, “he would do the whole front of the building for $10”. He then showed very shrewd negotiating skills and said, “I’ll do it for $15!” I agreed and then he upped the offer and said for $25 he would do them inside and out, I agreed to that as well. Shrewd kid, very shrewd.
He walked out the door and set off to work. He worked that squeegie like a maestro, he cleaned way faster than the old guy I had, which surprised me because that other guy was addicted to meth! He literally finished the outside of the windows in four minutes, I swear to god, four fucking minutes. But what he did next baffled me. He comes back in and instead of starting to clean the inside windows he comes up and says these exact words,
“I’m just going to clean the outside ones, it’s too much work, can just have the $15 now?” Â
I was waiting for him to laugh and say he was kidding but he wasn’t. I handed him the cash and he hands me his card and says, “anytime you need them washed again just give me a call.” According to my calculations this guy was working at a rate of $225 an hour and he STOPPED after four minutes! For that brief moment in time he was making as much as Lebron James and he gave it all up.
I’m picturing this is the conversation that went on in his head: ” Hmmm, I cleaned the outside and just made $15, I can go buy ONE hit of crack with that right now, or I could do the inside windows too, take the $25 and buy TWO hits of crack in four more minutes. Hmmmmmm . . . Fuck it, I’m getting the hit of crack NOW!”
There is so much awesomeness and so many unanswered questions associated with this card I don’t even know where to begin. “You name it. . . we’ll clean it!” As long as it doesn’t take more than four minutes of actual effort because we have zero stamina to actually clean. If this guy can’t wash five minutes worth of windows how the hell does he clean a yard or a garage? And where was Marla when this guy was surrendering like a scared Frenchman? Hopefully he bought some quality meth with that $15 I gave him and it perks him up a little so he can go the full eight minutes on his next gig. By the way, I doubt seriously if this is actually even his card and that he probably stole it off of the cork board at the Acme. One of things that tipped me off to that was because when he gave it to me both of those phone numbers were already crossed out. I didn’t do that for the photo. Fucking priceless.