I was talking to the two Hispanic men who delivered my mattress today about working. I was their last stop at 4:45 pm and they were headed all the way back to Suwanee. I didn’t understand all they were saying but the tired “whews” of straining to set things up, and carrying in a heavy couch to the living room, caused me to note they were quite tired. I offered them a cold coke to take with them, and my sincere thanks for their professional attitude and care in handling my things. They left me the cloth furniture wraps, noting they make good rugs for the little dogs to use for beds. I thanked them again. And they were off on a three hour drive home.
I didn’t ask them their immigration status, or if they had an anchor baby. I didn’t think about if they were talking a job some regular American would want. They told me they started at 6 am this morning. Fourteen hour days delivering furniture. Do you want to do it? I don’t. Didn’t appear to me they were on welfare. I don’t think many of them actually are. As a supervisor in carpet mills the last ten years I worked, I had many of them working for me. Working, and paying FICA, and income tax. I live in a town full of Hispanic people. I watch them get in their cars at 6 o’ clock in the morning for a hours ride to work. I see them walking to the mill here in town. I see them start many churches in our county. I see them taking their children to school, wanting better education for their kids than they have. I see them playing with, and loving their families.
For several years back in the late seventies into the mid eighties I made mattresses…hourly pay plus a bonus for everything over production. Ten hour days and back breaking work. I surpassed production every day, because we needed the money. I had three kids and bills to pay. Sometimes we didn’t work full weeks. Times were hard for us. I went on to do better, but I haven’t forgotten the weight of a deluxe king size mattress on the shoulder.
It’s a good thing to remember from time to time when you are contemplating disrupting another human beings wellbeing and the care of their family.