My local Home Depot day-laborer tale...

in General Discussion edited January 2014
I've now been here in Shadow Hills almost six months. When I first moved in here, I HAD to have the hillsides around me cleared. For good reason. However, we're talking about BACK-BREAKING work...

I went to my local high school and got about four big kids to agree to come up one weekend and help me out for good pay. I was up against a time limit set by the Fire Dept. Weekend arrives and nobody shows up. Nobody calls...

I was forced (yeah, I know, nobody put a gun to my head...) to go to my local Home Depot and pick up some day laborers. This was on a Sunday morning. Monday I would be looking at a hefty penalty charge.

Anyway, I now have four little Mexican guys to help me instead of four big young American kids. I paid them each $11.00 per hour, fed them well and gave them access to the restroom. They acted like they had landed in heaven. In return, what I figured would take two days at 10 hours per day was done in eight hours! They busted balls. I couldn't keep up with them.

Fast forward to the vicious rains we here in California just went though. When that last triple-punch storm came though, I was worried about the hillside coming down on my house... When it started coming down hard, I had to start sandbagging just in case the hillside came down.

Who shows up to help me, two of the guys I picked up at Home depot six months previously! They came on their own accord with their little beatup pick-up truck loaded with sandbags! Can you people dig that? They remembered how I treated them, and they showed up to pay me back. I was astounded, to say the least.

You think any of my (all fellow pale faces...)neighbors, all of whom have lived in this area for years, would have come by to see how the new guy is doing? Nope.

What's the point of this rant? I'm not sure. Inspired a little bit by Comman Man's "Immigration..." thread maybe.

Just sharring.


  • Reply 1 of 19
    andersanders Posts: 6,523member
    Home depot? Is that were you store your illegal immigrants until there is work for them and then put them back when its done?
  • Reply 2 of 19
    shawnjshawnj Posts: 6,656member
    Great story. I did some field research on the status of immigrant businesses in Northeastern Pennsylvania and found first-hand that immigrants are extremely hard-working. I have to wonder-- did they show up again as courtesy or as a way to make more money?
  • Reply 3 of 19
    Anders, are you being sarcastic???

    ShawnJ, they refused my giving them any money...
  • Reply 4 of 19

    Originally posted by hardhead

    Anders, are you being sarcastic???

    ShawnJ, they refused my giving them any money...

    Anders both really doesn't know and is being sarcastic...
  • Reply 5 of 19
    Anders, please explain why you felt the need to post those comments. Back them up with something substantial instead of just a bullshit in and out...
  • Reply 6 of 19
    scottscott Posts: 7,431member
    Maybe Mexico would be willing to do a one for one swap? Naw they are way to smart to fall for that.
  • Reply 7 of 19
    scottscott Posts: 7,431member

    Originally posted by Anders

    Home depot? Is that were you store your illegal immigrants until there is work for them and then put them back when its done?

    Often the day laborers collect where people can expect them to be. It maybe Home Depot or an intersection near some developments.

    These guys must have driven there in their truck.
  • Reply 8 of 19
    andersanders Posts: 6,523member

    Originally posted by Scott

    Often the day laborers collect where people can expect them to be. It maybe Home Depot or an intersection near some developments.

    These guys must have driven there in their truck.


    Sorry Hardhead. I know Home Depot as a hardware store so my mental picture went that way: You were clearing some bushes and went to home depot to get the hardware to help you with that. But instead you picked up mexicans and my lazy mind combined that to this:

    No harm meant.
  • Reply 9 of 19
    Anders, fair enough.

    I should have been more specific. I'm going to "smack" my own now. I live in a primarily "white folk" enclave. So the four teens whom agreed to work for me that weekend happened to be white. The same four that didn't even bother to let me know they were not going to show up.

    White, just like my "thoughtful" neighbors. So who shows up in the middle of a downpour, unasked, to help out my lady and me, a couple of (probably illegal...) Mexicans whom did hard labor for me almost six months previously. They didn't forget how I treated them that day.

    Today, Sunday, three ex-hardcore gangbangers (all Chicanos) from East Los Angeles showed up to help put my wood fence back up. It was brought down by all the wind plus the hard rain. I help these guys in my spare time to become part of "mainstream" commercial life. So they helped me out at no cost.

    None of this makes me change my mind that our borders, both of them, need to be WAY beefed up. Or that driver's license testing should ONLY be in English.

    Latino's (most of them...) have managed to keep something that we white folk are rapidly loosing. Honesty and honor on the "everyday" plain of life. Yeah, I know, I can already hear some of you. How can you be "honest" if you're in a country illegally? I'm talking about something that is beyond the scope of lines on a map. Hard to put into words.

    Heh, aren't internet forums fun?
  • Reply 10 of 19
    fellowshipfellowship Posts: 5,038member
    While building homes when I was a general contractor building single family homes I have had similar experience.

    A "white" concrete contractor stood me up for weeks. Instead of fighting the guy (in court) for his lack of performance I found another concrete contractor. The name of the guy who was my second choice was Arturo. His crew were hispanic as was he and he helped me to be on schedule to fit the window of time I had my framing contractor scheduled. I treated Arturo and his guys as I would want to be treated. I did not pitty them as they were capable hard working individuals. I brought them coffee and donuts in the mornings and paid them their draws due instantly after each phase of work completed by them upon inspection of work. I was kind to them and they respected me as well. It turns out that I used Arturo and his crew for all of my homes after that point. He would even level out the dirt remaining outside the perimeter of the slabs with a small tractor after the trenches were dug out as to make my jobsite a safer work environment. (Something not normally done by the concrete contractor)

    The work was done on time and with no delays.

    The work was done to specifications drawn up by my engineers.

    The work was done for less than the "competition" which in my view was no competition at all.

    I have respect for Arturo and his guys.

  • Reply 11 of 19
    amorphamorph Posts: 7,112member
    My dad's out been out in Cali and at this point, he won't hire anyone unless they're Mexican. Their work ethic is astonishing.

    I don't know how many of you have heard of Maytag blue cheese, made here in Iowa. A few years ago, the guy who owns it was having trouble attracting workers—you can imagine what working in a blue cheese factory is like—and he had refused to hire Mexicans because he believed the old stereotype about how they were lazy. His brother talked him out of it, and now he won't hire white people anymore because they're lazy. That, he knows from experience.

    It's just the latest version of the classic American tale: Every wave of immigrants to these shores, of every description, have always worked their tails off, and they've frequently done so in the face of discrimination and worse. It's one of the great benefits of a liberal immigration policy, which nevertheless has to be proven over and over again.

    Frankly, I think the whole concern over illegal immigrants is overblown and disingenuous. Illegal immigrants prop up several rather important (and yet, dysfunctional) parts of the economy, and the attempts to "crack down" on them are really just designed and intended to keep them poor and desperate and intimidated, so they'll continue to function as cheap, disposable labor—slaves, not to put too fine a point on it. The ones who get out of that trap and get better work (and yes, day labor can be much better work) and get citizenship are lucky.
  • Reply 12 of 19
    I had an employee from Monterrey, NL for a while. One day, in the middle of a really bust-ass week, he looked at me with a smile and said "You work like a Mexican!"

    I took that as the highest compliment.
  • Reply 13 of 19
    chris v, it was a compliment...

    Amorph, outstanding point!

    Eventually, and make no mistake about this my fellow A.I.'ers, in the span of about 20 years, the southwest (BIG area...) will be a latino dominated area. Mostly, but NOT all, of Mexican descent. It will NOT, despite Pat Buchanon's fear of a MECHA and Mexican Gov't propagated "re-conquest", be an invasion to return land to Mexico.

    I have no problem with this fact at all. In fact, the good will outweigh the bad. They are a good, solid people that will add to the American family and help to keep this nation strong and vibrant into the future. As long as their children are imprinted with American "ideals". Notice I said ideals.

    There are going to be some big problems on the way to stability... We have to stop people (for political as well as moral reasons...) from crossing illegally through our porous borders.

    I'm getting way beyond the scope of my original post now, bare with me, I'm on a roll...

    White folk still run this country. That's a fact for better or worse... Whites still make the majority of the population. I'd be willing to bet that the majority of American A.I. members are mainly white. Also, mainly under thirty years old. When you guys start retiring in your, oh, let's say late sixties, you will bear witness to a remarkable thing. The beginning, just the beginning, of a change in the color of what will be the majority in this country a little bit further down the road from then. Numerical statistics bare this out. We are not replacing ourselves in sufficient numbers. Them's just the facts...

    Your great grandchildren MIGHT grow up in a United States where whites are a "large" minority, but a minority nonetheless. I'd be willing to bet everything that this minority will NOT be treated the way my people (pale-face) treated all non-whites throughout the formation and history of this country. You know, kinda like a real, "All men (and our better half) are created equal..." country.

    I was in my neighborhood hardware store today. In walks a late twenties, clean cut looking American-latino. He asked for a certain kind of pressure gauge. Spoke english like an educated man. He walks out before me to a brand new 'vette parked out front. The knucklehead behind the counter says to me in a (two white guys just talking, wink, wink, nudge, nudge...) conspiratorial hush, "He must be a drug dealer or some'n", I said "Uh huh" and walked out with my nails. I watched the young cat drive away and saw the "USC Alumni" license plate on his car. Yep, must be a drug dealer...

  • Reply 14 of 19
    muahmuah Posts: 165member
    Glad you had a fortunate experience. I have heard a few firsthand accounts of people getting mysteriously robbed after hiring illegal workers for work at their homes. I can't say for myself either way.
  • Reply 15 of 19
    muah, they're just like EVERY other branch of humanity, they have their fair share of a*sholes, flaky stupid people and criminals...
  • Reply 16 of 19
    dfilerdfiler Posts: 3,420member
    I like threads like this... People sharing heartwarming tales about goodness in others.

    Too often, discussions are based upon dislikes and hatred. This is especially true of where I live, Pittsburgh.

    On with the good vibes!
  • Reply 17 of 19
    But the more important question is whether people can still be humble and honest when they are NOT poor? Or is it that Americans don't have any real traditions and we are so concentrated on individuality that we lose sight of these things?
  • Reply 18 of 19
    Excellent point spindler, and worthy of discussion in a seperate thread.

    In my line of work, I deal with a lot of people of great wealth and influence in the movie industry. Some of them, you guys would be surprised whom, have managed to maintain their humility and truly appreciate what they have, despite their position in life. Human nature as dictated in "modern" American culture, means that most of them are sh*theads.

    Of course, most of them are white folk... I only feel qualified to "smack" on my own...
  • Reply 19 of 19
    gycgyc Posts: 90member
    Well, after a generation or two, after the parents and grandparents busted ass so their kids and grandkids can live in comfort and get a good education, the kids will be just as lazy as your average over-privileged American. I'm talking as a child of immigrants myself.

    All kidding aside, I do admire immigrants for their work ethic. After all, they decided to get off their ass to get to the U.S. to make a better life for themselves rather than sitting at home griping about it.
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