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Monday, August 1, 2011

Wherein the Hard Workers are Impressed by a Hard Worker

“Juan will be assisting you this evening.”

A young Ecuadorian smiles up at Mary and me. He is slender, with thick black hair and open, happy eyes. “Hello,” he says pleasantly.

“Hello,” we echo. Black-pantsed and white-shirted, we, too, are smiley.

And everyone is ready to work.

The manager heads toward the stairs. “Anything you need, you tell Juan and he’ll take care of it.” He leaves us to the banquet room with a backward glance.

“Juan’s one of our best workers.”

It is Friday evening. Nye’s Polonaise’s back-of-house is a maze of staircases, backrooms, and walk-in freezers, one of those places where you have no idea how you got to where you are or how you’d get back to where you started.

Having a personal Juan in such an environment is invaluable.

We fill the glasses all the way with ice, half-way with water. I am fast with a pitcher, and Juan is faster.

Within the first 30 minutes, Juan has run the steps for us innumerable times. Five-gallon buckets of ice, extra forks, Sterno, platters: Juan is amazingly cheerful.

The banquet attendees trickle in, sunburned and relaxed after a company golf outing. They smell of sunscreen and expensive educations.

The restaurant proper is full to capacity, and it is important we keep the dirty dishes and cutlery moving from the table to the dish washer. We watch Juan grab the first short stack of plates out of the tub we’ve hidden discreetly off to one side.

“I will run upstairs, check in with my other tables,” he says. “I will return soon.”

“Juan for President!” I enthuse.

“We’re gonna make tee-shirts that say that,” Mary confides.

Juan smiles modestly and disappears up the steps at a run.

“We’re useless,” Mary observes soberly.

“We’re attractive,” I offer. We smile at each other, look for ways to earn our pay while he is gone, pulling plates, re-filling ice waters, clearing finished drinks from the bar.

Juan comes down the steps, catches us hustling. He smiles and nods. “Very good,” he says. “Good workers.”

We beam at him.

Juan thinks we are good workers.

32 comments:

Simply Suthern said...

Aint it nice when when help is actually HELP. Nothing like bringing in help and you spend the day holding their hands.

Of course now you have to speed up to keep up.

savannah said...

damn, i'm tired just reading that! xoxoxo

Susan in the Boonies said...

I have things I need Juan to take care of.

You and Mary?

LOL!

How about y'all sit with me by the (non-existent) pool, and we let Juan get us something to sip with a little umbrella in it?

We'll tip him generously: I promise! And we'll wear his T-shirts, too. Over our bathing suits.

Leenie said...

I'm with Susan!

mybabyjohn/Delores said...

Note that the manager said, "ONE of our best workers" so he has more Juans and possibly some that are even better. Man, did he luck out with his hiring.

Oilfield Trash said...

Sounds like a good guy.

That gentleman's lady said...

I want a Juan.....

powdergirl said...

You should keep him on full time as a personal assistant. That way when the going got tough, you could deploy the Magic Juan : D

Wow, that was awkward said...

My favorite part is that you looked good! Nothing else really matters.

vanilla said...

Comedic follow-up award goes to (drumroll) powdergirl!

Glen said...

I hate him.

It's people like Juan that give bosses the right impression about people like me.

Maybe it's time to plant some gay porn on him and get him fired.

You can still get fired for being gay right?

Douglas said...

Was he some Juan to watch over you?

jenny_o said...

In a world of low standards, it must be nice to have found a fellow hard worker.

Pat Tillett said...

I need someone like Juan to run my life.
Great little story Pearl...

Jhon Baker said...

a personal Juan - hahahaha - we all need a personal Juan.

Eva Gallant said...

What does a good educations smell like?

Audubon Ron said...

I'm absolutely confident Juan doesn't have a green card. If he were an American, he'd be a dead beat.

Incidentally, I prefer looks over fast pitchers any day.

Incidentally again, Juan could never be President b/c he wasn't born in this country. Is it wise to create false expectations in a nice foreigner?

Tom G. said...

Nothing worse than the smell of sunscreen and expensive educations. Of course, I smell like cheap beer and desperation, so who am I to judge?

lisleman said...

"sunscreen and expensive educations" Where does it come from? I guess the drug store and rich parents, but still you are amazing with these phrases.

Pearl said...

:-) No, Juan will never be president, in this country for five years now. (He also goes to college full time.) People like Juan -- and yes, we all need some Juan to watch over us! -- are what make this country great and are our greatest hope.

Gigi said...

It's awesome when you find yourself on team that actually wants to do their work well. Good for Juan - I have a feeling he will succeed.

Pat said...

And smiling with it. Almost too good to be true.
Bless him!

Audubon Ron said...

Some Juan? I never thought you would ever deal a hand of lazy puns. Are you giving me the Juan around? ;)

R. Jacob said...

Definitely a good role model!

klahanie said...

Jaun more time. Yay for Jaun. Jaun for Mayor of Quito, at the very least....
Have a good day, eh :)

Bossy Betty said...

I would like co-workers like Juan.

Vapid Vixen said...

"They smell of sunscreen and expensive educations."

I loved that. :)

HermanTurnip said...

"I love work. I could watch it all day..."

Crystal Pistol said...

"Juan thinks we are good workers" made me well with pride for the two of you. It really did. :)

Leslie said...

Juanderful stuff here.!

Leslie said...

Gah. No period intended in that comment.

Joshua said...

That is Juan good worker.

...crickets...