Tuesday, August 12, 2008

"Insourcing," by Christopher

Sarah packs a ton of cool photos in her posts, doesn't she? 

Here, I've got a shot for you.  

Based on this photo you could surmise that this post will concern:

1. My vaguely thinning, oddly shaped hairline. 


2. My legally questionable hiring practices.

Directly after typing the numbered list above I realized that a post about my diminishing hairline really isn't a bad idea. 

But let's talk about my hiring practices now, specifically the two gentlemen amiably sharing the cab of a U-haul with me.  

In the photo above, Luis sits on the far left and stares off into a distant future we can only imagine as Raul perches directly to my left, wearing a look that begs the question: 

Why is this strange white girl taking my picture?       

I'd like to tell you that I chose Luis and Raul from among the many day laborers in the Pancho's parking lot by some strict criterion of objectivity.

The truth is that they were the front-runners in a wildly sprinting mass of men who pummeled their way into the cab of my still-moving truck. 

Three more crammed into the cab behind them. They couldn't seriously have believed that six of us would fit (take another look at that cab), but as I braked to a halt they pushed harder, smashing themselves further in. One of them was wedged in the space between the windshield and the dash, his legs hanging crazily out the open passenger door.  

Raul's head was jammed painfully into my ribs and Luis was on top of Raul, looking at me with the same pleasant smile you see above. 

"ONLY TWO," I shouted to the others and at the rapidly growing crowd outside. They dispersed quickly and Luis shut the door. 

We shook hands, said our names and I started us down the road. When I suggested an hourly wage for the day, they both agreed immediately. No counter-offer was made. 

I knew there wasn't much of a chance that Luis and Raul were legal citizens. Thus, I knowingly broke the law. And I suppose that in doing so I took the job of moving our apartment away from a much higher-priced, American-owned moving company. 

But listen, this is how our system works. 

You've read about how outsourcing is moving all the unskilled customer service jobs to India, right? Because the people there will do the same job for less? Yeah, huge corporations do it all the time to increase their already obscene profits. Nevermind the American workers they axe in the process. 

Well, this is called insourcing. It's similar, but instead the unskilled workers come to you and the money saved doesn't go to the CEO of some corporation. It goes right into my pocket and into the pocket of the unskilled workers who need it most.   

Quite a preferable option. 

Plus, these guys want the job bad. They're not moving your boxes in the middle of the afternoon heat so they can buy the latest bluetooth headset. These guys want to eat. 

And they work like it. I picked them up at 9:30, set them loose on the apartment at 9:45, and we were on the road by 10:30, I kid you not.

We dropped off our stuff, ate lunch, and I took them back to the parking lot. Raul didn't speak one sentence to me the whole day but he did cut a very loud, very rank fart on our way back. 

Luis and I shared a look, but Raul stared straight ahead like nothing happened. I think he was trying to say to us with his silence, "Hey guys, I know what you think you heard a second ago, and I know we're sitting basically on top of each other, but I've just got to say, you know, whoever smelt it dealt it." 

Luis and I both chose to let it slide. 

* * *


Just a quick status update: 

We still don't have our visas or our plane tickets. We are still being reassured daily by our contacts in Turkey that this is just how it works, everything will fall into place, just relax, etc. 

1 comment:

  1. Ok you guys seriuosly crack me up!! I love it! How fun is the blogging stuff...although you will always put my mac and cheese adventures to shame with your world travel! Can't wait to follow your lives! And Chris, for the record, I'm game with the Panchos guys too!