Ten Considerations for Day Worker

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Bajadock’s kitchen cabinets progressing nicely in 2007, thanks Nachoc

I have witnessed plenty of construction sites, day laborers, housekeeping, auto mechanics, auto detailers, carpenters and other services provided by this “world class” value of Mexican labor.  There are times when I wonder how much value an American loses when she/he fails to embrace the cultural opportunities of the day.

There is also a touch of human kindness and consideration that may be lost on some.  Your day laborer is a real human with needs.  He isn’t an animal chained to your 8 hour labor clock.  Here are some suggestions to enjoy your worker’s company and provide encouragement for a job well done.

1. Cafe:  It’s amazing how the world’s business fuel of coffee gets the day off to a warmer, gentler start.  I know people in business, who don’t even like coffee, but they share a sip with colleagues, vendors and clients for the social opportunity.  My Mexican workers can count on coffee to start the day.  Normal is no cream, 2 sugars.

2. Water:  65F might be cool for you, but, if you were hauling concrete block or climbing ladders you’d be dehydrated quickly.  Keep the drinking water flowing throughout the day or just make it available.

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Bajadock’s concrete foundation pour, Chuey(red coat) and team pour on an April Friday in 2007.

3. Bathroom:  Unfortunately, I have seen the available construction bathroom look like the back yard.  Ok, they are guys and we all know how to relieve ourselves in nature.  But, is your bathroom on some kind of flush quota limit? Show ’em where to find it.

4. Music:  Most Mexicans bring their tunes to the work site.  Some don’t.  Hey, even if you play geezer rock, like me, that rhythm makes the hard work flow more easily.

5. Encouragement:  A sign of approval works wonders.  Even if your Spanglish consists of gracias, bonito and buen trabajo, a smile goes a long way.

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Martin and Miguel are putting together the “bridge” of my ceiling

6. Practice your Spanglish:  They’ll figger out soon enough how poor your Spanish is.  Go4it and enjoy a laugh at your expense.  I promise you will learn some fun new words.

7. Food, Almuerzo:  Food is the universal language.  If you share a treat, a sandwich, fruit or anything you have around, you will make quick friends.

8. Lend a hand:  With a ladder, heavy or tuff load, a tarp or anything else.  OK, you hired him, igetit, but, if your guy is alone for the day, it gets old.  A helping hand is always appreciated.

9. Cleanup:  You can offer them your broom and dustpan if you didn’t specify that you wanted the area clean.  Add in soap, water and a towel in your bathroom and I guarantee you’ll have a Mr Clean taking care of the dust.

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Bajadock’s facade is looking good as construction approaches halfway point cof completion

10. Day’s End:  A gracias, a tip, a coke, a beer or some food to take home to mama will be appreciated.  And if you have your trabajador for more than one day, you will have a more enthusiastic worker tomorrow.  Friday happy hour is always a special treat in Mexico.  In Baja, Tecate and Bud Light are the preferred happy hour choices.

What has been your experience and what would you add???

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