"I Only Just Started Working"


Wow, what an incredibly rewarding day, and to think, I really didn’t work much.

At least, that’s what a positive attitude and a good work ethic, will make you feel like at the end of the day.

The truism was supported and reinforced by a Motley Crue of Men today: my son Sid; los tres caballeros from Delancey Street: Walter, Conor and Matthew; and finally my two fathers: mi padre verdadero y el juedo, mi suegro: Prez y Roland.

I’ll start with the latter. Roland was saying over dinner “I don’t work very hard.” And Sue insisted in reply, “Oh, yes you do Honey, you work very hard.”

I had to side with my father-in-law because his words and tone reflected something my father has consistently said for the last 10 years or so: “I only just started working...”

I explained, “What these guys mean is that their efforts and attitude make all the difference between feeling lazy or disgruntled - and feeling genuinely grateful, happy and useful. They work smartly and get things done, so at the end of the day a little sweat and a sore shoulder is a small price to pay for some productive exertion.”

I added, “That’s not what we tell our wives though, because then they think that we need something to do...”

The second example were the Delancey Street Boys, three hardworking ex-cons who decided to make up for lost years of destitution by giving back through restitution of all that makes us inherently good - our good intentions made whole through the act of helping others.

“Guess how much we get paid,” Conor asked me.

“Hmmm, well I know the hourly rate according to the contract - $35 an hour per guy, but I’m guessing because you’ve got room and board and a second chance at the ranch - maybe $10?”

“Zero, we get nothing, but we’re happy to be doing this and for having the opportunity to give back.”

I fully believed him, because they manifested an incredibly-inspiring grateful, enthusiastic and optimistic demeanor by literally running between the truck and the house each time they put down a package - probably a good 400 items all together; they literally ran non-stop for two and a half hours and together we emptied a 28 foot trailer in record time. There was no slowing these guys down - no breaks despite my earnest plea to get them to give themselves a chance to recuperate - it was like watching an Allstar NFL football practice.

And finally, there was Sid. He too was impressed, so much so that he admitted they motivated him to move a little faster and he even added, “They make moving fun, so much so I think I might like being a mover.”

Their camaraderie, perseverance and pep did infuse a bit of “ganas” to the substantial task we had before us; so that when you do something with ganas - “work” simply becomes the will to get things done, which makes people notice and others happy.

Likewise, despite our exhaustion these last couple of days, I was proud and impressed by Sidney’s application.

He didn’t complain, but simply accepted he had to get the job done. Whether it was digging up fig trees for six hours nonstop; shoveling and picking a dirt road, so that the little-semi-that-could, would and did make it to the top of our mountain; or today, when he proved himself to be part of a successful team effort and albeit with a sigh, joined me for round two at 9 pm after dinner, when we rode back up to 36HTR to set two dozen rat traps and finish opening and organizing all the boxes placed about our new home - all this showed me that this young man has ganas like his grandfathers. And that’s saying a lot.