Sunday, February 22, 2015

More of Brady's travels.

He calls his facebook posts about his traveling, "Looking for America." I think it's highly fitting.

On my journey Friday I had the pleasure of meeting two people that really seem to personify the qualities of American idealism that the media forgets, overlooks, ignores, and have become marginalized in society today. The first is the manager of that little hole-in-the-wall motel I stayed at this week. And really, aside from the more interesting architectural design choices, it wasn't that bad of a place to stay. It's a little too close to the railroad tracks, and the traffic on the main road through town where it is is never-ending, but really, it could have been a great deal worse.

And on that not-as-bad-as-it-could-have-been topic, the manager really made my stay there much better than I thought it would be. I misplaced the mouse to my laptop and when I checked out asked if she could have the housekeeper look for it. She said of course, but the kicker was she offered to let me take hers in the mean time. She needs her mouse to use their computerized booking system, but she offered hers to me without any hesitation until I could find mine.

My mouse was found before I left town. I'm apparently blind or more than a little bit sleep-deprived to have missed it, but her offer to stop her work making her life more complicated and difficult having to write down everything and input it later was far above and beyond. And it was solely to help me, someone she wasn't going to be getting any money out of anytime soon. And then holding it for me with a note on my car window that she had it was just amazing. On top of that, the fact that she let me leave my car there instead of having to drive it to the mine was another small sign that occasionally, somewhere people are still generally good and take pride and satisfaction from doing their work well.

The next example comes from Wickenburg, AZ, specifically from the three employees working last night at Filibertos Mexican restaurant. The guy taking the orders and the two cooks worked together as a team should. They were fast, friendly, funny, and perfectly accommodating to this crazy gringo's strange requests.

Not only was the food delicious, but they were engaging, hilarious, and obviously having a lot of fun. The best part was the fun didn't detract from the speed and exactness with which they performed their work. There was a precision to the coordination of their movements that speaks, I think, to a drive to achieve excellence. It is rare to see that very often anymore. Let alone in a basically minimum wage job. If more people worked like them, there wouldn't be many people working minimum wage for years on end. The working poor would actually have upward mobility simply due to their obvious industry. Is it weird to refer to the skilled professionalism of an unskilled laborer? Because that, or at least the personal characteristic that motivates people to develop that, is a big part of what's been missing in the world....I think. I could be wrong.

But there's a song that really seems to somehow capture that motivation. Maybe listening to it on my drive home last night put these thoughts together, but I really felt in the moment that I wanted to share this experience.

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