Monday, April 17, 2006


No real blog here, just a funny picture...

Had my roof done last week. 98% of the work was done by 4 hard working, honest hispanic men. They arrived at 11am. and after they ate, the laid down in my front lawn and fell asleep. I snuck up to my window, ipened the blinds, and snapped this shot...

Interesting story ...

They made every effort to avoid messing up my gutters. My wife and I got back from fishing Saturday morning and the 'english speaking one' came to me and showed me the gutter damage. It was bent a bit in a small area and I was sure that it would not affect the drainage ability of the gutters.

I said "okay, no biggie" and went back inside.

Half hour later my doorbell rings, there is the "english speaking one" with his wallet in his hand. He asks MS how much the damage would cost me. I am like "Ummm, I have no idea". He pulls out a $100 bill and hands it to me. I say "Um, are you going to be reimbursed for that?" He says "No." I ask him if that is his personal money and he says yes.

I tell him to keep the money and tell the owner it doesn't bother me a bit, "Go buy your crew a big dinner tonight." That was pretty honest of him. He was troubled by the damage he caused. I saw why it happened; These guys carry TWO shingle packs up the ladder at a time...


bigsip said...

Yeah, that 160 pounds of shingles at a time. My bro and I have helped Dad roof a couple of houses and were the shingle carriers.

Carry 160 pounds up a ladder a hundred times and you'll have a new definition of work.

That's a cool story, man. Sounds like those guys really wanted to make sure their reputation was not at all blemished.

Jamison said...

...the most amazing thing about them:
The never asked to use my bathroom.
Now my house has some outdoor-peeing spots at NIGHT (no moon) but in the day time, privacy is almost nill. So they either have huge bladders, held it (for 6 to 10 hours at a time) or pee-ed somewhere on my property. Maybe in the gutters?

Brewster said...

Sounds like those guys really wanted to make sure their reputation was not at all blemished.

Or they were afraid of being deported. Probably work for some cheap bastard who makes them pay for any small mistake out of pocket.

Here's a question. If these guys weren't mexican, say a couple of white college kids would you have made them pay for their damages? What about some black guys?

Just curious. I would have felt sorry for the mexicans as well.

bigsip said...

I'd make the college kids pay to teach them a lesson and because I envy them and their footloose lifestyle.

Jamison said...

actually, this roofer was one of the most expensive (but insurance paid for it).

I have no proof that they were illegal or legal. I am pretty anti-illegal so I guess I was being a hypocryte by not asaking, though I am sure the owner would say they are. But I know this roofer has a good reputation, even among insurance companies, and I have a hard time beleiving he would risk his company. He has all his own trucks, his own dump truck too and most of the guys who work for him have been with him a long time. Who knows.

To answer your question I would have made the mexicans pay if they were inconsiderate of me, disrespectful, taking no effort to keep my yard clean, or bothering me all the time with requests to come in or requests for drinks. Same goes for white or black workers. If they were white or black and took effort to cover my plants, put tarp all around my house to catch debris, worked from 7am to 6pm without so much as asking to use the bathroom, and did a mangificent job (all of which these mexicans did) and all they did was put a small bend in my gutters, then I would not have demanded money from them.

If they were punks I would not have either, I would have just called the owner and complained.

But like you said, in a way I felt sorry for this guy. I could tell he and the 3 others were working hard. The look on his face when he handed me that $100 bill was the look a boy would give his girlfriend if he spent all his money on a dozen roses for her only to realize she is allergic to roses. They made big time efforts to prevent the gutter damage, and honestly, I expected worse, but was amazed that this was all that happened.

I think perhaps I am a different man than maybe some think. I get upset at somethings, but other things I accept as part of life. Like when the septic tank people came to pump out my tank, the damaged the drivewway where the truck stood. Yeah, it pains me to look at it everyday, but I have no so much as called the company to tell them.

Brewster said...

And don't get me wrong, I wasn't implying you were racist or bad or anything.

They probably were legals, but like so many Mexicans can't find a decent job. It does make me wonder though that not only would the guy have to pay for those damages out of his pocket but that he would just hand you a hundred. No bartering, no asking you to get an estimate, just here's a hundred bucks.

Jamison said...

true, to keep my mouth shut you mean to say?

bigsip said...

Believe it or not, I've seen people of other races in this type of work do the same thing.

They have no reason to do it other than to keep their good reputation for fairness and honesty.

That's why I naturally assumed that he was doing it because he wanted to keep a good rep.

mullinz8 said...

There is a Latino guy who used to work on some DIY show as a host who is a local contractor. He told me that he lets his crews hire illegals for several reasons.
First he, though he’s been in the US since he was a kid, got a football scholarship to UT and played Pro Football and is now making some really good money, knows how hard it is to be given a good opportunity from a place where is are none.
Second knows these guys because of their situation are going to do their best effort no matter the situation.
Third he tells his hiring guys that he’ll help as long as they go though the process to get legal work visas asap to not cause any problems.
Fourth by doing that it allows the person to get work at other places with ease.
The fifth reason was that most of those folks are sending money back home to their families.

I think the $100 is a combination of wanting to have a good rep, not wanting to have their boss called on a damage report and pride. Mexicans and Hispanic cultures are very proud and having caused any damage is a disappointment to the crew.

I’m glad you didn’t take the money. Front what you described it didn’t destroy the cosmetics of the house front and didn’t effect the function of the gutter so it’s really not much of an issue.

Had they been disrespectful, rude, done a crappy job or something else then I think it could be a consideration no matter their ethnic origin.

Jamison said...

fun fact:
Mexicos 2 largest income is illegals sending money back home.

They will make no effort to stop illegals from coming in.

Conspiracy time:
If a governemt is about to lose their 2nd largest form of income, they will stop at very little to keep it coming in...

Mexican-American war?