A Story about Guillermo
Last night was the first night of Chanukah and also Christmas Eve. For various reasons including illnesses in the family, my wife and I ate dinner at a local restaurant that we frequent.
Guillermo (not his real name) was there. He has been a busboy at that restaurant for many years.
In my mind, the term “busboy” is demeaning, especially for a person like Guillermo who is perhaps in his 40s or 50s.
But I suppose “busboy” is the job description for such an unskilled laborer who assists the waiters, clears the dishes and cleans and sets the tables.
It is likely a minimum wage job.
I do not know much about Guillermo except that I know he works at several restaurants and has two or three jobs concurrently to support himself and his family. I have seen him elsewhere.
I do not know his immigration status and it is none of my business, although I certainly fear for him now that things have changed politically.
Guillermo is one of the hardest workers I have ever come across. He is quick, efficient and diligent, respectful of customers, and so industrious and dedicated to his job.
At the end of the meal, I approached Guillermo privately, as I have done in past Decembers, and discreetly handed him some cash, wishing him a Merry Christmas.
“I always appreciate how hard you work,” I said to him.
I received a huge smile and a warm embrace in return.
In Wikipedia, the concept of dignity expresses “the idea that a being has an innate right to be valued, respected, and to receive ethical treatment.” See, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dignity
I suppose that is the moral of this story.
David I. Karp is a full time independent mediator of real estate and business disputes in Southern California. His website is at http://karpmediation.com .