Monday, September 15, 2008

For All Those "Little Guys" Out There...

Thank you for all you do - here, on our compound, to keep things beautiful and green and clean and safe! You are ALL deserving of much, much, much more than a simple thank you.

I frequently refer to all of the men out working on our compound as the "little guys." Not all of them are actually "little," but it would be accurate to say that the majority of them really are not very big - they do not carry large bodies and do not have large frames. Not that that should come as a surprise to anyone, because, after all they are doing physical labor, day in and day out, toiling in the heat and fierce sun. I suspect I'd be a lot thinner than I am if I were doing the same. My idea of "working outside" involves sitting either next to the pool or lounging on a float in the pool. Sure, I joke about it being hard work - and to a degree, it is - there are not too many people that can stand being outside in the sun for the hours that I am. I just happen to be a sun worshiper and the heat - unless it comes with humidity - doesn't bother me at all. However, my "working" hardly expends or burns the calories that the "little guys" out there do.

Yesterday morning, while walking with my Kids, we came to the corner where there is a large open field-like common area - one we routinely walk through as it is much cooler on my Kids' feet to walk in the grass than on the cement and concrete. The sprinklers were going full blast. Although I don't mind getting a little "damp" with reconstituted water - I am adverse to taking a shower in it. Just as we got to that particular spot, one of the "little guys" in a yellow jumpsuit came bolting across the soccer field and raced to the sprinkler "controls." He turned the sprinklers off - just so The Kids and I could walk through our grassy common area. Is that just not the sweetest thing? I was touched. I thanked him profusely as The Kids and I walked by him and through the grassy area. The "little guy" remained, crouched down by the sprinkler controls, waiting until we were far enough away to not be sprayed by the water before he turned the sprinklers back on.

We see these "little guys" every single morning. We see them as they are getting off the buses that bring them to our compound from wherever it is they live - probably in tents somewhere - or in some rundown squalor where they are housed eight and ten men to a room where they have slept on mats on a floor... They all wear one-piece coveralls in various colors - mostly tan and yellow - but quite a few wear a medium blue, some wear navy, and some reddish-orange, and more than a few wear dark brownl. When we first got here, I surmised that the different color coveralls had to do with what jobs were being done. That wasn't quite correct, and the different color coveralls actually define the different companies that these "little" guys work for. Not every company has a different color - there are a few companies that use the yellow coveralls, and quite a few companies that use the tan coveralls. The yellow is a good safety color - you can see it from a long way off and through the bushes. The tan is a good color insofar as hiding "dirt" and stains that one might muss their clothing with, outside, but it also "blends" in with everything on our compound - which is a tan-gray sand color. The guys in tan are the lucky ones - they are almost camouflaged - and can barely be seen - which would give them the perfect opportunity to "hide" if they were looking to slack off [I suspect there are very, very few slackers... with so many foremen keeping an eye on things.] Truly I feel sorry for the "little guys" that work for the companies which have chosen brown or navy coveralls as their company uniform. Yeah. You WANT to be outside with the sun beating down on you wearing brown or navy blue. Not! [Welcome to a woman's world, here, where they are forced to wear head-to-toe black!]

For all of the "little guys" out there, working, that my Kids and I come into contact with - although it may have been quite scary the first time we walked past you - the size of The Boy alone frightens many of them - we - the three of us - The Boy, The Baby and me - are a morning fixture at this point. You recognize us, and although I don't know any of these "little guys" by name, I recognize them - some by their faces, and some by the various colored scarfs they wear around their necks, or their heads, and on dusty days - their faces. We - The Kids and I - greet them all. "Good morning," or "Hello, how are you today?" And I smile. Doesn't matter if I am in a bad mood or not - it is nothing any of these "little guys" have done to me that would put me in such a mind frame. Others, here, yes, but not the "little guys" that are out there working so hard every single day - long shifts, six and seven days a week. Their lives are rough and tough enough. They do NOT need me snarling at them! More and more, every day, I notice that it is not ME making the initial morning gesture to greet these men anymore. Instead, they are the ones greeting me. No doubt, had I not have made the efforts in the past to encourage the greetings then we would silently walk by each other - but I have been saying "Good morning" to each and every one them that I see for years, now. I hope that I am not alone - and that the other "Kid walkers" out there do the same, or the women that are out walking in small groups, or jogging, or riding their bikes. Something tells me though, that the women on this compound that walk around the golf course trails and paths, or through the common area parks, covered in their head-to-toe black are for sure not acknowledging these "little guys." They barely acknowledge me - and that's if we are making direct eye contact!

The effort to say "Hello, how are you today?" or "Good morning" with a smile is so minimal, and yet, seems to have made quite an impact. I am greeted with smiles and hellos during the entire time I am out walking with The Kids. And, apparently that impact includes some concern, as well, with the one young man sprinting across a soccer field to turn off the sprinklers and wait until The Kids and I were past to turn it back on - preventing us from being soaked in reconstituted water - done the whole while with a smile on his face. He made me smile - too - on the inside; not just on the outside with a facial expression. And, as I type this, this morning, I am still smiling. Thanks "little guy" in the yellow coveralls! I sincerely appreciate that you wanted to make sure that The Kids and I didn't get wet as we made our rounds yesterday morning walking through the area where you were working...

No comments:

Post a Comment

Site Meter