Sunday, November 09, 2008


Oh - get over the image that accompanies this post. The guy is slightly less subservient than some of the pictures out there of men who do actually shine shoes for a living.

This chap just does it for fun....................I'm assuming.

The other day, on my way to DC, I was going through the TSA lines when I looked at how beat up my security friendly shoes looked. I mean, really bad!

I had some time to kill before boarding and actually went to a shoe-shine guy in the terminal. The guy was really nice and like anyone does the day before the election and after a Sunday - we talked politics and football. Ruckiry (not Jon's boss), I was listening to local NPR and heard about how the Browns had done the day before - so I could at least repeat stuff I heard. Yes, I could care less than football. Sue me.

Shining shoes was my first real job - I doubt I have ever told anyone that. I had baby-sat and even caddied at a country club, but there were no W-2 forms for those jobs. Scott Janda and myself would sit in a county club locker room polishing the shoes of the members who went to play golf. Then we would clean their cleats upon their return. Glamorous - huh?

In the downtime, we'd clean the bathrooms and showers. Fun fun fun!

For this I think we got paid the stellar wage of $2.15/hr. Sure there were tips, but it went to the drunk "manager" of the area - who just sat their drinking Thunderbird and smoking cigars. He never shined a thing during my employ. He also never shared the tips. Douche.

Clearly it wasn't a great job, but it was a good first job. It taught me about life, about work ethic, about discipline (not unlike the guy in the picture - I'm assuming!). Each job I had after that was a step up: busboy, grocery store packer (hehehehe - I said 'packer'), truck driver, beer vendor@ Sea World , blah blah blah....

I thought, on some level, I could connect with the guy in the airport, but then thought better of it to say I did what he did when I was 13. This man could not have been more engaging or friendly, and it wasn't even 7a yet.

Honestly - he made my trip. Not just a good start, but everytime I'd look at my now, not so crappy shoes.

Song by: Cyndi Lauper

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

How much did it cost? And you SPOKE to the shoe shine man besides saying "thank you."????