Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Humbled (and inspired!) by the Immigrant Work Ethic

( this is why it's good to go through your archived files every so often... I stumbled across this note I wrote to myself back in 2007... posting it here mostly so I don't lose it again. )

So, I'm having lunch today at Noodles & Co. and I see this guy who looks familiar.  Hispanic guy.  He's having lunch too and it looks like he works at the restaurant. He might be a cook (they appear to have different color baseball caps than the "front of house" staff )

I look a little more closely and recognize where I know him from.  I see him four days a week because he *also* works nights cleaning up the offices at the client site where I'm working.  I'm pretty sure he's an immigrant, based on his english in the various exchanges I've had with him, which consist mostly of smiling and nodding...

As I look at this man eating his lunch, all my reasons (read: excuses) for why *my* life goals aren't farther along ring especially hollow.  I can take care of my family with *one* job, so what is my excuse for not being farther along that I'd like to be in terms of life goals?

I'll spare you the torture of reading more of my introspection, but I was humbled... and I am inspired.  I'm inspired because of a self-image that *knows* that I'm cut from the same cloth as this man.  I've always known this, I've been watching my Grandparents and Parents striving and working their asses off for all of my life.  But I guess sometimes you just need to see it with a degree of separation to be reminded...  So they next time I thank this guy for getting my wastebasket at 6:30pm, I'll be thanking him for much more than that.

I'm not assuming this dude is undocumented... and I'm ambivalent about many aspects of the immigration debate here in the States, but we are *so* in-trouble down the road if we make it any harder for people like this to come here (from wherever!)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Chicago Record Stores: Dave's Records

This installment in the Chicago Record Stores series will focus on Dave's records.

Definitely one of my favorite record stores in the city, Dave's is *truly* a "record" store. That is, it's all vinyl, no cds!

Now, I'm not hatin' on CDs, whatever carries the good tunes works for me, but there is much to be admired in the purity of Dave's approach.

While you might assume that because of the "vinyl purist" approach, the shop would be snooty, but nothing could be further from the truth.

The proprietor Dave has been in the music business for 25+ years and is a wealth of knowledge. Whenever I'm there, he always has great suggestions for me (and dammit, I always leave spending more than I'd planned!)

There was a period in my collecting where I was easily there once a week. I've become a less frequent visitor since, but my recent trip has reminded my of the place's awesomeness. Although Dave's focus is music, it is a strong case for why independent retail should not perish from the earth, to paraphrase Abe Lincoln (right about now, Dave would be finding some Abe Lincoln themed spoken word album to blow my mind with.... word!)