Last week, we moved into a new apartment. It is open concept with nice upgrades but the heat of August and the energy drain of moving could have taken away the shine of the new appliances. In hindsight, perhaps, it was heat exhaustion. I probably should have drank more water and rested a bit. But, I digress.
As is our custom, we hired a couple of day laborers and asked them what their wage was. It was fare so we drove to the old place. I mostly pointed at big furniture pieces and they picked up, having moved all of boxes the day and night before with friends. It seems it takes a village to move too.
Everything went according to plan and to my A- type schedule until I gave them water and then I asked their names. One of the guys offered both: “Philippe and Pedro.” Despite my weariness, I understood immediately that he was communicating the stereotype and the assumption. I raised my eyebrow and we shared a smile.
I asked him again, “What is your name?” and they introduced themselves as Omar and Juan. They both had families and lived in the neighborhood. The conversation had been superficial before now but a second glance allowed us to see each other not as day laborers and mover but as Juan, Omar, Starlette and John. To God be the glory!