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Brief encounter with migrant workers
Old 03-14-2019, 08:04 PM   #1
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Brief encounter with migrant workers

DW and I play golf where the course is inside vineyard. It uses migrant workers for much of what needs to be done. Today, they were out in force. As we walk down a long par 5 hole, I see them taking a lunch break near the vineyard & fairway border. My drive ended up near where they are resting. As I walk toward my ball to hit, a worker tosses several golf balls he found toward me. He's giving them to me and I thanked him. Then, the worker next to him does the same, and another, and another. Before long, I have 20+ golf balls at my feet. Although most of them I can't use, I picked them up and showed my appreciation. I was moved by their gesture of giving.



As I walk away with two pocket full of golf balls, I wondered. What are they thinking when they look at us, playing golf on a weekday? Are they envious of us? resent us? Are they making enough money to send home? What are their living condition? I also thought of my early years in US. While in high school, I worked as a janitor after school. We cleaned an entire story of a high rise building. When office people saw us, what were they thinking, if at all? Did they pity us? looked down on us? It made me pause and reflect. I felt a connection between the workers and me. I turned around and waved at them. They returned my waive.



(Oh, my golf game sucked today. )
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Old 03-14-2019, 08:14 PM   #2
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Some of the most pleasant and memorable interactions I've had during life have been with people who we're much better off than me, yet polite and honest with me.
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Old 03-14-2019, 08:21 PM   #3
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Find a lot of generosity in folks without a bunch to give. Good for you expressing your gratitude for their gesture. Your game may have sucked but you had a real good day, no?
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Old 03-14-2019, 08:33 PM   #4
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I believe it shows you were treating them respectfully and not acting condescending. Sure they know you are playing golf and not working, while they are working at a job requiring labor and physical effort. I would guess they just viewed you as a nice guy when you showed appreciation and some small gesture of waving. Probably better than they might get from others. I am sure they are not able to play golf and use the golf balls, so you were a good way for them to be(in their mind) recycled and used again.
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Old 03-14-2019, 09:01 PM   #5
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I live about 10 miles from the Mexico border and up to 15 years ago would regularly run into groups of migrants crossing over during my hikes in the mountains. Haven't seen any in years, the border patrol presence in this area has increased tenfold. Never had any issues when I did run into them, the vast majority I'm sure are hard working and just looking for a chance for a better life.
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Old 03-14-2019, 09:07 PM   #6
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Your game may have sucked but you had a real good day, no?

Bad day at golf > good day at work
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Old 03-14-2019, 09:14 PM   #7
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As the child of immigrants, whose parents and other relatives were in similar situations, my experience is that they likely were not thinking about you beyond "Hey, he plays golf. He uses golf balls. He is polite. We have golf balls. Let's give them to him".
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Old 03-14-2019, 09:17 PM   #8
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I am around Hispanics all day long. I love the culture. I have seen them be generous to me when they have relatively not much. They are very family oriented. Love their kids. Love their family. If you get a chance go to a Quincineros. 15th birthday. It is awesome. I have been to modest ones that are beautiful. And fancy ones that are close to a wedding in the ceremonies

Not that you did anything wrong but maybe drop a ten spot for em?
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Old 03-14-2019, 09:17 PM   #9
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" I wondered. What are they thinking when they look at us, playing golf on a weekday? Are they envious of us? resent us?"
I thought of that old line "I never got a paycheck from a poor man". I'd bet they are aware that guys that play golf on a weekday are a big part of what pays their salary. So probably grateful in a way, probably a bit envious in away as well (who wouldn't want to work instead of play).

I've worked on products that were too $$$ for me to buy, not much different. I was glad there was a market for them.


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I believe it shows you were treating them respectfully and not acting condescending. ... .
Agreed. I would notice at work, when we were there late and the cleaning staff came through. Some manager types would be kind to them, pass the wastebasket over to them from behind their desk, acknowledge them and say 'thanks'. Others acted like they were invisible. It spoke volumes about their character.

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I live about 10 miles from the Mexico border and up to 15 years ago would regularly run into groups of migrants crossing over during my hikes in the mountains. Haven't seen any in years, the border patrol presence in this area has increased tenfold. Never had any issues when I did run into them, the vast majority I'm sure are hard working and just looking for a chance for a better life.
I don't know, but I assume many/most are here legally on temporary visas (or whatever the mechanism is, I'm ignorant of how that works).

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Old 03-14-2019, 09:46 PM   #10
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I don't know, but I assume many/most are here legally on temporary visas (or whatever the mechanism is, I'm ignorant of how that works).
-ERD50

The number of undocumented immigrants in the US has been going down but it's still estimated to be around 10M, I would think many of them are working.
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Old 03-14-2019, 10:55 PM   #11
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The number of undocumented immigrants in the US has been going down but it's still estimated to be around 10M, I would think many of them are working.
in Agriculture it is 70/80/90% undocumented.
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Old 03-14-2019, 11:13 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by 38Chevy454 View Post
I believe it shows you were treating them respectfully and not acting condescending. Sure they know you are playing golf and not working, while they are working at a job requiring labor and physical effort. I would guess they just viewed you as a nice guy when you showed appreciation and some small gesture of waving. Probably better than they might get from others. I am sure they are not able to play golf and use the golf balls, so you were a good way for them to be(in their mind) recycled and used again.

Recycling help save earth. I will go through the balls and put them to use.
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Old 03-14-2019, 11:30 PM   #13
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Recycling help save earth. I will go through the balls and put them to use.

Paint a red stripe around the duds and hit them the next time you go to the driving range. They'll live a happy life there for a long time.
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Old 03-15-2019, 03:24 AM   #14
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This is what makes America great. We all come from different lands and we are all immigrants. And also to mention all the great food options we have our in our diverse country!
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Old 03-15-2019, 08:04 AM   #15
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With all the negativity and hatred in the news lately, I needed this series of positive posts about migrants. Thanks!!
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Old 03-15-2019, 08:19 AM   #16
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Agreed. I would notice at work, when we were there late and the cleaning staff came through. Some manager types would be kind to them, pass the wastebasket over to them from behind their desk, acknowledge them and say 'thanks'. Others acted like they were invisible. It spoke volumes about their character.

When I was in college, I worked briefly as a cleaning person in an office building. I was the only non-hispanic worker, other than the boss. The office workers left at 5PM, and the cleaning staff started working right after that. The protocol was that they would hide in a vacant conference room until the office workers left, so as not to be seen. It's one of the most degrading things I've ever experienced in a workplace, and it still bothers me to this day.
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Old 03-15-2019, 08:30 AM   #17
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When I was in college, I worked briefly as a cleaning person in an office building. I was the only non-hispanic worker, other than the boss. The office workers left at 5PM, and the cleaning staff started working right after that. The protocol was that they would hide in a vacant conference room until the office workers left, so as not to be seen. It's one of the most degrading things I've ever experienced in a workplace, and it still bothers me to this day.
That would bother me too. We can thank a migrant in the quality of food and drink we have each and everyday.
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Old 03-15-2019, 08:32 AM   #18
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As the child of immigrants, whose parents and other relatives were in similar situations, my experience is that they likely were not thinking about you beyond "Hey, he plays golf. He uses golf balls. He is polite. We have golf balls. Let's give them to him".
+1. Ditto. My outlook on life as well.
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Old 03-15-2019, 08:37 AM   #19
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My first 6 years in KC were spent in a sawmill, I was one of the few skilled workers there. There were many people from different walks of life. One gentleman was on death row for 13 years before his conviction was overturned. Some people were in the country illegally. Many of them were illiterate and worked with their backs. In most cases they were the best workers, doing hard jobs others would refuse to do.

I met some very generous people who showed me they're the same as anyone else. It's not about where you are from, or your education. None of that is mutually exclusive with being a good human!
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Old 03-15-2019, 08:47 AM   #20
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I have to admit I read through this topic expecting some vulgar comment to be made about the minority workforce we have coming across the border.


It was a pleasant surprise to see fellow retirees treating them with respect. The majority of migrant workers I have encountered were always respectful and did outstanding work in jobs most people shunned.


In my real estate investments I worked with numerous trades in the construction business and am amazed at skill and pride they have in their craft.


Thanks for the post.
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