Shine

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 on the drive the the airport 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

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