My Feeble Attempt to Prevent a Non-Dog Related Injustice

Sorry, not so much as a dog pic to be posted here.  This has nothing to do with dogs.

As you know, my day job is as a  landscape maintenance worker, where I am my only full time employee.

There are times, however, when I need additional help, and that is how I met E-.

E-‘s father has been working with me, on a very part time basis since E- was a wee one.  I remember E- coming to work with his dad, because there was no one to watch him, and he would quietly amuse himself in his dad’s vehicle.  Rarely did I ever hear a peep out of the kid.  Even when he did peep, it was at break times, and he was with his dad.

E- has grown up a little.  He will be graduating from High School on May 21.  E- is a very good student, taking AP classes.   I have no clue what Financial Algebra is, but it’s an elective class he is now finishing.  He’s on the track team.  If he can swing it, he will be the first of his family to see the inside of a University, at least as a student.

Against my better judgment, and having very bad experiences giving teenagers a chance on my jobs, a couple years ago, at the request of E-‘s father, I gave E- a try.  He wasn’t even of the same caliper as those young pups who came before him.  He was responsible, accountable, very hard-working and serious about the mundane work he was asked to perform.  He’s been my #2 part time go-to guy ever since.

I always assumed the relationship between me and E- was temporary as we discussed his future on more than one occasion.  That future did not include following in the footsteps of his uncles (landscaping) or father (delivery driver for a uniform company).   As we approach E-‘s transition from student to real world, I fear our relationship will continue, and that is where the injustice lies.

E-‘s father, when we have discussed E-‘s future plants, seems completely ambivalent to E-‘s current aspirations, a  University education, followed by a career in law enforcement.  E-‘s father, through his actions, promotes work, even if it’s menial, over being a kid.  His value system, which I really can’t blame him for given his own history, is that if extra work comes up, there is nothing else as important.  Therefore, drop your life and go to work.

I have not spoken to E-‘s mother in a few years, but recent discussions with E- lead me to believe she is equally ambivalent, and rather than thinking of his future, she is more interested in what small bits of change he can make now.

E- does not have the money to go to a 4 year University right now, NAU being his school of choice, so he is taking a year or 2 off to save up. During that time, he wants to take community college courses to get as far ahead as possible.  Go E-!

Here’s the meat of the  injustice:

E-‘s mother is pushing him into a dead-end, pyramid job that isn’t worth noting on a resume.  E-‘s father would be happy if E- found a full-time position on a landscape crew.  Both paths destined to leave E- following in his family employment footsteps.  E-‘s respect for his parents and their wishes furthers him down a road he shouldn’t be on.     That he is a Mexican-American, and the only employment history he can list on a resume is working for me, in landscaping, only insures that path.   Already that history has prevented him from getting a ‘respectable’ job, even in retail.

I don’t want E- to have to work for me, or anyone else like me, ever again.

For that reason, I sit here, imploring any reader who has access to employers or anyone who knows an employer in the Metropolitan Phoenix area:

E- is a remarkable individual and I refuse to sit back and let his life be chosen for him.  E- is very intelligent, responsible, hard-working, adaptable and cooperative.  The best thing he ever got from his father is a work ethic you can’t find anymore in adults in this country, let alone teenagers.  As far as his integrity, I accidentally over paid him today.  He called me to tell me.  Find anyone, even in a religious based company, who will do that.

There is nothing this kid can’t do, and though training might be necessary – he’s an instantaneous learner.   He is naturally bi-lingual, English and Spanish, and has taken a few years of French.  As an aside, he said he wanted to learn Portuguese as well.  (Really?)

Our discussions of his school projects and papers have gone so far over my head, I can’t even see the bottom of them, and I have 2 college degrees.

I can see this kid excelling as a researcher for a lawyer, academic or other professional who needs research assistance.

That he is a highly qualified interpreter goes without question.   If a company needs a great interpreter who can multi-task with other non-language jobs, E- is your man.

Again, what the heck is Financial Algebra, and what would make a kid take it voluntarily?!?!?!

If you are an employer, if you just meet this kid, if you give him a chance, I promise you, without even knowing what position you offer, you will be impressed.  You might even send me flowers as a thank you.

Please, share this post with anyone and everyone you know in case someone might have a connection with a company that can make the difference between a shameful waste and a success story, both for E- and the company that hires him.

If anyone is interested in getting E-‘s contact information, please respond to



21 thoughts on “My Feeble Attempt to Prevent a Non-Dog Related Injustice

  1. I hope he can get something to start him on a good career path. It would be great if your desire to help is rewarded. Here in South Australia we have places where youth unemployment is as high as 26%. At the moment ours in running about 18% and not looking much better for the foreseeable future. With a lot of these kids, all they need is a start and all they get is “Fast Food” dead end jobs – and these are the lucky ones!

    1. Teenage unemployment is high here as well. Sad thing is, kids with no work history, and no ambition, seem to be turning up behind counters everywhere. This kid, he can’t even get a call back on an application!

      1. Yes that’s one thing the kids do complain about – that no one ever bothers to write back – even if it’s just to say thank you, “but not at this time”

  2. My peep works for the biggest jerk in the world-He’s also self employed. It’s also a conglomerate of one. You might consider letting E do your accounting, billing and other stuff. Put that Financial Algebra to work. It sounds a lot like Financial Alchemy which is being practiced in DC.

    1. Ah Kyla, you, like others believe I make a lot more $$ than I do. I had to give up the accountant years ago. People don’t put much value in landscape maintenance workers. We are expected to deliver the moon for pennies on the $$. Right now I’m working an abscess on my hand that I can’t even get lanced by a professional.

      I’m getting old and tired, the body is breaking down. Kind of hoping I can get out of landscaping and become a chef for dogs like you.

      1. OOOH, a personal chef for ME-I like it.

        What E needs is experience. The age-old problem, nobody will hire you unless you have experience, but how do you get it. You don’t have to start E out at a fantastic salary-it’s a learning experience that he can put on his resumé. Give E what he makes as a landscaper (quiets the parents) and jump start him. He’ll never forget you.

      2. True story: Today, in fact, I estimated a job. This particular job, I happen to know what the property owner is paying the existing maintenance company.

        The reason for the estimate request is that the homeowner is unhappy with her current landscaper, and knows I’m reliable (neighbor to my client). She even commented during out discussion today that I offer services within the maintenance agreement that her prior landscaper charged extra for.

        When it came time for the price, I told her the exact same # she was already paying to the crew she didn’t like. She won’t be hiring me because I charge too much. She’s still in the market for another landscaper, and chances are she will be paying more than she is currently paying (I’m actually underpriced – and so was her landscaper), for less comprehensive and less reliable service.

        ‘Tis the world I live in. I don’t have the extra money to pay E for accounting work. Any extra I get goes to help with larger jobs – and I need help in the field.

        We’re both in a bad circle right now.

  3. You are such a nice guy to try and help this young man. If I knew of anyone in Arizona, I would ask them to consider hiring E because of your comments. I hope someone sees what an asset he would be to any business and I wish him success. 🙂

    1. Thanks Linda. PS: I’m not a guy. I’m the equivalent of several guys on a job. Translation: I am woman hear me roar!

  4. So, tell us – just where did you get your work ethic? Didn’t your parents want you to take just a bit of time off to be a kid? Why did you choose to work so hard? I just can’t figure that out.

  5. Reblogged this on The Rubenesque Hippo and commented:
    In case I have some readers in the Phoenix area!! I would trust Crazy Dog Lady with my dogs!! (or the human puppy, but I don’t think she would take her lol)

  6. I reblogged and shared on Facebook (and the reblogging will show to my Facebook and Twitter as well, for what little it is worth). I will be praying for E-. The world just keeps getting tougher, and there seems to be so little hope. My adult son works for an Arm & Hammer plant and my youngest son right now believes he wants to be a mechanic (I’m still hoping he might take up farming for what it’s worth; but he hasn’t seen enough of it to be all that excited by it yet – he did love welding in Ag this year).

    So hoping that something works out for him. It’s rare these days to find hard-working, conscientious teenagers, and they deserve every chance they can get, moreso when they’re trying to “pull themselves up” like that.

    1. Thank you so much for the shares!

      I actually had a heart to heart with E’s father last weekend. Turns out, it’s not he doesn’t support his son, it’s that no one in the family knows how to help him.

      The school is money strapped – no guidance counselors to help either.

      Some people have sent me some local contact names as far as help with the FAFSA and scholarship hunts, and one has volunteered to help E with the paper work. Doesn’t help with the job in the meantime, but hopefully helps with the long haul!

      1. Every little bit helps. In the meantime, a few of my friends shared the message. A few here, a few there, lots of hope and covering it with prayer. It is what we can do for now. I am grateful that you have such a heart for him!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s