My company party was last Saturday. I’m in the landscaping business and the majority of our employees are Hispanic. Not only are they Hispanic, they are either related or came from the same town in Mexico.
My observations of the Hispanic culture are seen on a daily basis. We do like to discuss our similarities and differences. I work in the office all day, alone. They tell me it would be torture to be alone all day, let alone inside. The thought of me eating lunch alone on a daily basis had one of the men pat me on the shoulder and tell me things will get better. Like I had just contacted a deadly disease… I actually prefer the solitary environment. I did try to think to myself if I’ve ever seen one Mexican, alone, for longer than a few minutes. .. Hmmm. Nope! They are a very social bunch that travel in herds.
I’m respected in my job, but I’m also not known as the estimator or plant buyer, I’m the ‘Bosses Secretary’. I’m also the person who orders their uniforms, this job hat is the worst. They complain they don’t get their micro-chipped uniforms back and expect me to dig through the dirty clothes bin. Um, no, I’m not your wife or girlfriend.
I’m also fascinated with everyone having 2 to 3 names each. .. Hmmm. There’s the one the check is made out to, the one that is on their drivers license and the one they actually go by is the name I get on their shirts. So, Roland, Raymond and Kiki is the same guy, as well as Manuel, Juan and Pepe. Considering I’ve got 8 Juan’s, and others have the SAME name as they are father / son or uncle / nephew, the nicknames work for me.
They also tell me they don’t actually get married. I’m not sure if they aren’t completely legal or what exactly keeps them from signing official paperwork, but after a year of dating, you’re just considered married. Then comes the bambinos! There are 4 grandfathers at our company and they are all under 45. They obviously started early!
I do not speak Spanish. Maybe a word here and there, but never wanted to learn either. I feel you’re here in the U.S., speak English. If I moved to Mexico, I would learn Spanish. (I am learning ASL or American Sign Language) Most of our men can speak English, especially the foremen, so communication is not usually a huge problem. But, when I have to make an announcement, I at least make the effort to go to a translation site and translate my announcement in Spanish. I even go the extra step to translate it back to see if it actually reads close to what I’m trying to say. What I’m learning is there are many regions and different versions of Spanish that I’m never really translating it spot-on to what version they speak. Someone back there is nice enough to write it in the Spanish they speak and when the announcement is over, I take the memo back to type it correctly for next time. I have put what they give me back in the translator and it understands most of it, but not all. It has to be like our version of the Northerners saying ‘you’ and the Southerners saying ‘ya’all’.
The menu for the day was truly Mexican fare. There was a pork layered in onions on the spit with a pineapple dripping down onto it. She also had beef and chicken. Mexicans do not put cheese or sour cream on their tacos, us Gringos concocted that. They use cilantro, red onions, avocados and hot sauce.
This was a shrimp dish with red sauce and lots of cilantro. This was spooned over sliced avocado, sprayed with fresh cut lime and you scoop your shrimp up with a saltine. Not a huge fan of cilantro, but they put it in everything. This was really good though!
I’m also not a beer fan at all. There is nothing good to become of me consuming beer. BUT, this Medelo beer was pretty good. I put a lime in it… Another Gringo move.
I normally just salt my watermelon. But again with the hot sauce for them, but topping it with freshly squeezed lime really finished this watermelon off. I ate a few servings of this!
2 month old husky. Cutie pie! She was dreaming doing the puppy running man.
I call this ‘children soup’. There was no way I was going in there.
Everyone must be thrown into pool. Aside from me & the owner’s wife. We were exempt.
The boss decided the pond was the better swimming option. Koi over children.
© Ilex Farrell ~ Midwestern Plant Girl