nothing to dispel the stereotype
Thursday, November 7 2002
Today Gretchen hired some movers to move all the remaining large pieces of furniture that wouldn't fit in my truck. They arrived in the early afternoon, and it was my job to show the mover homeslices where to put everything. Being of the bourgeoise landowning class, I didn't actually have to carry anything myself. The two mover guys were some sort of east Asian, and Jesus Christ were they strong! They didn't appear to have too much difficulty carrying a couch with a hide-a-bed up to the second floor. That damn thing has been the star player in most of Gretchen's moves in recent memory, having been sawed in half and put back together twice. Now it's consigned to my space on the second floor; despite its incredible comfort, Gretchen has grown weary of its style. From Pier One she's bought a brand new couch that, though more in keeping with her sense of fashion, is only slightly more comfortable than a gunny sack stuffed with bricks.
The movers did nothing to dispel the stereotype that Asians are no-nonsense avoiders of smalltalk. Just because they were Asian I tried several times to get them engaged in a meaningless conversation about nature and the weather, but I only succeeded briefly during one such attempt, and it quickly devolved into a Zen-like silence as the yellow leaves of autumn shook against a flawless blue sky. When they were all done and had charged my long-dormant Discover card for what I owed, one of them asked me if I had any tips. "Sure," I said, and I handed him a $20. It was nowhere near ten percent, but shit, who am I to know the protocol for such things? I got the feeling that the mover regarded the tip as shame-inducingly small, because his conversation was suddenly curt and I noticed he was also avoiding eye contact.
Gretchen and Sally arrived just at the movers were leaving.
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