Friday, March 12, 2010

Equal Opportunity Employer

My former gearshop was truly an equal-opportunity employer. One day a man walked into the shop and asked for a job. He'd been living in a cabin on a remote tract of land in Wisconsin by himself for several years. He'd saved enough money to buy the land and supplies, then he built the cabin and tried to support his meager needs only through the sale of his art. He was coming out of the cabin for air and trying to find work to replenish his bank account before returning to the woods. My boss hired him on the spot, and he put his backpack in the basement and began working immediately. We sent him outside to do some handyman work, and it got a little weird when he came back into the store wearing only his hiking boots and short cutoffs to ask for water. Evidently he hadn't spent much of his recent time hanging out in retail stores. He ate hotdogs for every meal and kept his work clothes in the basement next to our shower. Then one day he packed back up and left. Hopefully his art proved more marketable this time around.

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