How many people actually work for a living?
In his book Reason, former U.S. Treasury Secretary Robert Reich asks just that question. Reich insists most of us don't actually work. Sure we show up at the office, get stressed out and we DO something but it can't be called work. Work is bailing hay, moving pianos, assembling engine blocks and laying pavement.
Last week the boss, Mike Bendixen, took me to the Tim Hortons on St-Clair just west of Dufferin. They put me behind the counter for forty five minutes and I watched people work. Samantha, Samantha and Debbie schooled me in the chaos of producing dozens of different hot and cold drinks and mixing them with whatever combination of creams and sugars customers crave. The art is showering a client with personal attention and producing whatever they want in about thirty seconds before moving on to the next person in line. Debbie works from 7:30 in the morning until 5:30 in the afternoon. She greets many of the clients by name and she knows how they take their coffee. She works her butt off and has a smile for every person who walks up to her cash.
These workers are the backbone and face of the franchise. I watched them hustle (and got in their way for the most part) for three quarters of an hour and I was exhausted. Now that's working for a living.
On another subject: Good on the Ford Brothers for leading a trade mission to Chicago. But it's time to get over the persecution complex. Reporters are asking tough questions because you guys keep landing in oddball situations. And with apologies to the city I love, let's not get carried away thinking that this was Nixon in China. The Illinois media paid almost no attention with the exception of this somewhat unfortunate account published on the NBC website. Money quote: "Although the Toronto Sun portrayed him as Jake Blues, he actually looks more like Jim Belushi’s brother-in-law on According to Jim than John Belushi. And he has the personality of Saturday Night Live motivational speaker Matt Foley. Ford is so loud and obese it wouldn’t have been surprising if he’d applied for asylum in the United States."