Thursday, December 15, 2011

Never Pay a Mozo Mid Week; A lesson in Mexico's culture

This last week has been full of things that don't work. Power, phone, stove, ways to keep the Tejones (tropical raccoon like things) out of my food, etc.
My ever faithful mozo Eduardo (groundskeeper among many other things) has tried to help with all these things. I appreciate him very much, and I like him as a person.
That said...I learned a good lesson yesterday. This is one of those lessons you actually know but have never had to learn directly.
Yesterday was Wednesday and I had just come back from changing some dollars to pesos in PV, so I decided to pay Eduardo for the week before and the rest of this week. Also, gave him the pay I owed his wife. This was at about 11am. I had a list of things to do for the rest of the day but had to go out for a bit. And left him cleaning the plastic on the roof.
When I returned about 45min later, he was no where to be found. At that point a distinctly familiar cigarette weathered New York accent entered my mind "Never pay a mozo mid week!". Now I can't say if this was a memory, a ghost, or just my own imagination, but it is great advice!
Peggy had a few mozos that, no matter how hard working and loyal, were drinkers. I remember sometimes they would party all weekend and not show up Monday morning. Or show up drunk still.
At this point I thought, well maybe he had to leave urgently or something is wrong with the water and he went to check it...he must have a good reason. All the while resonating in my mind is "Never pay a mozo mid week!"
I decided to head to the beach and meet up with some friends. On the way I ran into Eduardo's wife. I asked if she had seen him and she said no. But with a sort of "no, but I might have an idea" look.
When I got to the beach the first thing I see is Eduardo and a group of guys and a case of beer. I was walking with a friend and they asked if I was going to go talk to him. I said, no and that it was my fault NEVER PAY A MOZO MID WEEK!
When I woke up this morning I waited hopefully for Eduardo to ring the bell at precisely 8am as he does Monday through Friday. Worried that I lost him for the rest of the week. 8am passed and no bell.
Then at 8:15am the blessed bell rings and a few minutes later I hear sweeping. I smiled, and got up to say hello and talk about the days work. Glad to have learned my lesson but also very glad to have Eduardo who, even though he bailed for an afternoon, showed up ready to work in the morning.
Things here don't always work perfectly or quickly or when you think they should, but it really makes you appreciate when they work at all.

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