Wednesday, April 08, 2009

My co-workers: Greg the Parking Lot Guy

There is a parking lot two doors down from the tasting room that my boss happens to own – in addition to the four retail spaces adjacent to ours on the block. She contracts out the work to a very successful company in the Bay Area, and our main parking attendant is a dude named Greg.

Greg is twenty-seven years old, and has parked cars at 609 Bridgeway for over four years. To say that it is a surprisingly lucrative profession is an understatement – last year he bought his first house.

Greg is kinda tall with short brown hair and a sun-ruddy face, talks with his mouth pushed to the side of his face, and wears his uniform pants much lower than has been fashionable since, oh, I don’t know… 8th grade. (Seriously, I’ve seen him holding them up with his hands before while walking.) He definitely comes off as a bit of a stoner. He knows how to run the lot brilliantly, but sometimes people gripe about him for some rookie mistakes – leaving people’s windows down, changing the position of the drivers seat, that kind of thing. Actually, apparently it’s happened so frequently that his boss would have kicked him to the curb, so to speak, had my tasting room’s owner not fought to keep him around and defended his loyalty.

Because loyal he is. You could not ask for someone nicer than Greg to have around. Need help sifting through the dirty cardboard pile to put it out for recycling? Greg is there breaking down boxes with you. Toilet in the upstairs office clogged with wishy toilet paper? Greg is fetching the plunger, exclaiming out loud how thankful he is that no one had “taken a big dump” in there. Light bulb fifteen feet in the air needs to be changed? Where’s the ladder? Under Greg’s feet – light bulb is changed in no time. I have never asked him for a favor and not had him help with complete willingness and expecting nothing in return.

Most of the time when it’s slow he sits in his little booth watching the TV that hangs from the ceiling, although he has lamented to me that after a while it feels like his brain is rotting. When it’s sunny he parks a chair outside and reads Stephen King novels. Carlos Santana (one of the most famous locals) is one of his biggest tippers, and has even bought him lunch before for taking such good care of his Maserati.

Greg and I don’t have a lot in common, but we get along great. Nothing too deep, but there’s always a little morning chat about the weather, wishing a busy day for each other, etc. And with my female-run operation, I can’t tell you how great it is to have someone around who is willing to lift heavy things, hammer the occasional nail, and be a male presence in general if I need it. (I serve alcohol, after all, and things do have the potential to get rowdy.)

In short, Greg is a bit of a character, and great to have around.


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