By Brent Olson
It took me a while to figure out what I was going to go and do
for my project. I went up to Safeway in West Linn Wednesday
that was cleaning up. I had seen him there before. I decided to
sit down and talk to him. He was wearing his blue Safeway apron
tie. His black pants were dirty with something that looked like
His name was Gilberto. He told me his last name but I
didn t speak that much Spanish so it was a little bit harder to
understand some of the things he was telling me about. He has
been working at Safeway since it opened in two summers ago. He
does all the janitorial work for the company. His duties
include; Washing the floors, taking out the garbage, cleaning
spills, and moves anything around that needs to be moved.
is now 42 years old and lives in Beaverton, Oregon. He moved up
two years ago and that was when he got his job working for
Safeway. I asked him why he works so far away. I m not quite
sure that he understood me, but he said, two hours from here to
my home . I asked him why it took him so long to get home and it
is cause he doesn t have a car. He rides the bus from Allen
Blvd.. in Beaverton to West Linn everyday except for Mondays and
Tuesdays and it takes two hours to commute.
with the two World Trade Center buildings and the Pentagon being
informed about what had happened and I was hoping to talk to him
more about it. All he said was that he saw it on the news and
had happened so we moved to a new subject.
I could see that he spoke some English and I questioned how
shake his head and said, Yeah . So I talked with him a little
more about that, he is going to PCC during the night to take
He had with him a LA Laker bag with him. Then he pointed to
his bag and said, Lakers, Number 1 . Inside the bag he had a CD
player and about 5 CDs. I looked through them and he had some
Spanish band that I did not know but the rest of the CDs where
Floyd, and Van Halen. Those artists may not be Americans but
they are very popular here in the USA. I joked with him about
being a Mexican American and he started laughing. I told him
about the song that Cheech made up in Cheech and Chongs Next
Movie . It goes something like, Mexican Americans…..don t
like to wake up early……but they have to….so they do it
really slow… . I cant sing the whole song but he laughed and
told me that he had seen that movie before and then he started
singing the song. Gilberto may not know the most English, but he
is still one of the funniest guys I have ever talked to.
I asked if he Had a Wife and he told me about how he had one
back in Mexico City, but he divorced her and has a girlfriend
here in Oregon. He showed me a picture of her and she looked
like she was about 15 to me but he claims she is 37.
Gilbertos bus was about to come so I left the store, I m
that I had the time to sit down and talk to him.