Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Over in Licensing . . .

. . . they have two agents who speak Spanish. Their job is to help out aspiring Spanish-speaking entrepreneurs get started in establishing a business here in our fair City. If those two guys are out, someone over at City Hall gives them a phone and dials over to my office. Me and a few others are the Spanish-language contingency plan for the Licensing department. I don't mind it, as it's one of the most redeeming aspects of my job. In detailing the steps to operating their own enterprise, I feel like an important part of this person and their family establishing themselves in the Second City. Be it someone who's only recently arrived to this country, or someone who saved every dime they earned in hopes of having their name on the title - they're asking for help in making their want a reality. And in their voices, I hear my parents when they first arrived to the States. I ache at the thought that they were at one time vulnerable to a land they were unfamiliar with. With that consideration, I speak with the manner and patience I hope my parents encountered.

On occasion, the particulars of an industry will be so detailed and complex that I find myself at a loss to accurately convey information. This morning, I took a call from a guy over at City Hall. Based on the pops and clicks that punctuated his words, I took him as being from the southern border of Mexico, possibly even Guatemalan. He wanted to start his own Hardwood Flooring business.

Hardwood flooring is difficult to explain.

So I talked him into starting a restaurant.

Good luck, Santiago.

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