Wednesday, August 04, 2004

the little things continued

The things people ask of their servants crack me up. It's especially bad at the gym, where everybody has a sweeper, driver, trainer and personal valet on loan. Example: The boss comes in every day with a gym bag and a briefcase. After his shower, he carries the gymbag out to his car, and gets one of the menials to carry the briefcase a few paces behind him. What is he carrying in his left hand? His keys. The other day I noticed that one of the reasons the gym has such a large staff is that the patrons are incapable of dressing themselves or taking care of their own belongings or picking up a glass of water. Taking off his lifting gloves, the typical gym user says, "Sushil, put these in the side pocket of my bag," and heads off to the shower. When he's finished, Sushil wordlessly hands him his clothes. Does he have somebody to do this kind of thing for him at home, or is he going the extra mile because it's an unusual pleasure? Other people will even go out of their way to find a servant to, say, fill them a glass of water, when it is actually closer and faster to walk to the water tank. Stunning. It reminds me of something my mother used to say: "What? Are your legs broken?"

All that aside, I'm getting into it now, myself. One of the kids who works there has sort of adopted me, and now he stands by while I dress to hang up my shirt, hand me my shoes, dart upstairs to retrieve my forgotten jumprope, etc. It's let him do it or wrestle over the privilege. My unavoidable valet.

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