Vouch

Grim office. Morning.  

Vic: Hector, I gotta tell ya…you aren’t built for this kind of work.
Hector: Okay.
Vic: I don’t think you are capable of lifting the machines.
Hector: But I do.
Vic: You struggle.
Hector: But I get it done.
Vic: You fall behind schedule because it takes you too long. You keep bringing out the lighter machine and certain jobs need you to use the big machine. I ain’t ever seen you use the big machine, once.
Hector: I have. I used it once. But it was just once for a main line.
Vic: The machine weighs more than you.
Hector: I can manage it.
Vic: Son, you are not physically built for it.
Hector: I’ll manage it.
Vic: You aren’t keeping up with the jobs we send you out on. Because you aren’t using the big machine, we’re sending you back on a job and that costs the company time and money. When you keep using the smaller machines, you’re not getting all the roots out of the pipe.
Hector: I’ve only been called back on a few jobs and only one was a main line, one was a sink and the other was a toilet install.
Vic: My records show three main lines, one sink and two toilets. One was an install and the other was a typical clean out but we can’t count that one because the kid kept putting a toy in the toilet so…
Hector: I remember that one…
Vic: I’m trying to figure out what to do with you.
Hector: I want to learn more plumbing. Can’t I learn more plumbing?
Vic: We need sewer and drain. We already have enough plumbers on call.
Hector: I’m good at what I do, Vic. I know I’m…I know I’m not the biggest guy in the room but I’ll work my hardest.
Vic: Shit. Your paper work is terrible. I can’t even make out what the fuck your handwriting is saying most of the time. I’ve already warned you about this…the receipt is a legal document, if nobody can read it and a customer decides to sue us, that level of defense is not open to you. You need to write everything down neatly and carefully.
Hector: I know, it’s cause when I get the job done, finally, I am rushing to get out of there to get the next one.
Vic: On average you spend four hours on a job when you should only be spending TWO.
Hector: I know, I know.
Vic: We’ve already doubled your in class training and out in the field we’ve given you an additional three months time. Look, I’m sorry, the more I think about it, I can’t beat around the bush but—
Hector: Wait, wait, please. Before you fire me. I’ve—I don’t even know where to—I might not be the best and I know I’m far from it but I’m trying really hard. I don’t want to give up and I don’t want you to give up on me Vic. I know I’m not bringing in as much money as the other guys but I’m bringing in some and I’m not a troublemaker, I’m loyal, all I want to do is work and put in my time and make good money. I will work longer hours if it means catching up and getting better. I’ll start first and end last. Just don’t let me go because I, my wife and kids, they—I need to take care of them and this job, when my son sees me coming home, wearing this blue uniform, it may sound stupid to you but I feel like I’m somebody, the way my son looks at me. I feel like I’m somebody stinking like shit, sweating, tired, knowing I went to my max another day and when I look at my boy and baby girl, my wife, they are proud of me. Shit, I know I’m a little piece of shit, look at me, right? But I’ll hit the gym, I’ll do whatever I gotta do to keep my job and make you look at me proud, too. Please…
Vic: Son of a bitch.

Hector does his best to remain calm.

I give you this chance, you know I’m putting my name on the line?
Hector: Yes.
Vic: I have to deal with the big man to keep you on. You realize that?
Hector: Yes.
Vic: You can’t let me down.
Hector: I can’t let myself down, Vic. This is all I got man.
Vic: You are a little shit.

Both men chuckle.

Okay, okay. I’ll vouch for you but you have a hell of a lot of work ahead of you. You are in the hot seat now and if I can air the flames long enough for you to get out of harms way, you might just make it here. There’s no guarantee how long I can protect you. You’re going to have to protect yourself by making this work. You got it?
Hector: I won’t let you down, Vic, I swear to God.
Vic: Don’t go swearing to God and all that. I hate that. Just be a man and do your fucking job right the first time, each time.
Hector: I will. I promise. I swear.

Both men shake hands.

Vic: Get the hell out of here.
Hector: Thank you so much Vic.
Vic: Yep.

Joseph Arnone

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