Homage to the little guy - bank cleaner returns to Spain after 30 years

Spanish farm tractor

Here's the latest from our Highly Placed Professional.

There's a lovely chap at the bank where I work who cleans the outside of the building with something that looks like a feather duster on a stick.

He's from Barcelona, and his name is Jorge. Now, after some 30 years of cleaning our building inside and out, he's finally going to retire.

But why would I so much as mention a member of the bank's cleaning staff when I'm a so-called front office type with all the privilege and status that attends it ? Well I imagine it has something to do with a sense of sheer admiration I have for someone who clawed his way to these shores from Spain, a man whose family had suffered under Franco, and yet who has been unfailingly cheerful and gracious for decades, however unpleasant the job he has been doing.

Jorge is going back to rural Spain to a family smallholding, where he plans to farm and raise pigs. His family and friends, who he'd sent back money to for all these years, had a whip-round and bought him a small open-topped tractor. My eyes prickled at the thought of this gentle man puttering to the local village for a tapas and drink with friends, after a day tending to his farming duties with the same good humour he brought to his simple job in the City.

We City pros live our lives at a far more extended pitch of need and want than most. We bitch and moan at the slightest opportunity, and if we miss a trade or have a bad month, it's as if it's the end of the world.

And if we do visit countries like Spain, it's to bask like walruses on the beaches, indulge ourselves romantically, play golf and smack back the vino over tourist-priced restaurant fare. But people like Jorge are all around us, soldiering on, and their quiet endeavours should make us more humble. Good luck in your retirement, Jorge - you deserve it.

image: © www.flickr.com/photos/organikal/

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