My wife Dawn and I are enjoying a quiet Sunday afternoon reading at home. There is a knock at the front porch door. Standing outside is a man with a shovel, wanting to clear the few inches of snow that have fallen throughout the day.
“Do you want to have this guy shovel for us? I think he did our walk a few times last winter,” asks Dawn.
“Nah, there isn’t that much snow,” I say, peering over the top of my Rake magazine.
She proceeds to tell the snowshovel guy that we don’t require his services. He asked if there was something wrong with the way he did the work last year. I get the plaintive look from Dawn, “Sure he can’t help us out?”.
“You’re right, let him shovel”. She tells the guy to go ahead, but skip the driveway.
Approximately 45 minutes later, I check on the shoveling. I may have finally found the one person who shovels like me. I am one picky homeowner when it comes to shoveling. I make sure that the full width of the walks are shoveled, etc. He is doing a marvelous job: is doing the driveway, shoveled two feet into the alley, and cleaned off the tops of the garbage cans.
I remember this guy from last winter. Not homeless, but dressed in clothes not best suited for shoveling: old tennis shoes, a light jacket, no gloves or hat. He seemed to have some basic speech issues.
And get this – he never negotiates his fee up front. He just accepts whatever anyone gives. He even cleaned off the tops of the garbage cans. He received cash and a new pair of mittens from us.
We chatted for a few minutes after he finished. He lives in the neighborhood, right behind Joey D’s Pizza. His name is Pete.