Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Busboys Deserve Our Respect

Busboy Union Proposed by 30-Year Veteran
By R.A. Howard

Gino Arguello, a 54-year old busboy in San Francisco, is aggressively organizing a busboy’s labor union and is quickly gathering support from local busboys as well as waiter’s and chef’s unions and trade groups throughout Northern California.

“Bus persons have been pushed around too long,” Arguello announced at a meeting of over 40 Bay Area busboys on Tuesday. “People treat us like crap and it stops now! Busboys are people too and should not have to feel like second-class citizens. Just because I got like a 350 on my SAT doesn’t mean I’m stupid. I just don’t test well.”

Arguello started out working at DiMaggio’s in the North Beach District of San Francisco in 1976, but was terminated after just one day for allegedly sexually harassing a waitress. “I told her she had a nice set,” he said. “What I meant is that she set the table well. Of course, I was staring at her breasts when I said it. I mean, they were huge!”

Arguello speaks three languages – Spanish, Italian and a form of English that is a mix of Ebonics and shadow puppets. “Sometimes the best way to communicate is to say nothing at all. Gestures and facial expressions can say more than words, know what I’m saying? I also hate it when people talk in fragments. Not cool. No way. At all.”

Arguello has been fired from more busboy jobs than he can recall. His longest tenure was at the Sir Francis Drake Hotel. “They forgot my name, so they couldn’t fire me. Once they tracked down my paperwork, I was gone. But, in the meantime, I lasted more than four months.”

He believes the union will mean better conditions for busboys throughout the state. “For one, we deserve better tips,” Arguello said. “My old boss Vinny used to give me tips all the time, but I don’t bet on the ponies, so what good is that?”

Arguello also believes that busboys take the heat when servers screw up service. “This woman bitch-slapped me one time because she thought I broke wind,” he said. “But hey, it was her waiter, not me. Whatever happened to whoever smelt it dealt it? The union will help us bring that kind of stuff back. It’ll be old school.”

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