I saw this high: At the car wash all the workers are meth addicts. You can tell because of Meth Mouth. The drug has rotted out most of their teeth.
But these meth heads work their asses off. That’s why I’m a regular.
The guy who greeted me had probably four teeth in his head. Very courteous. He prep-scrubbed my car by hand, working feverishly.
As I was going through the automatic wash, I thought, “This would be cool high.” Then, “Oh, yeah! I am high!” When my car emerged at the other side, I blinked into the light. Oh yeah: I drove back around, as instructed, for the detail work. I saw the same guy usher me into Line 2.
He opened my door for me and invited me to make myself comfortable on one of the rocking chairs near the building. A guy who I thought might be the boss walked by. (He had all his teeth.) Being high, I was feeling chatty. I said, “These are the hardest working guys in town!” It turns out he was a worker, sort of self-appointed lead. Yes, workers were paid minimum wage—and they’re only paid when they’re working on cars.
So they’re super motivated to maximize tips. No one else will hire them. “I tell ‘em, ‘If someone gives you a $10 tip, you’ve done your job the way it should be done. But it someone gives you $20, you’ve really done somethin’ super special.” I had been planning on giving the worker a $10 tip, which seemed pretty fair, considering he was a meth head.
We talked for 40 minutes. Every so often, I’d look over to see if the guy was done. He worked like a Japanese beaver.
I did the math in my head. If each car pays $30, like me, and you do 10 cars an hour, that’s $300 an hour. Not bad. You could probably do more cars per hour if you ran a topless car wash—but then the workers would probably want to be paid more—and paid when they’re not doing anything. “That’s Kenny with your car,” the guy said. “He’s awesome, though sometimes the boss gets on his case for taking too long. It’s a balancing act, I tell him. Go as fast as you can but also do an awesome job.” When Kenny was done, finally, I handed him $20.