In its list of “52 Things Every Dallasite Must Do,” glitzy local city guide D Magazine has a suggestion: “Hire a day laborer.”
The magazine goes on to give readers breezy instructions on where to find their hired help (“Look for the vacant lot with the mustachioed men sitting on stumps by the cyclone fence of windtrapped Funyuns bags”) and how to hire “the best workers.” (“Arrive early in the morning … if they’re motivated to get up early, they’re motivated to work hard. They’ll swarm your car, which can feel a bit like a nascent siege, but it’s normal.”)
“You’re not a true local until you’ve done them all,” the magazine writes of the items on its list. And indeed, if you’re not out making the “awkward trip” to the job site with your “good, cheap labor,” you can pick among other “essential experiences,” such as hitting the State Fair of Texas, attending a wedding at the Dallas Arboreatum, or eating a particular cinnamon roll.
When our partner site, Guanabee, emailed Executive Editor Tim Rogers asking about “its flippant treatment” of this item, he wrote back, "Are you saying people SHOULDN'T hire day laborers?" and added: "I thought the advice we offered was very helpful."
Judge the helpfulness for yourself; here's one last tidbit: If the swarmy undocumented laborer turns out to be “a loafer” or otherwise unpleasing, the magazine says, just “pay him, take him back to the lot and pick up another one. Sounds cruel, but in this job market it’s survival of the fittest.”