Wednesday, July 20, 2011

How to Identify a Hard-Working Gondolier - Part 2

As I mentioned in my earlier post, I set out with a plan to come up with a few qualities of a "hard-working gondolier".
An hour later I'd assembled enough for three posts.
In the mean time I've heard from friends who've offered a few good suggestions as well.

A hard-working gondolier is the one who works so hard that he (or she) makes other gondoliers look bad. And yet typically doesn't draw attention to themselves overtly.  The work ethic speaks for itself.
Here's today's list of attributes.

He spends time with other hard working gondoilers.

photo by Bob Easton
A hard-working gondolier recognizes others with the same appreciation for dirty hands and sore muscles. 
A zest for life also seems to go hand-in-hand with such an attitude.
The above photo is part of a sequence in "Recent Activity in Squero San Trovaso" from August of 2008.

A boat full of children doesn't scare him.
In Hollywood they have a saying:
"Never work with children or animals".
But in our trade we have to smile and welcome just about anyone who walks down the dock to ride on our boats.
Marie at Italy to Los Angeles and Back offered her own take:
"A Hard Working Gondolier never complains when his gondola is filled with smiling passengers from around the world."

Suffice to say that we need to be ready for anything.

The photo above is of Ingo Stahl in Wörthsee - a lake in Bavaria, Germany.
It originally appeared in my post "Ingo the Traveling German Gondolier".
I can't even count how many kids he's got in that boat,
but they've all got life jackets. 
Good man, Ingo.

Rowing celebrities? No problem!
Athletes, actors, heck we'll even scrape the bottom of the barrel and row for politicians.
Now and then we have the chance to row for someone really famous.
Our friends in Coronado, California took someone particularly noteworthy out a while back.
From the post "Santa Spotted near San Diego".

He's a pro at pointing out the "sights" to his passengers.
He'll row with one hand, and point out famous buildings and landmarks with the other.
There's always something worth taking a picture of.
Sure, 95% of those photos taken won't come out,
or will end up forgotten in a short time.
But that doesn't matter, they want to see it, and they paid for the experience.  
After all, we are in the business of creating that perfect moment.
Pointing stuff out is part of the job.

This image is from one of my earliest posts "GONDOLA FEVER" .
Andres Garcia Pena, gondolier on the lake in Cantral Park, points out the famous Bethesda Fountain.

He's tired at the end of the day.
A hard-working gondolier puts every ounce of energy into the job.
His ocupation requires both mental and physical exertion.
This isn't a desk job, and it requires a lot more thinking than most physical vocations.
We put our all into it.
It's no surprise that the traditional "siesta" is popular among many gondoliers.

The above photo is from one of my favorite posts - shot in Bacino Orseolo. Take a look at some of the other fun images of siestas in action at "Siesta".

Hard-working gondoilers Don't always stand out, but they spend a heck of a lot of time standing up...on the back of a gondola.
If you're rowing one, there's a good chance that you were trained by someone who matches the descriptions above.
Anyone out there want to add an attribute to the list?
Part 3 is in the works.


DG Beat said...

How about: A hard working gondolier will row an hour cruise in 20 minutes just so their late cruise can see everything.

Also (kind of related): A hard working gondolier will pass up an hour break in order to give late folks a full cruise.

Bepi Venexiano said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bepi Venexiano said...

Cavalli e ferro lucido.

Il Paradosso said...

John, no truer words have been spoken.

How about: Will row an empty boat through wind, traffic, wakes, etc... at full speed to make a pick up or get back in time for the next cruise after a drop off.