"Born Worker"

by Gary Soto


Jose's cousin Arnie is a privileged boy who's father works at Interstate Insurance. He and Jose were brought up as workers. Somehow, their families went there separate ways and created a living for themselves. Because of how Arnie is treated, he's just a lazy, spoiled-rotten kid who gets anything he wants. He treats Jose as if he doesn't know anything about being privileged. Jose states that "Arnie's family had never climbed a telephone pole to size up the future."


Arnie's cousin Jose has been working all his life. When he visited Jose, he told him about a job cleaning a pool, mainly paying attention to the fact that he gets paid.