The place where I work has two different buildings and I work in the second building.
The big boss lady works in the first building, so my building is a bit more relaxed and a bit boring too. I quickly spiced up my area upon arrival by decorating for Cinco de Mayo. I figured it was colorful and the building needed a bit of Latin flavor. The majority of the tenants (residents) were very pleasant and welcoming.
The Spanish-speaking residents were thrilled that I had come on board to the office, where they could now have someone who "understands" them. There are not very many Latins in my building but the few that are there are either from Cuba, Puerto Rico or Dominican Republic and we have quickly bonded. The majority of the tenants are from Russia and of course, I don't understand a word they say. There is one very kind Russian man, who just moved in, Leo,who taught me the word "priviet" which is an all-purpose word like hello, how are you. As for the rest of the residents, there are a few from Haiti, Jamaica and only a handful from the U.S.A.
After two weeks, I've started to learn who is who and all about their personalities. I have some serious characters who come downstairs routinely to visit me or to just complain. (Yes, I have to deal with some serious complaints all day everyday.)
I already have my favorites, like Ramon, the late 70-something Cuban man, who volunteers to help with just about everything. He lives with his mom, who is about 98 years old. He is a slender man, with missing teeth and always wears his grayish black beret. He is always smiling and visits me every single morning. He loves to build puzzles and frame them. His latest work was a puzzle of the San Diego zoo, which he was so proud of. It's like dealing with little kids, only 70 years later.
We bonded after I brought him a "colada" (cuban coffee) from the gas station deli down the street. It's not the best of neighborhoods so the residents don't really venture off too far. So when I brought him this colada he was absolutely thrilled. Now, I think I've spoiled him after bringing him a colada four days in a row. I park in the back parking lot and can see him from his balcony. I wave when I arrive from lunch and he shoots down his big missing teeth smile and comes down the elevator like a flash.