The truth has come out. After reading my blog article about the La ENEE workers, El Jefe told me the rest of the story.
During the afternoon, the workers made a big point of discussing in front of him how the last time they came out (when was that, I wonder, because it's been three years since our street lights were working?), Señor X (name changed to protect the guilty), the developer of our colonia (neighborhood), gave them each L.500 ($26 U.S.) for their work!
True or not, I don't know, but we certainly don't carry that amount of money around in our pockets and would not have given them a bribe like that anyway! They do get paid a salary for their crappy work and it's better than most people in this country make. L.500 is almost a week's pay for many folks.
They tried to leave around 5 p.m. but El Jefe insisted that they finish all the lights in the colonia. (They do get paid for working late.) They said that when they work late, their supervisor always tells them that he will get them something to eat but never does. So El Jefe went to the nearby gas station and bought them hamburgers and another 2-liter Coke.
Another tidbit: Some of our neighbors drove by, checking to be sure that their lights were fixed. Instead of chatting with El Jefe, (or maybe even thanking him?!) they then quickly rushed off in their cars, probably knowing that they would be hit up for money or food but preferring to leave El Jefe stuck with the "bill."