Well, I figured the best way to handle the labor problems was to call them all into the office so that we could come to a meeting of the minds. That is the reason why I am posting this today because they have all just left the office, some for good, despite my best efforts to accommodate their grievances. As you might expect, none were happy that I had them coming in during their vacation which was probably a reason for some of their reactions.
I brought them into our conference room and we sat around the long oval table. Not wanting to be seen as other than one who sought to bring peace to the group I did not sit at the head of the table but among them. I said I regretted not nipping the discussion of the raise to $70,000 in the bud but seeing the speculation rise to $135,000 I felt compelled to have them in to avoid any further misunderstandings. I explained that there would be no hike in wages other than what has been occurring in the past.
There was stunned silence; or if you want it another way, you could hear a pin drop. I broke the silence by turning to Shiabelle and saying: “Is there anything you want to say?”
Shiabelle said: “No, I’m fine. I thought you were raising our pay but it that is a misunderstanding I have no problem with that. The only reason I mentioned the $135,000 was I thought it would be unfair for those others to receive the same amount as I would be receiving. So as long as those laggards don’t get raises I’m fine.”
She nodded at Sid and Dexter who were sitting next to each other. Neither man reacted verbally but their faces showed their ire.
I asked Luluisiana how she felt. She answered: “To be blunt I feel cheated. You let us believe we were going to get those raises and now you are backing out. I don’t know how you could do this.”
I said I never said you were going to get the raises. She replied, “you all but did when you did not respond which seemed to me you thought it a good idea. Anyway, I feel cheated and I’m not coming back after vacation.”
“And you,” I asked my legal expert Doramosa who replied, “I know you never promised the raise but that is beside the point. I dreamed of getting the hundred thirty-five thousand dollars. I’d be able to pay off some of my law school loan and have a few extra dollars to do something with. You stole my dream away. I don’t know of anything worse than destroying a girl’s dream and every time I see you I will see you as a thief so I’m also not coming back.”
” What about you, Sid?”
He stood up with an angry look. He said: “I’m not going to sit here and be called a laggard by Shiabelle. She should apologize to me.” I noticed Dexter also stood up standing next to him shaking his head in agreement with him.
Shiabelle voice quickly came back at him. “Apologize! That would be the day I’d apologize to a dumb Irish mick.” She turned to Dexter: “Or, to you, a lazy bloody limey.” She stood up, started to walk to the door and as she did she pushed both men out of her way.
“Hate Crime!” Sid shouted. She just assaulted me and did so because I’m Irish. Dexter repeated she pushed him because he was British. I tried to calm them down suggesting it was much ado about nothing but they stomped out saying something about going to the FBI.
I had one member of my staff left. It was Freddie. (Perhaps two if Shiabelle still planned to return.)
“Well, Freddie?” I said, “What say you?”
He said he was discouraged he wasn’t going to get the raise; that he would look around for another job; and that he would be back after Labor Day if he didn’t find one. He got up and said: “I wish you had not interrupted my vacation” and walked out the door.
I got up to leave. As I left the conference room I saw that Dexter was still there. He said: “I hope we are still going to get our vacation pay even if we’re not coming back.” I nodded.
That’s how it stands. We’ll see what the fall brings.