Hi! It’s me! Lily!
Okay, so I went to the store this morning. Christmas is coming up and we’re getting a lot of business, and the dooter needed some help. It was kind of all hands on deck. For next year we need actual gifts, not just cookies, but business is still really brisk.
But… remember how I said the dooter seemed a little depressed?
She went off to take a break, and she didn’t come back after ten minutes, so I went back to see what was going on. I found her in a corner, crying.
I asked her what was going on. She said… she was pregnant and the father dumped her when he found out. It had happened a few days ago, and she didn’t know what to do.
I told her to pull herself together, try to get through the day, and we’d talk after the shop closed. She wiped her tears, nodded, and went back out to do her dooting.
Unfortunately, Christmastime is Karen season – everyone wants their stuff and wants it now because they have places to be and people to see and parties to go to, and one of them started acting up and abusing the dooter. She ran back and cried, and the karen just stood there with a smug look on her face.
“Can I help you?” I said, a little rudely.
“You’re the manager?”
“Yes.” I pointed to my nametag that said “manager”. (No one needs to know I’m part owner!)
“Fire that girl,” she said. “I’ve never been treated to rudely in my life.”
I just looked at her blankly. “You want me to fire her? Why?”
“Because she’s stupid and incompetent and because I’m the customer and I’m always right.”
I sighed. You know, at my old job, my old boss (the “owner”) let me deal with Karens kind of how I wanted, but I still had to be “nice”. Well… I partly own this shop. I didn’t have to be nice.
“That ‘girl’ is a very good employee, I will not be firing her, and did you know what the second half of that phrase is? The customer is always right, when it comes to matters of taste.” (Sabby taught me that, it’s really useful, don’t you think?) “Leave. I will not have you abusing my employees.”
“Abusing? I’m not abusing anyone, you” – and there she stuck in a name for asians that you don’t use in polite company. “I’m the customer.”
“No, you’re not. You’re now the trespasser. Leave.”
Well, the karen decided, as karens do, to escalate, because karens don’t know how not to escalate. She lunged over the counter and tried to slap me.
I grabbed her wrist, threw her on the floor, stepped on her throat, and yelled at Sabby to call the police.
Sabby came running out. “Wha – oh.” And she did it without another word.
The police came a couple of minutes later, and, well, let’s say the karen was dragged out by force, I got asked a few questions, we might have to replace a tip jar, and… sigh. Good thing Dave thought ahead and installed cameras.
Cat-girl came sauntering in and asked what happened. I said “Karen.” She nodded, said “oh”, and went outside to jiggle some more. It was cold and rainy, so she had this fir-lined santa dress that still somehow managed to jiggle. Oh well, she works her own hours and if she wants to work in the rain…
After the karen got dragged out, dooter came and hugged me. She’d heard what I said.
Anyway, after the store closed, Sabby invited dooter back to our house. She seemed hesitant, but finally agreed.
Her name is Katie, did I tell you that? Katie the dooter. Over dinner, she told us that she thought she was in love, and that she had a boyfriend, and he, well… got her pregnant. Then he dumped her when he found out. She’s on break from college right now, but she’s got to pay for tuition and do college while being pregnant and she doesn’t know how she’s going to do it. She broke down crying again at the table. Awkward and sad… but understandable, I guess.
Remember how I told you Sabby has a chewy center?
I think I have a new older sister now. Kind of, anyway.
I think we’ll take good care of her. I know I will. She seems like a good person.
And… I need to have a talk with Jack. I.. I don’t want to be Katie.
She’s going to spend Christmas with us. And if I know Sabby, she’s going to love her presents.
We… we take care of our employees. Maybe not all of them will be like family, all the time. But… when they’re in need, we’ll be there. They take care of us, we take care of them.