Saturday, September 17, 2016

Fall Session Writing Lab - Week #2 - Labor

Engaging the Active Imagination: Writing as Activism (Fall Session)

Writing prompts
  • Describe the conditions for your ideal line of work
  • Write the story of your own labor history

"Because if you don't like it, there's the door. You're free to go. It's a free country right?" Alice said in the basement level office of the executive chef which we called "the dungeon". It's faded brown concrete floors and tattered yellow walls made this feel like a prison interrogation as she continued to berate me from behind the desk of stacked paperwork, recipes and timesheets. This wasn't any supervisor. Alice Bates was the general manager of the industrial chain grocery I worked for.
"I've heard of your reputation for tardiness and your general dislike of authority. I can see you're not happy here," she said condescendingly. She's right. I wasn't happy. No doubt about it, she called me into what felt like the principal's office for an all-out intimidation session. It was clear her mission was to instill fear and ensure I would think twice before speaking out again.
This time it was her star pupil, Deborah. Deborah was brought in from another branch location and almost immediately hand-picked to undergo management training, or should I say management grooming. Deborah came into the ranks of management as new blood; cheerful, chipper and always willing to smile and nod in agreement with exactly what management wanted to see or hear. All the workers in production loathed her because she went from chef expo to the upper office in a matter of weeks while they have been toiling away in the underground catering freezer for decades.
Then Deborah slipped up...(to be cont'd)

*Disclaimer: All names have been changed to protect the innocent and the guilty