Dominica Moore’s mother picked her up from work one day. She went directly into the kitchen to help with dinner preparations for when her father arrived home.
Her brother Avery was heading out the door to go to work at the Junior Burger himself. Dominica go him the job.
That evening, Dominica made some spaghetti, her mother made the meat balls for the sauce, and her father chopped up the vegetables. It was an unusual way for the three of them to spend some quality time together as a family, although Dominica often avoided them when she could. However, that evening was quiet for once. At least it seemed peaceful enough.
Her father plated the food, while she set the table, and her mother poured milk in some tall glasses for the three of them.
Dinner conversation consisted of the way Dominica styled her hair. Her father bitterly complained all of the time about her hair, because it was so thick and curly. He yelled, “Go comb that mess, before I chop it off.”
Dominica got up from the table, headed into the bathroom, smoothed out her curls with some gel and a comb, pulled her hair back into a ponytail, washed her hands, and headed back into the kitchen to eat her dinner.
“That’s better. Why don’t you fix your hair like that all of the time. That’s how your hair should be. Well groomed, instead of in the mess you had it a little while ago, “ Her father said while stuffing a meatball into his mouth with his fork. He didn’t even cut the meatball into smaller pieces first. He stuffed it whole into his mouth. His food manners where atrocious, always having the habit of eating his food quickly, instead of taking his time while eating at the dinner table.
Unfortunately, he had a habit of imposing his views and beliefs upon Dominica, especially when it came to her eating habits. She often took her time when eating, because she knew from school doing so was better for the digestion. Trying to explain about it to her father was like talking to air. He never listened, because he was a know it all. According to him, she was dumb and incapable of a logical thought. So, she gave up trying to reason with him, and complied to his wishes when it came to eating her meal at the dinner table, because she wanted to avoid trouble for as long as was possible.
About a couple hours later, the phone rang. Dominica’s mother answered the phone. It was her brother Avery. He said there was a fight outside of the parking lot of Junior Burger. A close friend of his was involved. He wanted go exit the restaurant to help him, but the Assistant Manager wouldn’t let him, because she was responsible for all of the employees. However, she didn’t even call the police to stop the situation. Avery said she just ignored the entire situation, and told all the employees to go back to work, and let it pass.
The next morning when Dominica went into work, she confronted the Assistant Manager about the situation to see if what Avery told her was true. “I just want to give you the benefit of the doubt. I know you wouldn’t just sit there and do nothing while a teenage boy is getting beat up by some punks. Surely, you had sense enough to at least call the police to put an end to the situation.”
However, the Assistant Manager replied, “I only did what was in the best interest of the store. You brother told you correct. I thought it best to ignore the situation, and told my people to do the same. I also instructed them to get back to work. However, you brother had a fit about it. I can’t be responsible for anyone other than my employees and for the store.”
“What? You mean you refused to call the police?” Dominica yelled, while in a state of shock in disbelief.
“Please go to your station. Let’s not discuss the situation any further,” the Assistant Manager said while heading into the freezer with her clipboard.
Dominica was working at the salad station preparing the salads, when a young man walked in who was a coworker and a close friend. She confided to him what happened.
“Was his life threatened in anyway?” he asked while breaking down some empty cardboard boxes.
“Yes. My brother told me everything. However, I decided to give the Assistant Manager the benefit of the doubt. So I confronted her about the situation earlier this morning as soon as I punched in for work. She confirmed that my brother was telling the truth. I was so shock and appalled. I never expected her to do something like that. I thought she’d have sense enough to at least call the police,” Dominica said while putting the turkey on the chef salads, and the chicken on the Caesar salads.
“I’ll tell the General Manager about it to have him talk to her. I know your telling me this in confidence. And believe me when I say you can feel free to tell me anything. But honey, this is something that needs to be reported. I tell the GM to talk to her about it, and then talk to you. He’ll know how to handle the situation,” he said while tossing the broken down boxes into the bin, and walked out of the room.
Later that day, while Dominica was getting sandwiches from the bin to back up drive thru, the General Manager approached her. “I’d like to have a word with you. I just talked to the Assistant Manager and she told me everything that transpired last night. When I heard from her own mouth how she handled the overall situation, I was furious. I know from her and your coworker that you were also upset and shocked by the way she handled the overall situation, as was your brother when he worked last night. I can’t tell you how sorry I am for what happened to your brother’s friend. The Assistant Manager should have at least called the police to break up the fight. Perhaps your brother’s friend wouldn’t have gotten so badly hurt. What would you like me to do, dear? How would you handle the situation if you were me?”
“I’d maybe give her a suspension. Believe me, when I say I don’t want to cost anyone their job, especially her, since she was always such a nice lady. If I were you, I’d ask her why she handled the situation the way she did, and if there isn’t a more deeper personal problem she’s dealing with, that it got in the way of her better judgment,” Dominica responded.
“I think so to, young lady. You have a good head on your shoulders. There ought to be more people like you,” the GM responded while headed back to the table to talk some more with the Assistant Manager.
© Copyright, Kiki Stamatiou, 2015