Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Goldilocks and Paid Sick Days

Goldilocks loved her job working as a pre-school teacher at a private school in Palo Alto. She taught her class the alphabet and other things. She also was a great storyteller.

Goldilocks' favorite student was Samantha who was very bright and bubbly. Samantha was a scholarship student. Samantha's mother Vanessa worked at a local hotel as a food server.

Sometimes Samantha would come to school sick. When she did, some of the other children got sick. Goldilocks had sent Vanessa e-mails explaining that she shouldn't send Samantha to school sick. For some reason, Vanessa never responded to the e-mails.

One day, Samantha came to school with a bad case of the flu. Goldilocks tried calling Vanessa but no one answered. Goldilocks asked another teacher to watch her class while she took Samantha home.

When she got into her car with Samantha, Samantha told her not to take her home.

"Mommy is at work," Samantha said.

"We'll go to your mommy's work," Goldilocks said.

Goldilocks pulled out her cell phone from her purse and called the office for Vanessa's work address along with directions. After she obtained the information, Goldilocks put away her cell phone and then turned on her ignition. Within a few minutes, she and Samantha arrived at Vanessa's work.

Samantha asked the person at the front desk for Vanessa. A few minutes later, Vanessa came. She was dressed in a server's black and white uniform and hair was in a bun. She looked terrible. Her eyes were bloodshot and her nose was red. In her left hand, she had a wad of tissue.

"Vanessa, I'm your daughter's teacher," said Goldilocks. "You look really sick. You need to go home and take care of yourself and your daughter."

"I can't," Vanessa protested. "If I go home, I won't get paid because they don't give us paid sick days. I can't afford to lose a day's pay. Every month, I struggle to pay my rent and electric bill."

"That's horrible," said Goldilocks. "We can fix that."

"How?" Vanessa asked. "I've worked here two years and no one has paid sick days. Management doesn't care."

"I have a plan called Goldilocks and the three bears," Goldilocks said.

"Isn't Goldilocks and the three bears a fairy tale?" Vanessa asked.

"Back in the day when I worked with the three bears, we were a fairy tale. However, times have changed. We now are community organizers," Goldilocks answered. "Our top priority is making sure that California workers have paid sick days that fit them just right."

"You're the original Goldilocks," Vanessa said.

"Yup," Goldilocks answered. "My hair is 100 percent natural blond."

"No, it's not," Vanessa argued. "It's dark brown."

"This is a wig. I use it to disguise myself. My real hair underneath is blond," Goldilocks said. Goldilocks then removed her wig and showed off her long blond tresses.

"Wow," Vanessa said. "I guess you are the real Goldilocks. So how do I get paid sick days?"

"Close your eyes, clap your hands three times and I say I want paid sick days."

Vanessa closed her eyes, clapped her hands three times and said the chant. When she opened her eyes, the owner of the hotel was standing next to her.

"Vanessa, I just talked to some of our customers," the owner said. "They said they are tired of workers coming to the hotel sick and sneezing in the food. They want us to give the workers paid sick days. Effective today, workers will receive paid sick days. As a result, I am sending you home with full pay so you can take care of yourself and your daughter."

"Thank you," Vanessa smiled.

The owner then walked away.

Vanessa turned to Goldilocks and said, "I'll take my daughter home now."

"Good," Goldilocks said. "Get some rest, drink hot tea and eat chicken noodle soup."

"Will do," Vanessa said. "Anything else?"

"When you get better, sign the petition for paid sick days for California workers and spread the word to your friends," said Goldilocks.

1 comment:

  1. I wish it were as simple as a chant. I will sign and pass the story and petition along. Great story!