Monday, January 19, 2009

Rapunzel and Paid Sick Days

Rapunzel worked in a factory that manufactured wigs for cancer patients and women who suffered from hair loss in the San Francisco Bay Area. She liked her job a lot because she was helping people.

For some reason, her employer did not provide paid sick days. Not having paid sick days was a real hardship for Rapunzel. Two years ago, Rapunzel's frail elderly mother moved in with her. Her mother's family members were dead. Rapunzel's friends all worked. There was no one to help her to take care of her mother.

For the past two days, Rapunzel's mother had been sick with the flu. Rapunzel took time off from work to stay home with her. If she didn't return back to work tomorrow, she wouldn't be able to pay the rent for their small modest apartment.

Unfortunately, her mother's medication wasn't working. Rapunzel felt tears welling up her eyes because she didn't know what to do.

She walked into her bathroom and got some tissue to wipe away her tears. Rapunzel then grabbed her hairbrush from the counter. She brushed her long, thick hair that flowed past her waist. She put her hair into a long braid.

She then saw a mouse scurry across the bathroom floor. "Gross," she screamed, "This is the last thing I need now."

"I'm not gross," the mouse replied.

Rapunzel looked bewildered. "You can't talk," she said. "You're a mouse."

"Girlfriend, I'm not an ordinary mouse. I have special powers," the mouse replied.

"What kind of powers?" Rapunzel asked.

"Girlfriend, I can outfox a cat and eat cheese like there's no tomorrow."

"Those kind of powers aren't going to help me," Rapunzel said. "I need my mother to get better so I go back to work. Do you have magic spells that can help me with this?"

"Magic spells have never been my thing. I always get always the words mixed up. The last time I did a magic spell, I turned a prince into a frog. Since that time, he's been hanging out in the pond catching flies."

Rapunzel rolled her eyes. "Do you have any healing powers?"

"Girlfriend, you've reading too many fairy tales," the mouse answered. "The only folks who have that kind of power are doctors."

"Then how you can help me?" Rapunzel asked.

"Girlfriend, my secret power is persuasion," the mouse answered. "I can talk to your boss and get her to agree to give you paid sick days."

"Nobody has that kind of power," Rapunzel said. "Besides, I don't want to get into trouble."

"I'm a lawyer. Back in the day, I was a top litigator and I never lost a case. I retired a few years ago. I now help folks with getting paid sick days."

"How come I've never heard of you?"

"Back then, I was human," the mouse replied. "But I did a magic spell on myself and I turned myself into a mouse. There's no reverse spell to change me back."

"So what's your fee?" Rapunzel asked.

"Girlfriend, I retired well. Now, that I'm a mouse, I don't have any real expenses. So my fee is nothing," the mouse answered. "So can I talk to your boss?"

"Sure," Rapunzel said. She then recited the contact information for her boss.

The mouse then disappeared into a hole.

Rapunzel walked into her bedroom. To her surprise, the mouse was on the bed with a rolled up document.

Rapunzel picked up the document and read it.

Because we are in the business of taking care of people, it has come to our attention that we are not taking care of our workers. We were presented with convincing arguments, which demonstrated why we should provide paid sick days for our workers. Accordingly, we have a new policy. Effective today, all workers shall be entitled to paid sick days to take care of themselves, a sick child or other sick relative including a parent, grandparent, sister or brother.

Rapunzel smiled. "Thank you. I appreciate all that you have done."

"You're welcome," the mouse replied. "By the way, please sign the petition for paid sick days. Please make sure that all of your friends and family in California also sign it."

"I will," Rapunzel replied.

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