Monday, March 16, 2009

The Goblin and Paid Sick Days

For the past year, Megan had worked as a food service worker at a cafeteria in downtown San Jose. Her job didn't pay a lot. However, Megan liked serving the public. She also was able to go to school part-time, because her job had flexible hours.

It was Saturday night and Megan was studying at home for a mid-term. She decided to take a break from studying and get a snack at the cafeteria. She put on her coat and walked quickly. When she was less than a block away from the cafeteria, a goblin stopped her.

"I'm lost," said the goblin, "Can you help me?"

"You're a goblin. I thought that goblins only come out during Halloween," said Megan.

"You're right," replied the goblin. "But I got on this time machine and hit the wrong button. Now, I'm here and I need to find a way to get back to Halloween."

"Well, I don't know anything about time machines," said Megan. "So I can't help you."

"That's okay," said the goblin. "Maybe we could pretend it's Halloween."

"I don't have time," said Megan. "I need to get a snack from where I work and go back to studying."

"Before you go, I need to talk to you about something," said the goblin.

"What?" Megan asked.

"Paid sick days," said the goblin.

"You're goblin. Why do you care about paid sick days?" asked Megan.

"All goblins are entitled to paid sick days," said the goblin. "It's part of our constitution. When we heard that six million California workers didn't have paid sick days, we were shocked. If goblins have paid sick days, so should California workers."

"That makes sense to me," said Megan.

"Do you have paid sick days?" asked the goblin.

"At my job, we don't have paid sick days," replied Megan.

"Do you think that's right?" asked the goblin.

"Of course not," replied Megan. "Three months ago, my co-worker Suzie went to work sick with flu. Suzie is a single mom with a young daughter and really needed to work. The owner told her to go home and wouldn't pay her for her time off. It took a week for Suzie to get well. Suzie lost her apartment because she couldn't pay the rent. She and her daughter are now living in a homeless shelter."

"That's horrible," said the goblin.

"Yeah, I know," said Megan. "But a lot of jobs don't have paid sick days. There's nothing that we can do."

"There is something that you can do," said the goblin. "There's a petition for paid sick days for California workers. You should sign it and tell Suzie and your other co-workers to sign it as well"

"I will sign the petition," said Megan. "And I'll tell everyone. I hope you find your way back to Halloween."

"If I don't, I'll keep telling workers about the paid sick days petition."

"Great," said Megan. "See you later."

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