One of the most difficult jobs in our family is running interference for
at work from time to time. If there is a pay problem or schedule problem or a
personnel problem, I generally turn it over to his dad and his more laid back
nature. A while back, we got a call from Walker 's
boss that they were going to send him home because he had been rude to a
customer, had called her a name. I sent Big Walker to deal with it, because I
was afraid I'd get either angry or emotional if they fired him, and this sounded
pretty serious. While I stayed home and worried myself sick, Walker handled the whole incident calmly, and
they let Little Walker finish the work day after all, much to my relief. Walker
By the time they got home after work, I had calmed down enough to ask the magic questions and figure out what had happened, one thing I'm much better at doing.
Something just didn't add up.
gave up curse words many, many years
ago after a mouthful of our favorite cursing remedy, a drop of Ivory Liquid on
the tongue. About the worst thing he ever called anyone was when he announced
that Sister Judy was a pig when he was about five years old. He might get
angry, and he had even fired his boss a couple of times when he was unhappy,
but cursing just wasn't in his repertoire Walker
Even my son-in-law, John, who has initiated
into the kind of guy repartee that he
never learned at Walker , had never
aggravated him enough to get him to curse. He just doesn't do that. Not that he
doesn't occasionally hear an expletive from his dad or me, but he knows better
than to use one. Or so I thought. Catholic
Now he had called a customer a bitch. He had apologized, somewhat under duress, and wasn't going to lose his job, but I couldn't let it rest.
could you just tell me exactly what happened today at work," I asked as he
sat uncomfortably on the couch, shifting around and avoiding eye-contact. Walker
"Well, this is really embarrassing...." Long pause.
"That's okay. You're not going to get in trouble. I just need to know what happened. Did you call a customer a name?" Another very long pause. He knew I knew.
"Well, yeah, I'm really sorry...I did...but she was really rude to me...I just can't tell you..." Tears welled up in his eyes.
"It's okay. Just tell me what you called her." Tears welled in my eyes too.
"Well...I called her a Bad Seed...She really was...She said she wanted paper instead of plastic, and I didn't hear her, and when I started loading plastic she yelled at me so I called her a Bad Seed. I promise it won't happen again. I know I might lose my job."
Now this made sense in Walkerese...almost. He talks in movie talk a lot, but most of the movies are Disney and at the most PG rated. I was kind of bewildered that he might have seen "The Bad Seed", a movie about a wicked little girl that came out in the '50's and one that I didn't remember from his shelf last time I had cleaned and sorted out. Turns out, there was a reference to the old movie in one of his newer favorites.
The customer, the cashier and his boss had heard what they expected, and probably knew deep down. They heard him call her a bitch, when he really called her a Bad Seed.
After some lecturing about the customer always being right, the matter was put to rest. In my heart, I knew who the Bad Seed was, though. I think
I hope I'm not a Bad Seed too often. I hope people hear what I really mean to say, and not what they think I say.