Thursday, May 19, 2011

She's a Lady

One time I had a job at a pharmacy. The owners were a husband and wife. The husband was a true blue dickhead and the wife was a wonderful lady. I really didn't mind the husband's terrible behaviour because I had run into worse at the track and I could deal with it. It didn't hurt that a couple of times when I had enough of his crap that his wife would step in and give me a nice raise to stay. The money really added up over the year I had the job.

I truely loved Betty. She did anything she could to help her employees while running the business as a truely savvy business woman should. It was a rare combination that I have seldom seen in my life. I had to declare bankruptcy after my divorce and she actually loaned me the money to pay the lawyer and I was paying it back with an automatic deduction from my paycheck.

One day Walter went too far. The only reason I didn't walk out was because I knew I was borderline of having enough money in my paycheck to pay back the whole loan and not leave them owing them any money. I finished the day to ensure that Betty would get all the money and Walter would not be able to say that I had reneged on my deal.

The last thing I did as I was leaving at the end of the day was to tell the assistant manager that I would not be back. I made it plain to her to let Betty know that she was to take ALL the money I owed them out of my final check. I took the next day to relax and I had another job within a week.

I went back a week later to settle things with Betty for my last check. I knew I had several prescriptions in the drawer that I had taken but not paid for yet (with permission). I drove up to the drive through window and when Betty saw me she came out to my car. She let me know how sorry she was that I was gone and she told me she would have "fixed" what Walter had done. I told her, "I was in a cycle that needed to be broken and I broke it. I have never let anyone treat me the way he did and I never will!" I saw something in her eyes when I said that to her. Respect maybe?

I asked her if I owed her any money and I told her that was the only reason I finished the day. She was aware of that already and she was aware of the prescriptions in the drawer. I told her I would pay for them as soon as possible. She told me she wouldn't accept any money from me for the medicine. In addition she handed me an envelope with a hundred dollar bill in it. When I protested, she said she knew I would need it to tide me over until I got another job.

I was grateful.

A few months later I learned that Betty left Walter. I had seen signs of abuse toward her from him and he had actually lost customers because of some of his treatment of her. They had been college sweethearts and I know she loved him. Sometimes I wonder if the look she gave me when I said, "I was in a cycle that needed to be broken," made something click inside her.

I believe it did.

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