Worried About Being Put To Bed With A Shovel

| Detroit, MI, USA | Working | April 11, 2014

(I am 15 years old. It is a Sunday morning, and the clinic is closed. I have to go in to feed the dogs and let them outside. It had snowed about a foot overnight, so my boss has left me a note asking me to shovel the parking lot. I am letting the dogs out when he arrives. Note that this isn’t the best neighborhood.)

Boss: “Hey, [My Name], why didn’t you shovel?”

Me: “Hey, [Boss]. I was letting dogs out and feeding them first. I figured I’d shovel once I’m done.”

Boss: “I wanted you to shovel before I got here.”

Me: “I didn’t realize you were coming in today. I’ll get on it once I get the dogs inside.”

Boss: “Ugh, fine.”

(We have a lot of dogs, so it takes me quite a while to let the dogs out and then back in. By the time I am done, my boss has gone home. I am about to start shoveling the snow when I see a large man picking through the garbage outside. Being a small, young girl, I am afraid to go outside on my own with this man there. I call my boss to explain the situation.)

Me: “Hey, [Boss], I’m having kind of a weird situation here.”

Boss: “It couldn’t be handled while I was there?”

Me: “No. There’s a big guy standing outside of the clinic in the parking lot. Would it be okay if I called someone to come help me shovel? You know: safety in numbers.”

Boss: “Just shovel! He’ll probably go away when he sees you.”

Me: “I’m just kind of uncomfortable with this situation. He looks kind of sketchy.”

Boss: “No, I’m not paying two people to be there! Just do your job!”

Me: “Would you let your 15-year-old daughter shovel snow by herself in Detroit when there’s a creepy-looking man picking through the garbage?”

Boss: “Of course not!”

Me: “Then would you let me call [Coworker] to come help me?”

Boss: “No! Ugh, you’re just being lazy. Just wait until he goes away and then shovel.”

(After I hung up, I sat waiting for the man to go away for about a half hour, but he wouldn’t leave. I ended up calling my parents. They both came to the clinic. Once they arrived, the man went away. My parents didn’t like the idea of a 15-year-old being alone in such a neighborhood and ended up helping me shovel the parking lot and the sidewalk in front of the building. My boss to this day does not understand why I was scared.)

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