Nicole has had a terrible struggle with her job on the train. The hours are long, the work is hard--but she can handle that. No hothouse flower this one. She is TOUGH. What made the job nearly impossible to bear, however, was her co-worker. This . . . . think of a neutral word to use here, Tami. . . . person was overbearing, rude, unkind, selfish and downright cruel. She abused Nicole verbally and emotionally, and, I suspect if she thought she could have done it without getting her ass fired, it would have been physically as well. Each day she called me to report in, I heard more despair and frustration and desperation in her voice.
We gave her suggestions and advice, of course. We suggested she talk to her manager (she did) and do everything possible to work things out with her co-worker (she did) and nothing helped . . . in fact, it just got worse.
Finally, I had had it with the last phone call. This girl was ready to come home but wouldn't allow herself because she is not one to quit. When I got off the phone with her, I went to talk with Joseph. We were really waffling with whether or not to step in. On the one hand, we wanted to step back and allow Nicole to handle this alone and be totally independent. On the other, we wanted her to know that she was not alone and that no matter where she is or what is happening, we have got her back.
Option B won out. Neither Joseph nor I feel that our children reach a point where they are on their own, where we say "sink or swim." If our children reach out to us, we will hold out our arms. (This goes for the oldest one as well. She has needed help several times in the past and we did all we could from handing out money to carrying heavy items up very narrow stairs. I hope that she knows, somewhere, in the back of her mind, that we are still here with open arms if she needs us.) Ironically, it seems that their knowing that has made it such that they rarely need to reach out.
We called the man who hired Nicole in April and we talked to him. He called in his boss. Skipping over many details, the supervisors met with Nicole and she has been transferred to a new train and team. Her first day is tomorrow. Finally, she will be away from that . . . . remember, Tami . . . person who was making her life miserable.
Two important final notes on this story. First, her manager came to Nicole to ask how upper management found out about this situation. After pressing her relentlessly, the manager finally got Nicole to state that her parents had called. To this, the woman said, "My goodness! Aren't you embarrassed to have your parents get involved?" And our girl replied, "No, I'm grateful that I have people who love me that much."
And then? The last night when this . . . . person . . . was walking to her car, Nicole followed her. Did she call this coworker names? Yell at her? Finally tell her what a bit-----PERSON she was?! No. She thanked her for what she had learned from her in the kitchen and wished her the best. Shook her hand even. Didn't break out into hysterical laughter when the girl admitted that she was not really a very good teacher and co-worker.
Now that, ladies and gentlemen, is integrity.