“I’d do anything for you dear. Anything. For you mean everything to me.” – Oliver(the musical)
I’d been on the streets for two months and things were getting old. The props, the music, the weather… something needed to change. I was bored, but what more could I do? I had another month to go. I had better figure something out.
Finally the hour hand had reached 12, and I’d made it through another cold and dreary shift. I gathered up my supplies and trekked back to the tax office to clock out. Maybe I’d get lucky and be put on a three-hour shift next week instead of the usual four hours. I could go for that kind of change.
I perused the schedules posted on the manager’s door. The Tax preparers’ hours were first followed by the marketers’ and then the wavers’. I was assigned my usual three days and my usual four-hour shift. At least I had a couple days off and with any luck I’d get a – Whoa…Whoa… Whoa…WAIT – JUST – A – MINUTE.
What was my name doing on the schedule just below wavers? I read the title printed in thick red marker “Bathroom Schedule”
I gasped. No. No. It couldn’t be. There must be some mistake.
“OH. MY. GOD.” I stared wide-eyed at my name and the glaring red letters screaming “bathroom schedule.”
“What’s the matter?” a tax preparer called out from the other side of the filing cabinets.
“I’m on the bathroom schedule for Friday,” I said breathlessly.
She then went on with some explanation about how she had been tending to the bathroom but she was the only one doing it and blah, blah, blah… and then it just became Charlie Brown teacher babble. “Wah wah wah wah…”
I couldn’t concentrate. I had my own dialogue going on in my head. I’d made it through the biggest snow, the coldest temperatures, the long hours, the wind and rain and humiliation, and now they wanted Lady Liberty to trade in her torch for a toilet brush?
No. It was over. My fitness goal… paying off my son’s medical bills… following through until the end …. my bonus! – All down the bathroom drain.
The tax preparer stopped talking. There was silence for a moment.
“Well, I don’t know what I’m going to do about this,” I muttered and finally pulled myself away from the door.
This newest development could prove to be my biggest obstacle yet. A note explained that those on bathroom duty could clock in 15 minutes before scheduled shift or stay 15 minutes after. When I calculated how much I would earn mopping the floor and scrubbing the fixtures I was almost brought to tears.
Of course someone had to clean the bathroom, but that responsibility was never in the professional waver’s job description. Would I have accepted the job if it was? Probably not. This could be the demise of Lady Liberty and Costumed Mama’s relationship.
I had a lot to think about. How would I approach my boss? What would she think of me? What were my options?
I left work that day with a heavy heart.
Bathroom duty was only a few days away.
What would Costumed Mama do?
To be continued…
“Oh, I would do anything for love. I would do anything for love, but I won’t do that. No, I won’t do that” – Meatloaf