Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of "Don't Cut off Your Nose to Spite Your Face" (without using the actual phrase or litera (02/14/08)
- TITLE: Backfired
By Pam Carlson-Hetland
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Right on schedule, the next door neighbor's car pulled into the driveway. Katie quickly stepped out, slammed the door with unnecessary force and strode toward her house. A scowl crossed her pretty face as she heard her name called. But seeing that it was Ida-May who beckoned, Katie smiled.
"I have some iced tea if you'd like to sit a spell, Katie." Ida-May called. Katie pivoted and joined the elderly woman on her porch.
"Thanks, Ida-May. A cold drink will taste good." Katie's shoulders visibly relaxed as she sipped her tea. "What are you making?"
"Mittens--getting a head start on Christmas gifts for the grandchildren."
“You’re always busy. Every time I see you, you’re making something or listening to someone’s problems. Why is that?”
Ida-May chuckled. “When I was a youngster, I had a tendency to get into mischief. My mama used to say I was ‘hell-bent on self-destruction’. So every time she’d see me aiming for a heap of trouble, she’d put something in my hands to do. It became a habit. And the good Lord gave us two ears and only one mouth. Guess that means we’re supposed to listen more than talk.”
Ida-May's fingers never slowed as she glanced over the top of her half-spectacles at the young woman in the chair opposite her own. "Seems like there's something on your mind, Katie."
Katie sighed deeply. "Work. I've been an assistant department manager at the Fashion Boutique for over a year. Then they hired this new girl--Yvonne. Right away, she started playing up to the manager. She'd bring her coffee and they always seemed to have some sort of private joke. It was so obvious what she was up to. A month ago, the manager just quit--took a different job. I applied for the position. They hired Yvonne instead. So, now, I have to work for her. She doesn't even know what she's doing."
Katie paused to take another sip of tea. Her foot bounced up and down from internal agitation.
"Today..." Katie continued "she made me rearrange all the displays--said she was trying to update the department. I know the clientele there...she doesn't. What does she think she's doing?"
Ida-May stopped to examine her handiwork. "Sounds like she's trying to do a good job."
"Yeah, right!" Katie rolled her eyes with exaggeration. "And then she scheduled me for every weekend for the month even though I specifically asked for this coming weekend off."
"Did you talk to her about it?" Ida-May asked.
"No. She wouldn't listen to me anyway." Katie's anger was growing as she thought about the conflict between herself and the other woman. Her eyes squinted as she conjured up a plan of retaliation. "I know what I'll do. If I have to work this weekend, I'll just change those displays back to the way they were before–the way I want them."
Ida-May’s knitting needles stopped. She thoughtfully regarded the angry young woman. "What will that accomplish, dear?" she asked.
Katie defiantly tossed her long hair back. "If she wants it changed, she'll have to do it on her shift."
“Sounds like asking for trouble to me.” Ida-May cautioned.
“Someone needs to show her that she doesn’t know everything.”
Sensing that further reasoning would be unsuccessful, Ida-May resumed her knitting. "Well, Katie, I hope that works out for you."
Over a week had passed since Katie had visited with Ida-May. It was Saturday, but the car had not moved from the driveway in a couple of days. Ida-May was weeding the flowers when she heard Kate's front door open. She waved at her young neighbor.
"On the way to work?” Ida-May asked.
Katie shook her head, "Downtown." she answered.
"Did you get the weekend off after all?"
"No." Katie toyed with the car keys and looked down at the ground. "I got fired."
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