Thursday, March 23, 2017

Al Franken, Neil Gorsuch and Me

Liberals have their panties in a knot over Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch, who by most accounts is a jewel of a guy with incredible scruples and unassailable principles. Yet he has incurred the wrath not of the great Khan but the teeny Al Franken, he of those "Deep Thoughts" from his days on Saturday Night Live. It's all got to do with a case involving a truck driver who abandoned his cargo and drove off in the truck's cab rather than wait hours for help in frigid temperatures and was later fired by his employer for said abandonment. The driver sued and Gorsuch voted in favor of the employer, causing Franken to anoint him as "anti-worker" and calling his decision "absurd."

The face that got slapped.
The brouhaha reminded me of a similar situation when I was a high-school senior working part-time as a salesclerk in the candy department of Abraham & Strauss, the defunct but once grand department store. With Christmas just a few days away the store was bustling. In those days we used cash registers, not computers, to ring up cash sales, or wrote out longhand the items to be paid with a credit card. A woman presented herself and opted to pay cash, so I rang up her items, about a dozen in all, and announced the total. At that point she said, "Never mind, I'll charge it."

Facing a long line of impatient shoppers waiting to check out, I asked if she might step aside and let me help those other people, then write up her charges. At that suggestion she reached out a bejeweled and manicured hand and slapped my peaches-and-cream, 17-year-old face, shouting some obscenity or another. The crowd gasped, and someone shouted, "Miss, your face is bleeding!" Rushing to find a mirror, I saw a rivulet of blood dripping down my hot, reddened cheek. I felt faint. Hurriedly locking the cash register, I fled to the store's infirmary, calling out an apology to the assembled customers.

At closing time, after receiving treatment from the nurse and returning to the candy department to finish my shift, I was fired for "leaving my station." (I wonder what Gorsuch would say to that.) Since this happened in 1964 my parents didn't sue anyone, whereas today that woman would likely do time and I'd be set for life. Talk about absurd.

No comments:

Post a Comment