Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Life Lessons and Toni Braxton

You ever had an enemy you forgot about for 20 years and then--bam--while you're sitting there sick on the couch, half-delirious from dehydration, she comes flying back to memory on her broom? While I was curled up with the fever and ague yesterday, I thought of Della Doris, my supervisor at Ruby Tuesday back in 1990.

One Friday, I was working a double shift--10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and then 5-11 p.m. Well, my early tables didn't finish up till 4:45, so I asked Della if I could take more than 15 minutes to go eat something in the mall, change into a clean uniform and get ready for the long night ahead. "No," she said, "you MUST be back here at 5."

Now, present-day Bede would've got in her face and told her, "Not only is that inhumane, it's also illegal. Cash me out, woman, cuz I quit. You can sell these fajitas your own damn self." But, instead, I rushed next door to Chick-fil-a and got me a frozen ice dream and ran back to work, still wearing my ranch dressing-spattered apron.

Della, meanwhile, went off to Holiday Hair and got her mullet shaped into what she called a "Toni Braxton cut." I didn't bother enlightening her to the fact that she was 1) white 2) couldn't sing and 3) tipped that scales at two bills.

As a present-day mogul, I do not wish Della ill and sincerely hope she clawed her way to middle management on the Ruby Tuesday corporate ladder. Sometimes, when I am dealing with my cadre of employees, I remind myself to be nice and "not act all Toni Braxton" on people. But, what I really mean, is "not act all Della Doris." I'm sure Toni Braxton herself is a lovely woman.

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