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Shop steward sans portfolio

A small department store in Kilkenny Ireland, 2002 —

The manager was spending a lot of time with one of the young women. That didn't bother me; that was their business. It did get ridiculous; out to lunch together, in the storeroom (where's the manager?)... But it was just kind of another annoyance.

The problem started because the other women found the story scandalous. They didn't approve at all, of course; but they loved it. Trevor was already with somebody, and this matter concerned them anxiously, a little bit gleefully. Then he tried to stop their talk. And that's the part I didn't like. He, the manager, upon finding people talking, would interrupt and imply that their talk was keeping them from doing their work.

I decided to start trying to find out what the union could do. We had a union, and paid dues. But we had no shop steward, since the previous one had gotten pregnant, and without a shop steward, we had no representation. I volunteered. We voted; but nobody else tried.

It would have been a good idea, had I been a legal resident. I wasn't thinking too clearly. Not that it matters now. Every job has its end....

The manager called me into his office on a Friday, end of the day, to ask me if I had a work permit. He told me that Dublin wanted to know.