Disparity

“Are there any of those Costco muffins left from this morning?” Stacey asked the receptionist as she walked in the door. “I’m starving!”

“Yes, I believe so,” Helen said. “Would you like me to get you one?”

“Oh, that would be great, Helen, thank you!”

As Helen gave Stacey a small plate with a muffin sliced perfectly in two, the younger woman laughed, exclaiming, “Look at me!” She pointed to her new jeans tucked into the new black leather boots.  “I’m a mess!” She brushed a smudge from her thigh.

Helen looked at her superior and tried not think the thoughts that kept pushing into her mind. Yes, Stacey, our office just spent three hours volunteering to package food that will go to homeless shelters for people who don’t have enough to eat in our community. Yes, it was a warehouse, and sometimes, well dust just happens… “Stacey, there was a message. While the office was closed this morning for the community service outing. A young woman from a high school drill team called. She asked if they could hold a car wash in our parking lot.”

Stacey swallowed half a muffin and gave Helen an exasperated look. “I’ve just worked three hours for my community! How much more am I expected to do? Who’s going to pay for the water for a car wash?”

“Well, now I don’t know,” Helen said, her voice trailing off.

“I know, I know, as the owner, it’s my decision. All right, Helen, where’s this girl’s phone number? Put this away for me will you? Thanks.” Stacey handed Helen her uneaten muffin to deal with, before going to her corner office to place the call.

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