6.3 Critical Events to Inspire Discussion

Winifred Athembo; Nikhil Garg; Richa Kabaria; Sarah Kulewksa; Celine Wai Shan Li; Deirdre Maultsaid; Simrenprit Parmar; and Lesli Sangha

The situation

The owner trusts John to manage the store and is not usually there. Unbeknownst to the owner, John regularly leaves shifts early or shows up late and trusts his sales associate Mamie to run the store in his absence. Because John is a sales manager, he receives a salary and does not need to clock in and out of work, which allows this behaviour to go undetected. This leaves Mamie to struggle to do everything: manage stock, help customers and cash out at the end of the day.

At times, Mamie feels unsafe, particularly when she has to lock up on her own, walk to the parking lot and then drive to the nearby bank to make the cash deposit in the bank night slot. Mamie does not want to tell the owners about having too many responsibilities because she fears retaliation from John and does not want to lose her job.

Recently, a local man who frequents the pub next door has been coming in and bothering Mamie at work in the evenings when she is alone. He makes her uncomfortable with his compliments and holds out his cellphone, asking for her number and private details about her schedule. She tries to stay professional and says she is “busy”. Mamie has tried to discuss the issue with John before, but he brushes it off and says to be polite to the customers.

The event

One night, after John is long gone, Mamie locks up the shop by herself and walks to her car while carrying the cash deposit bag under her arm disguised in an old shopping bag. She notices that the same man is hanging around near the carpark.

As Mamie is cautiously walking in the parking area to her car, the man walks up to her and asks whether she wants to go to a street festival on the weekend. He pretends to be begging. Mamie declines his invitation. Then, the man demands to know when she is available to go out with him, stating that he has already given her “your three chances”.

Mamie tries to walk away from him, but the man grabs her arm. Mamie twists away and starts to walk quickly to her car. He says, “Hey, wait!” very loudly. The man grabs her shoulder from behind and tries to give her a hug. Mamie forcefully frees herself and runs back to the store. The man shouts something after her that sounds like swearing. Mamie locks herself in the store and calls John to tell him what has happened.

Dialogue between John and Mamie

John: Hello?

Mamie: John, I am sorry to bother you so late, but I ran back to the store. I had to. That same guy was following me and grabbing me. I had the money, too. I didn’t go to the bank.

John: You are in the store? Did he take the money?

Mamie: No, I ran back to the store and am locked in here. I’m really scared. There’s no one around. I told you before he wouldn’t leave me alone.

John: Where are you?

Mamie: Well, I’m in the back. I’m just shaking.

John: So, you don’t know if he’s still there. It’s probably just some drunk guy from the pub who wandered off.

Mamie: I don’t know, but I don’t want to go out. He keeps bothering me. I already told you. He keeps coming in and bothering me. Now he’s grabbed me. I can’t stop shaking.

John: Well, if you won’t go out to your car, what do you suggest?

Mamie: I don’t know!

John: Well, I’m already at home in Abbotsford. It would take an hour to come back. Let me see…

Mamie: What should I do? Should I call the police for an escort for half a block? Or, I don’t know, should I report it? I don’t know the guy. He didn’t hit me. Can I report it?

John: Hmm. How about you wait 20 minutes? Then, call me back.

Mamie: All right. I guess so.

Mamie locks up the bank deposit, even though she is worried about getting into trouble for not depositing the money. She waits a full 30 minutes and goes back outside with her phone in her hand. There is no one around, so she drives home. She texts John that she is home, but the money has not been deposited.  


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Cases on Social Issues: For Class Discussion - 2nd Edition Copyright © 2023 by Winifred Athembo; Nikhil Garg; Richa Kabaria; Sarah Kulewksa; Celine Wai Shan Li; Deirdre Maultsaid; Simrenprit Parmar; and Lesli Sangha is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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