Thursday, September 1, 2011
At work one day, one of the Team Leaders called me and said she was having a problem with one of the employees named Jayne. I went to the section and the Team Leader had sent Jayne to the rest room because Jayne was crying hysterically! I asked the Team Leader about the problem and the Team Leader said she'd told Jayne to go underneath the truck to do some work. I asked if she had ever had any problem before and the Team Leader said that she had been a "model" employee as she had never been late, never missed work and volunteered for overtime. I asked if Jayne had given any reason and the Team Leader said that Jayne said that she could not go underneath the truck. I went to the rest room and found Jayne sitting there and she asked, "Am I going to lose my job?" I said, "You know that you can't refuse to do a job." Jayne wailed, "Please put me on another job; I'll do any job you ask but I can't go underneath and work." I said, "Jayne, you've been in that same section since you started and you've never had a problem; the Team Leader says you're a model employee." She was crying, gulping for air, and I said, "You need to tell me why you can't go underneath the truck." She said, "I just can't risk it!" I asked, "Risk what?"
She took her hands and unpinned hair from the sides of hair at the temples and raised the mound of hair that was on the top of her head. I had always thought that she had an unusual hair style and arrangement and it was striking because it was a flaming red shade. When she lifted the pile of hair, I was shocked to see that she was bald from the front of her head to the back and the skin was translucent with veins very apparent, unlike a man's bald head. All of her hair was gone except for some patches on the temples. The hair on the mound was hair from the back of her head! I must say that that arrangement was an engineering marvel!
She said, "I can't risk anything touching my scalp and I'm afraid I would hit it on something underneath the truck." I said, "You could wear a hard hat." She said that she couldn't risk that either.
She told me that she had been SCALPED in a wringer washer accident when she was three years old and she was lucky to have survived.
I then did something which nobody outside my family has seen for years: I took off my wig and revealed my scars. Jayne gasped; of course my embarrassing scars were in no way comparable to hers; her gasp was no doubt from the shock of my whipping off the wig!
I said, "Jayne, I'm going to transfer you to the line and you'll never have to worry about going under the truck again and if you ever have another problem just tell the Team Leader to call me." She asked, "You won't tell anybody else, will you? I said, "If you don't tell about my scars, I won't tell about yours."
When Jayne returned to the floor I told her Team Leader that Jayne was going to another section. Of course the Team Leader asked why and I said, "Jayne needs to work on the line." The other Team Leader asked why Jayne was being transferred. I said, "Give me your WORST employee and I'll give you a model employee in exchange!"
Several days later as I was passing through Jayne's new section Jayne asked to speak to me. She said, "The doctor said that I might be able to be fitted for a wig if I could have a pad inside." The next day I brought phone numbers and catalogues for her. After Christmas shutdown, Jayne returned wearing a beautiful, flaming red wig!