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Chapter 16~~ Gone back to school
Chapter 16~~ Gone back to school
Well September came and along with it came the opportunity for me to go back to school. Having been off work for over a year I had become real bored and needed something to do other then think about what might come of my Workman Comp claim. I had called the C.O.C office and found out that by my not having graduated high school I was eligible to attend adult education and some of the programs through it.
They told me about a cosmetology class being offered at the Saginaw Beauty Academy and that I qualified to go through the program and earn high school credits, as well as my Cosmetology Degree. I got enrolled and was really looking forward to it. The day came when school started and although I was not use to getting up at 7:30am on this day I was up, and ready to go by 8am.
I got to the school and was surprised to see so many other adults there. Everything went well the first day. I was given a cosmetology kit and also a smock to wear as well as a mannequin head. Each day after that was a new day of learning, that is up until the day Mrs. Taylor decided she wanted to act like a B*TCH. Up until that day we had gotten along fine.
Mrs.Taylor and Ms. Gill, had both been in the hair business for many years, and well they both appeared very knowledgeable about hair they both seem to get off on talking mostly about their personal pass in the entertainment business, and all of their accomplishments, which really didn’t bother me; because I thought it was always good to see a black woman get ahead!
Well the day came when Mrs. Taylor told me at 4:30pm that due to cuts in the funding for the program through adult education; I could no longer attend beauty school. She had this real nasty smurk on her face when she told me infact it was as if any second she was gonna bust out laughing. I knew she could be vindictive because she always made a point of saying, anybody they didn’t want in their program they could easily eliminate.
When she told me that I couldn’t come back to school, for a minute I stood looking dumbfounded then I asked why was I not told earlier? She said she had nothing to do with that, and if I had any questions I needed to contact Mr Phobear at Career Opportunity Center. I rushed home and tried calling but he had already left for the day. So I sat and thought what was I gonna do. Now?
After awhile I started to become more, and more upset and eventually I started to cry. I was so upset mostly because of the way Mrs. Taylor had told me, and then the fact that I had been to school everyday for about a month, and now they were saying I couldn’t come back. Harry called and I told him and all he had to say was ” wow that’s cold” I know he could tell I was upset but he seem to blow it off like it was no biggie. I called Mommy and told her then I talked to Judy about it, the more I thought about it the more upset I was getting. I thought and thought all evening til finally I decided to go to bed. During my sleep I could feel myself still crying, and all night I tossed and turned as I dreamed about all the negative things that had happened in my life. It seemed the more I tried to do something good, something bad always ended up happening, and I could never seem to get my life going in a positive direction.
Well morning finally came and I could tell I was programmed to get up for school. I laid in the bed and thought well now I can call Mr Phobear, then I thought whats the use. After a few more minutes of just laying there I got up, and washed my face. My eyes were swollen and blood red from all the crying I had done. But I decided to call Mr. Phobear, and ask him just what had happened? He explained to me that the Governor orders the cuts, and that it is his job to convey the information. He told me I could call Dick Powell at the Board Of Education but he doubted there was anything that could be done.
He also said he had talked with Mrs. Taylor at length, and asked her if there was anything that we could have worked out so that I could continue. He said not all of the funding was cut, and he asked her if they would allow me to pay the difference so that I could stay. I told Mr. Phobear that Mrs. taylor never asked me, anything about whether or not I could pay, and I told him that she didn’t offer to let me stay or anything.
After I hung up from him I called the Board Of Education and talked to Mr. Powell. I started crying when I tried to ask questions, and explain to him what was happening. and my inability to except it. He finally said that this was wrong, and that I should not have had to go through all this he said ” get up and go to school, and don’t worry ” he said that he would figure out a way to keep me in there.
I thanked him with the youthful sided of my being, but my adult side felt kind of stupid having to beg for something that my own husband should have been able to afford for me to do.
When I got to school I walked in the class just in time to hear ” Hell I don’t feel sorry for her Sh*t anybody who can afford to drive the car she drives, and wear all them diamond rings’, shouldn’t have to depend” just then she looked up and saw me ” Lynette” she said looking like she had just seen a ghost. I walked to my seat, and sat down and she got back to talking about the lesson.
I didn’t say anything to her thinking that Mr. Powell said he was gonna call so they would find out soon enough that YES in fact I was back in the program again. After class Mrs. Taylor called me to the side and said ” Lynette I’m glad you’re back, we felt bad about having to tell you that the funds were cut but we are pleased to have you back with us.” I thought yeah right!
After that I made a point of being in class on time everyday so that I would not give her the opportunity, to try some other way of getting me out of the program. Eventually everything got back to normal, but I never forgot the look on her face that day she told me this was it! I went to school and smiled as if nothing ever happened, and Mrs Taylor seemed everyday to go out of her way to make me feel comfortable.
I got a call a few days later from Mr. Powell and he had told me that he had taken care of everything, and that I should not have any more problems. He also said he talked with a man at the Saginaw News about me and what happened. He asked me if I would write a letter to the editor of the news talking about it I told him that I would be happy too. I sat down, and wrote the letter and sent it off the same night. Thinking after all he did for me, that was the least I could do in return.
A couple days later I got a call from a man at the Saginaw News telling me that I had written the letter so well that they wanted to do it as a feature story along with my picture. He asked me if that would be OK, I told him sure I would be honored.
The story ran along with my picture, in the paper the following week, and after that nothing but good things happened for me at school, As time went on I ended up doing some student teaching, and practically running the place. Mrs Taylor was like putty in my hands and by now so was Ms. Gill. I really didn’t have a problem with Ms. Gill she was in fact from the time i was a kid living in the neighborhood she , and her shop had she always been my idol.
Anyway I had gotten school all going and everything was going along fine til the time came when I was scheduled to go to court on my workman’s comp case. The lawyer I had called me the day before and told me that he would not be representing me any longer and that he felt I should take the $500.00 they had offered to pay me. The next day I went to court feeling like a complete idiot, Red Lobster’s lawyer’s were there and I was there by myself not having any idea of what to expect. I went in to the hearing expecting to tell the judge that I would take the 500.00 but that didn’t happen. The judge told me that I could not proceed without an attorney, and she said she was gonna give me 60 days to find one.
I went from Bay City to Detroit searching for attorney’s but none was interested in coming in on a case behind another lawyer. Harry was being a real trip and my time to go back to court was getting shorter and shorter.
Then one day I was doing Glorias hair and she told me about this lawyer her sister had; had. She suggested that I give them a call to see if they could help me. I took the number she gave, and I thought about it a few days before I called. They made, an appointment for me, and on the same day of the appointment Big Momma died. I went ahead and went to the appointment but in my mind I had already prepared myself for them to tell me they would not be able to help me.
But to my surprise the attorney told me ” your case is very unusual to say the least ” he said ” I am not gonna kid you, and tell you we are not in the business of making money but sometimes we have to forgo the money, and take cases based on principal and this is one of those cases.”
I sat back on my chair and thought to myself ” is he saying he is gonna take my case?” Then finally I asked ” are you saying that you will take my case?” He said ” yes I am “. All I could do was say thank you Jesus and cry. Apart of me was grieving my grandmother but still apart of me was celebrating. I hurried home to tell Harry. He was like ” Oh yeah we finna get PAID !!” I looked at him and thought, he has got a lot of dayummm nerve, where is he getting this WE stuff from. Then he said the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard him say. He said ” all I want is a boat, and a truck! Then you can do whatever you want with the rest.” “Huh” I thought, How do he figure first of all that I am gonna get all this money, and secondly what makes him think after all the dirt he did to me that I would give him any?
Well things were starting to look up again. I took off from school and went to Gary for Big Momma’s funeral because Mommy had sold her house and they had to be out of the house the same day as the funeral. So I went to represent my family. The funeral was sad but still it was good to be home, and seeing all my cousins and aunts whom I hadn’t seen in years. After the funeral I headed back home, back to all the stress that was going on in my life. Things continued to go fairly well, i think it was partly because Harry thought I was gonna get all this money, and like he said all he wanted was a boat. I went back to school and continued seeing my lawyer and preparing for my trial. In April the lawyer informed me that we would need to start gathering witnesses, people that use to work at Red Lobster, and anybody that may have heard some of the racist comments. I start calling people hoping to get some help. At first it started out pretty good. I talked to Amanda and Craig, and they both agreed they would help out, then I got in touch with Lawanda she too said she would be happy to help out. I also got in touch with a few of the guys that use to bus table’s there and also some of the past patrons that had some problems there.
I thought everything was going well, and so was school. For once it seemed things in my life were looking up again. School was fine, the marriage was fine, and it appeared that everything the lawyers needed was coming along just fine.