The Art Of Gandy LLC merges digital artwork with Servant Leadership Principles in Action through motivational quotes, leadership development and character building!
Short Stories that inspire. We accept short stories for submission, please contact us on our contact page.
No Rosenberg Battle
It was late in the evening, as the office of Graphics and Art Incorporated, located on the seventh floor, where two employees remained working on their individual projects. The building consist of eighteen floors located in the heart of New York City. Rena Rosenberg, a woman close to retirement, was reviewing the final graphics for tomorrow’s presentation. Latonya Battle, a twenty something woman, had just been promoted to a supervisor position and was preparing her first presentation.
Rena had been working for Graphics and Art Incorporated for several years and was known through the office as austere in nature and disciplined. Rena insisted last month, to the team of upper level management, Latonya Battle was not qualified enough for this company. The additional managers believed that Latonya’s recent cost saving advertisement and her education and internships were suffice. Rena wanted more years of experience but no one sided with her.
Latonya Battle had been a supervisor for three weeks and she felt the coldness at staff meetings from Rena. They had never said more than two words to each other.
Rena and Latonya were both walking toward the elevator at the same time. Both carrying their briefcase and appearing tired and overworked.
Rena looked at Latonya, puzzled at seeing her at the office so late.
“Are you ready for your first presentation, Latonya?” Rena asked.
“Yes, I am.” Latonya replied.
The elevator door opened and they both entered the elevator. Latonya selected the parking garage level and Rena selected the lobby level. You could hear a heartbeat from the silence in that elevator. As the elevator stopped at the lobby, the door did not open.
Rena picked up the elevator phone and dialed security; no one answered the phone.
“I find this hard to believe.” Rena said as she slammed the phone down.
“Maybe we could press the alarm button.” Latonya suggested.
“Why press the alarm button if no one is at the security desk? I am not in the mood to listen to an alarm that we can’t turn off once we press it!” Rena replied.
Latonya was going to tell her off but she changed her mind. She needed this job to help her parents with her younger sister’s college education. She pulled out her cellular phone that she did not recharge, but tried it anyway. The batteries were dead.
Rena watched Latonya put her cellular phone back in her purse. “When I exit out of this elevator I am going to buy a cellular phone!” Rena said as she picked up the elevator phone again to call security.
“I should have ate lunch. I am starving.” Latonya said.
“I’m sure you can survive one night without food.” Rena replied.
The anger was starting to explode with Latonya and she could not hold it in.
“What do you have against me, or is it because I am black?” Latonya yelled.
“What are you talking about? We are stuck in an elevator and you want to talk about what I might have against you!” Rena yelled back.
“Yes, I am stuck in an elevator with someone who clearly has a problem with me! This is probably your first time with a black person and you can’t walk away!” Latonya screaming.
“Young lady, don’t make statements to me when you don’t know me. I have nothing against black people! I was involved in the Civil Rights Movement. You can’t make statements about anyone without knowing them! Did anyone ever teach you respect!”
“You are the one that started yelling and disrespecting me, Mrs. or Miss Rosenberg!” “And you don’t know and will never know what it is like to be treated differently because of who you are!” Latonya said.
Rena Rosenberg started to soften, looked at Latonya, and shook her head.
“I knew you were too young toL be a supervisor. You are young, and don’t know the world like I do. I just told you not to make statements if you don’t know what you are saying. I know more about being treated differently than you will ever know at this moment. Maybe you will have more experiences in your lifetime than I ever did, but you can never say you have been through more than I have at this moment. I was four years old when I survived the Holocaust. My mother and I were the only two that survived in my family. My father, brother and two sisters died. You said early you were hungry. You don’t know the true meaning of hunger.”
Latonya was speechless because she knew about the history of the Holocaust. Than she started to think about how Rena was yelling at her and what she was saying to her. The elevator alarm was possibly similar to the alarms that were sounded when she was a little girl. The part about hunger is what she really knows about.
Rena picked up the phone again and the security answered the phone. “I am Rena Rosenberg and I and another person are stuck on the elevator.” She provided the information to security and an elevator technician was on their way to the building.
Rena turned around to glance at Latonya. “I want to tell you something and it is off record. I have nothing against your nationality. I believe you are too young. But because I like how you say what is on your mind and you are strong minded, I will teach you what I can before I retire.” Rena said.
Latonya replied, “Thank you, and I am sorry for what you have lost.”
Rena said, “In this world everything that is lost is also a gain. And you have to look at life that way.
Joan Ellen Gandy
Copyright 1998, 2000
Waterfalls are Possible under the hot desert sun
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Those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint” Isaiah 40:31, NIV.