Picture a small metalworking firm, owned by two brothers, bustling with about 30 workers casting metal, wiring, and other tasks. Amidst the chaos of hard labor were five women, including OP, her mom, and three other ladies. Among these women was a certain someone named Karen, who was known to be the favorite of one of the bosses. Karen was notorious for never accepting her mistakes and shoving blame onto others.
She Enjoyed Peace and Harmony
The women were primarily responsible for preparing the product for shipping: cleaning metal bits, grinding seams, sorting good parts from faulty ones.
They all had their share of confrontations with Karen, but OP, preferring peace and harmony, usually kept her thoughts to herself, focusing on her tasks and letting Karen do her thing.
OP wasn’t new to the workshop. She had started working there during summers in the 90s under the watchful eyes of her grandmother, who was an unofficial supervisor.
Her grandmother had imparted all her wisdom about the shop to OP, who had also learned some useful tricks along the way. This knowledge was especially handy when it came to handling the workshop’s washing machines.
She’d Mastered the Tricky Machine
The washing machines at the workshop were more like large bowls filled with specifically shaped stones. The process involved adding water, cleaning agent, and the metal bits into these bowls.
When activated, the machines would vibrate, causing the stones to rub against the products with soap and water, thus cleaning them.
One of these machines was a bit tricky, not just cleaning but also polishing the metal with tiny metal spheres. Having worked there for so long, OP knew exactly how to operate this machine.
One fine day, OP received a call from her boss, who asked if she was using the washing machine.
A Nasty Mix of Oil and Soot
After informing him that she was currently drilling holes and preparing the product for shipping, she was told to expect Karen with some time-sensitive products.
These products were covered in a nasty mix of oil and soot and needed to be cleaned and polished in the special machine.
Karen arrived with the oily, soot-covered products that were in desperate need of cleaning. OP, aware of the machine’s complicated setup, offered her help, only to be dismissed by a condescending Karen.
Intrigued but not bothered, OP returned to her work. However, she was later called by the boss to fix the mess Karen had created by mishandling the machine.
Karen’s Wayward Misadventure
Karen’s misadventure with the washing machine resulted in a disaster. The products ended up dirtier than before.
She had used the wrong cleaning agent and failed to add the polishing powder at the correct time, causing significant damage. The boss, oblivious to Karen’s arrogance, questioned OP for not intervening.
Left to deal with Karen’s mess, OP, with her vast knowledge, managed to salvage the situation. She took up the tedious task of cleaning the machine and stones, as well as the dirty products.
Karen, on the other hand, had to finish OP’s gritty work. While Karen labored, OP efficiently started a washing cycle with the right agent to clean the machine and stones.
She Smirked at Unwashed Peasants
Spending half the day doing next to nothing, she couldn’t help but smirk at the irony: Karen, who had deemed the ‘unwashed peasants’ unworthy of her presence, was forced to get her hands dirty.
Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Luis Molinero. The people shown in the images are for illustrative purposes only, not the actual people featured in the story.