Kayla - Ames, Iowa
Entered on January 5, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: respect

I believe in respect and a person’s dignity.

Two years ago I was working at a daycare where my job was to clean up lunch and toys while the kids were napping. Sarah (my co-worker) and I had worked at the daycare together for three years during our summer vacation. We were cleaning and doing our daily routine, while our lazy boss talked on his cell phone to his girlfriend.

“Girls! You missed a spot on the drawing table”, he ordered.

We walked over and examined the freshly cleaned table and saw no spot. But we re-wiped the clean table and continued with our chores. Our boss took a break and ate the cookies I brought in to share with the kids and he went off on a ramble because the cleaning was not done yet.

He pointed at Sarah and yelled, “Hey you! Why is the chalk still on the floor? Girl, come here!”

Sarah yelled in disgust, “I have a name!” She walked out and slammed the door behind her.

“Let me guess, you’re gonna leave too?” he questioned me.

In shock, I responded, “No, no sir. But she does have a point, do you even know my name?”

He pretended not to hear me and walked away.

I had never felt so degraded. I always respected him and I did not deserve that. I felt like I had no dignity, and was embarrassed that I meant nothing to him. I had worked for the same rude boss for three years and he never bothered to call me by name. Ever since that summer I realized that people do want respect. Whenever I meet someone new I show them respect by repeating their name. It is a simple act of kindness, and respect that takes almost no effort. I believe that everyone deserves this kind of respect and should feel like they are important. Sometimes a little thing, like a name, can mean the world to someone.