By; Speaker Gerald A. Polley

Unfortunately ignorance is not an exclusive of the young.  I've run into my share of older people that should be mature, but in reality are little children that never grew up.  James is a good example of this.
One place I went to work in happened to be run by an old acquaintance who knew my work habits and hired me immediately.  I had only been working a few hours when James walked through the door.  "Well, who are you?" he asked.
"I'm Gerald," I answered, "the new dishwasher."
"Ah, Geraldine!"  James remarked, laughing.  "I'll call you Geraldine!"
Rather taken back I answered, "No you won't.  My name is Gerald, and that's what you'll call me!"
James looked rather disgusted.  "I'll call you any damn thing I want to call you!"  he answered.  "Don't take an attitude with me!  If I want to kid you a little bit, I will."
James walked off and went to work.  A little while later he needed some flour, and began to holler repeatedly "Geraldine, get some flour!"
I totally ignored him.  A few minutes later he came down all in a rage from the baker's area.  "I've been screaming and screaming for flour.  Go get me some.  Didn't you hear me?"
"I heard you hollering for SOMEBODY to get it," I answered, "it wasn't me!"
"You know goddamn well it was you!"  James screamed, "I told you that's what I'm going to call you.  Now go get the flour."
"You call me by my real name," I told him, "I'll get the flour.  As long as you insult me, I won't!"
"I'm not insulting you!"  James screamed.  "I'm just joking with you.  Get the flour!"
I totally ignored him and went back to work. He charged off to the boss' office and I could hear him screaming in there.  A few minutes later he came back, went down into the storeroom, came up with a bag of flour, and headed back up to the baker's section.  The boss came out, looked after him with a big grin, and looked to me, and began to chuckle heavily and returned to his office.
A daily routine ensued.  James would come in, make fun of my name, I'd tell him where he could go, he'd go up to the baker's station in a rage, and if he needed anything tell the cook to have me get it.  This went on for several weeks, much to the amusement of everyone in the restaurant. Then one day it finally came to a head.  I was in the break area.  It had been an EXTREMELY frustrating day.  Several major things had gone wrong and I had been on my feet for nearly seven hours.  The boss had finally insisted I take a break, though there was still quite a mess.
I had just sat down and begun to eat a banana when James walked by.  A big grin came on his face, and at the top of his voice he remarked, "What you doing, Geraldine?  Practicing for your boyfriend tonight?"
Two of the waitresses in the area giggled.  I jumped up, grabbed James by the hair, and literally dragged him out the back door, throwing him on the ground.
"Come on!"  I screamed, "You wanna fight, get up!"
"I don't wanna fight!"  James screamed, "I'm just joking with you, just kidding!  Why can't you take a joke?  Why can't you be a man?"
"I AM a man!  I told him, "and no job is worth putting up with a piece of garbage like you.  Now this is it!  You either leave me alone, or you fight, one or the other!"
 It was then that the boss came flying out the back door.  "That's enough!"  he snapped, "Gerald, go back to work.  No, finish your break, THEN go back to work!  James, I'm going to say this only one more time...LEAVE GERALD ALONE!  Don't make fun of him any more!  You insult Gerald one more time and you're OUT of here!"
"But I'm only..."  James started.
"ENOUGH!"  the boss screamed.  "Do what I told you to do!  No arguments!"
That ended my problems with James at work.  Each morning he'd come in the door and go, "Good morning GERALD!" very sarcastically, and go to work, not speaking to me the rest of the day.
Unfortunately that was not my final altercation with him.  We hardly ever saw each other outside of work because we had different days off. But one afternoon I was in a store with a young lady when James came by with his wife and several of his children.  In a very loud voice so everybody in the store could hear, he called out,
"Hey, Geraldine, your boyfriend's going to get mad if he finds out you've been with a girl!"
My patience was at its end!  I had had all of James I could take.  I walked over, got right in his face, and spat.  He backed off screaming,
"You bastard!  You stinking rotten animal!  How dare you do that in front of my wife and kids?  How dare  you treat a man like that?" My response was to spit again.  At that point the store manager and several of the employees ran up.  "What's going on here?"  the manager insisted.

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