Power Struggle

Everyone in the library looked up as Dorothy, the head librarian, started yelling at Penelope, one of the pages.  Her voice got louder and louder as she taunted the page.  “You never shelve anything right.  You are slow.  You don’t keep the shelves in order.  You are too stupid and clumsy for this job.  It took me an extra five minutes to find this book,” she continued holding up the largest of the reference atlases, “because it was not in the right place.”  Dorothy kept walking closer and closer to Penelope, waving the large atlas as she approached.  A baby in the children’s section started crying and everyone looked uncomfortable.  Penelope silently stared down at her shoes clenching and unclenching her fists.  The head library tech, Betty, watched with a satisfied smirk.  She believed in bullying people to maintain her own power and she got away with it most of the time because of Dorothy’s example.  But not today!  Penelope was a favorite with both the patrons and the rest of the staff.  They’d seen this happen too often.  Without a word, everyone except Dorothy, Betty, and of course poor Penelope, stood up and walked out of the library.  It took Dorothy a moment to notice but when she did she yelled at her departing staff, “You get back in here or I’ll fire the lot of you!”  They turned and looked at her, some with pity, some with scorn in their eyes, and continued to leave without uttering a word.  Dorothy wheeled back on Penelope only to notice Penelope walking to the exit as well.  Dorothy was furious.  She reached out to grab Penelope, but was too slow and as Penelope walked out the door, loud cheers were heard from staff and patrons alike.

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