When I Was Brave

Barbara Stoner
1 min readSep 26, 2023

A long time ago in a universe a little north of here, I was working the night shift at the cherry factory to earn some much-needed extra money when we were told that there would be no more “cigarette” breaks. You see, men and women were now supposed to be treated equally, and since the men didn’t get one, now the women couldn’t have one either. I was incensed (a smoker at the time) and talked my co-workers into pushing back. They decided to stop work at our usual break time, and I thought they were very brave, but then they designated ME to talk to management. I had not foreseen that. I was not brave. But after getting them to promise they would all stand up when I went forward, I swallowed hard and left the line. To my surprise, when I looked back, they were all standing. They made me brave and we all got our breaks. Even the men. That was my bravest moment ever.

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