EXCERPT FROM "CAN WE COME IN AND LAUGH, TOO?"
When I was 14, my mother talked her office manager at Oregon Mutual Insurance Company into hiring me as a file clerk for a month in the summer when the regular clerk went on vacation. The job was simple enough: file the case folders and index cards back in their alphabetical drawers after they were used. There were lots of cards, lots of folders and lots of drawers. It was very boring, the room was hot and stuffy and I frequently sat on the little stool, pulled out a lower drawer and laid my head down for a nap.
Rosetta would pass by the file room on her way to the restroom and discover me nodding off. She would duck in, shake me awake and say, “Wake up Phyllice, you’re sleeping again. I told them you were a good worker. If the boss catches you, you’ll lose your job and I’ll lose mine, too.”
I’m sure that during that month, Rosetta must have made a hundred trips to the Ladies’ Room just to check on me.
Rosetta had a gift that is often referred to as “a keen sense of the obvious”. You could come to her with any problem—personal or academic—lay out the facts and she would cut through all the B.S. to give you the one best answer. That’s why everyone came to her for advice. She wasn’t judgmental, she didn’t over analyze, she just saw the unvarnished truth.