Conflict Scenario: Within a Power Differential (downloadable choose your own adventure) created by Leah Cooper, Ashley Hanson, and Pogi Sumangil for PAHRTS: An administrator struggles with an inappropriate and inconsistent boss.
The clock on her car reads 9:02 am as she circles the block one more time looking for street parking.
“Damn snow emergency!” she says out-loud to herself. Cars are piled nearly on top of each other and Kara adds her 1995 Toyota to the mix, bumping its bumpers between two other cars until she stops the engine. She sits there for a moment, dreading walking into the theater, knowing that her being a few minutes late will warrant some kind of comment from John. She sighs and makes her way into the theater offices.
“Hey Michele,” Kara says to her part-time box office / office managing / bookkeeping / (what was her job title exactly?) only other co-worker who is busy typing away at her computer already. Michele is twice Kara’s age, but they have a good working relationship.
“Good morning Kara,” she replies without turning her head. Kara understands… it’s a busy Monday morning – the show opens this weekend.
“Another weekend of partying, huh Kara? Putting on your sexy little black dress and driving the boys crazy. It must be great to be so young and carefree,” John said with a sly grin, “I remember back when I didn’t have any responsibilities but to myself – the good old days!”
“John,” Kara sighed, “I don’t drink, remember?” She doesn’t even address his second comment. John doesn’t know that Kara is in a long-term relationship with her girlfriend, Lisa – she decided her first month of working at THIS Theater Company that it would be better to keep her business and personal life separate.
“Sure you don’t,” John replied, “everyone your age drinks… Now, be a good girl and grab me a coffee, will you?”
As soon as John’s back was turned, Kara rolls her eyes and makes her way into the small kitchen to wash out the pot of coffee. On her way past Michele’s desk, Michele turns to her and gives her a “that’s just John being John” kind of look. As she starts the coffee pot, she thinks to herself, “now, this is a task that was not in my job description.”
She remembers how excited she was to find the posting of full-time Administrative Assistant for THIS Theater Company. The one she has been going to since she was young, the one that she kept returning to throughout college, the one whose work she has always admired. For the three years since she graduated, every part-time job, every internship, every steppingstone, she put into place to work towards getting a job at THIS Theater Company. She remembers watching John’s curtain speeches and wishing that she could meet him and convince him of why she should work for THIS Theater Company. Eight months ago, when she got the phone call that she got the job, it was one of the happiest days of her life!
She pours the brown water into a stained mug and makes her way back to John’s office. She sets down the coffee and starts to walk back to her desk.
“Oh, Kara,” John stops her in her tracks, “The draft promo blurb you sent me last week was no good. I need a rewrite, ASAP.”
“Oh, well I asked for comments by Friday – I think it already went to the graphic designer, but I’ll see what I can do – What would you like me to change?”
John let out a big, vocal sigh. “Nevermind,” he growled, “I’ll do it. You know what they say, you want something done right…” He turns back to his computer.
Kara starts to leave then turns back towards John…
Confront John directly
Go to Michele for advice
(Download the Choose your Own Adventure Conflict Scenario: Within a Power Differential)