© 2011, Mirror Image Presentations
A caveat: this post has not been edited since it was written, not to reflect the talent, or lack thereof, of the writer. No apologies; the content still holds the same value.
The story of Katie Moore versus Starbucks Coffee that surfaced recently, did not so for notoriety or fame. It surfaced because our society has developed a big problem protecting vulnerable, new, inexperienced teenage workers. Attention to this matter needs to come from the stuffed coffers of companies like Starbucks and McDonalds, who specialize in hiring teenagers. They need to take action to marry thoughts with motion, by putting into place an agenda to protect anyone, not just teenagers, in the work place.
It is unfortunate that Katie Moore became a victim of her boss, Mr. Horton, but in her own words, she did tell him that she, “wanted to have sex with him.” She went on to say that she didn’t say, “no” to him because she, “didn’t want to say no,” just as she had not wanted to say “no” to the seven other adult males with whom she had had sexual relations. A sixteen year old girl with that much sexual experience has to be sending off vibrations laden with pheromones. Being “an AP student making good grades”, as her mother, Mrs. Moore, described her, she might have made the choice to say, “no” to the marijuana, the drugs and the alcohol but she chose instead to say, “yes” to each of them. She then agreed to the ground rules of her sexual relationship with her boss, Mr. Horton. This sounds to me like, not only was she Mr. Horton’s sex toy, but she made him her sex toy as well in a dangerous game of reciprocal play.
That doesn’t make it right for a twenty-four year old adult to abuse anyone, much less a sixteen year old, in the work place. I would, however, expect an advanced placement high school student to have suspected she was in trouble the first time she found herself, “ditching school and dropping everything to respond to a sext message” from — her boss??? Adding to the equation, her comment that “everybody at work knew what was going on”, sounds to me rather consensual. As painful as it is, Katie is learning that, “going through deposition after deposition to be victimized once again” is the outplaying of her own consciousness.
Every thought, word, and action has a consequence and she is now paying that consequence. This too shall pass, and before she’s recovered from this incident, her fifteen minutes of fame will be up. That tiny, little voice that taps us on the shoulder does so for a reason and that reason is to get us to stop and think that we may advance with right action. I hope that Katie’s good grades paid off well enough to have allowed her to at least use her sex appeal to grab a few free lattes and some pound cake. Maybe she even got out of having to do some real work during those interludes in the back office. Now she can ad to her résumé that she takes orders well and that she bends over backwards to serve her boss.
As in any story, there are always three sides; yours, mine and the truth, and it’s only a matter of time until that surfaces. My hat goes off to Katie’s mother, Mrs. Moore, for her insight. She admits to not having done everything right and to having been blind to the matter. Even the best of parents cannot control every move that their child makes. Speaking of Starbucks, Mrs. Moore adds, “that does not give them a pass; it doesn’t make it excusable” and I must agree with her.
It should be obvious that companies who hire teenagers have a responsibility to protect these under age workers in the work place. But then again, can we rightfully go so far as to hold these companies responsible for the full gamut of crimes that could occur in the work place? Shouldn’t parents who allow their teenagers to work in adult environments hold some responsibility or are we going to blame it on the teachers? For now, company investment in re-training, with focus on the issue of proper working relationships and behavior, is in order.
It seems, Mr. Horton got off easy with a four month prison term. Mrs. Moore says she now has a mission and in retrospect, she seems determined to be an involved, protective parent. It’s rather late for that but perhaps, better late than never may still apply.
The good news is, someone was bright enough to use protection so that this issue doesn’t involve an “unexpected” bundle of joy; perhaps even twins or triplets. Perhaps Katie is smarter than we give her credit for. Her comment, “I definitely think that it’s good to tell my story” may just be what the world needs now, her fifteen minutes of fame through which to bring attention to and heal this issue of work place teenage sexual abuse.
God bless the child.
And God bless me, and everyone in the world who seeks blessing.
And so it is.