A Day At The Park
They say “revenge is a dish best served cold.” Well, this slice of revenge pie had been sitting in the deep freeze for ten years until it was finally time to get back at one cruel, racist woman.
The story begins when a Redditor, who we’ll call Michael, was just a freshman in high school. On most weekdays after school, Michael would walk to his uncle’s house to babysit his young cousin, who we’ll call Barry. Barry was just a little kid, about two or three years old at time.
It’s important to note here that Michael and Barry come from an Indian family and are bilingual. Even though they both speak English, Michael and Barry speak in their native language to each other because they’re already used to speaking that way around family.
Barry’s favorite place to go was the public park across the street from his house, so that’s where he and Michael would spend many of their afternoons. According to Michael, “It was a simple park, about the size of a football field with a playground in one corner and the rest being all grass.”
One day, Barry begged Michael to go to the park, so they went. However, Michael quickly found out that this visit to the park wouldn’t be like the others.
For a while, Michael and Barry had the whole park to themselves. Barry was too scared to go down the slide by himself, so Michael picked him up and let him slide about halfway and then they would start over. They were both having fun and laughing, when a lady, who we’ll call Karen, and her daughter came by. The little girl started playing on the swings as Karen sat on a bench nearby to watch.
While Karen’s daughter was swinging, Michael called out to Barry and encouraged him to go to the top of the slide…in their native language. Apparently Karen couldn’t bear to hear someone speaking in a different language because that’s when she started screaming at Michael and Barry.
Michael and Barry were just minding their own business when Karen swooped in and started yelling at them.
“Hey! You need to speak English when you’re around me!” Karen screamed at the boys.
Michael, confused, replied, “Huh? I’m just telling him to-“
Karen cut Michael off in the middle of his explanation to continue her tirade. “THIS IS AMERICA! WE SPEAK ENGLISH HERE!”
“Uh, I’m just trying to play with my cousin. He doesn’t speak English too well,” Michael replied, even though Barry did understand English; he figured a little white lie would help him get this lady off his back.
Karen shot back, “I don’t care! You speak English when you’re around me and my daughter!”
Now, Michael has had plenty of run-in’s with racism. Especially living in post-9/11 America. Michael recalled the atmosphere he encountered as a result of the terrorist attack, “I’m Indian, but I look very Arab and got harassed a lot after 9/11. This, however, was different.” He was just there with a child, visibly having an awesome time playing at the park. “There was no reason for this lady to impose her hatred on me.”
It was at this point, Michael decided to quit playing nice. If this vile person wanted him to speak English, he would…but she was not going to like what he had to say.
Not Going To That Park Anymore
In English, Michael told Barry, “Hey, let’s just ignore this hag,” then continued to speak in their native language.
Overhearing what Michael said, Karen bellowed, “WHAT DID YOU JUST CALL ME?!”
Michael turned to her, looked her straight in the eye and said, “Oh, I called you a hag. Because that’s what you’re being.”
In that moment, all Karen could see was red. She shouted back, “OH, I’M CALLING MY HUSBAND. HE’S GONNA MAKE YOU REGRET YOU SAID THAT!”
At this point, Michael knew that there was going to be big trouble if they didn’t get out of that situation soon, so he told Barry that it was time to go. While they were leaving, Karen kept yelling and screaming at Michael and Barry, telling them how her husband was on the way to the park and that he was going to beat them up. She even threatened to call the cops because she swore that Michael wasn’t really Barry’s cousin and actually had abducted him instead.
For weeks after the incident, Michael constantly felt paranoid. “I kept thinking the cops were going to want to talk to me or something.” When he told his uncle what had happened, they both agreed that it would be best to avoid the park for a while.
Karen may have won the battle at the park that fateful day, but little did she know that it would be Michael who would win the war. The only thing was, his revenge would take place ten years later.
Ten Years Later
It’s been ten years since the incident and Michael is now thriving. He graduated high school and landed a job at a plant in his home city. “The thing about this plant,” Michael explains, “it’s one of the few places in my city that pays well over minimum wage. A lot of the people in my city try super hard to get into this plant, but few do. Most people end up moving out my city or commuting over an hour to where all the good jobs are.”
Not only is Michael working at one of the most sought out companies in his region, but due to a series of promotions, hard work, having the right skills, and being at the right place at the right time, he climbed his way up the ladder to become the #2 person at the plant. Michael humbly credits his plant manager who “has put a lot of faith in me and has taken me under his wing.”
Part of Michael’s job responsibilities these days is hiring people and making sure they get trained properly. Recently, the company had to let go of one of their office ladies, so Michael called up a placement agency and told them they needed a new office administrator to start the following Monday.
When Monday rolled around, a familiar face showed up to fill the office administrator role. It was Karen.
All it took was one look for Michael to recognize who she was, and in that moment, he knew her time at the plant would be cut very short.
She Didn’t Remember, But He Did
For whatever reason, Karen didn’t recognize Michael when they were introduced at the plant. He recognized her, but that’s because he could never forget a woman who was so vile and racist towards him.
After their introductions, Karen was passed off to HR for a bit so she could fill out some paperwork. Afterward, it was time for Michael to give her a tour of the plant. He did all the standard first day procedures with her; let her know which areas she’s allowed to go, what area she’s not, etc. Then, he passed Karen off to the ladies in the front office so she could begin her training. Michael, being the kind person he is, even popped by her office throughout the week to see how she was getting acclimated and get updates on her performance.
At this point, Michael really started to contemplate what he was going to do. Did he want to keep this lady on staff? Was it even worth taking revenge?
Then, a few days later, he made up his mind. He was going to get revenge.
The Moment He Was Waiting For
Through Michael’s conversations with Karen over the week, he found out a lot of useful information he could use against her for his revenge plot. Karen had actually been wanting to get into this plant for a LONG time. Working there was pretty much her dream job. The placement agency she had been trying to get job placement with kept sending her to companies that had an hour+ commute. She ended up quitting her last job and let the placement agency know she wanted to work somewhere much closer to home.
After gathering this information, Michael finally decided how he was going to get his revenge: “I’m going to lead her on and make it seem like she’s going to be staying with the company and the let her go unexpectedly.” It was a beautiful, fool proof plan. He was going to hit her where it really hurt and make himself look good in the process.
On Thursday of that week, Michael set up an appointment with Karen to finish up their training. He had just finished up a powerpoint for new employees when he got her to open up to him a little more. Michael asked, “Have you been living in the city for a while?”
“Yes,” Karen replied.
When Michael asked what part of the city, Karen mentioned she lived near a park. The same park by Michael’s uncle’s house where they had their encounter all those years ago.
This was the moment Michael had been waiting for.
Calling Her Out On Her Racism
“Oh! I used to go to the park all the time!” Michael said. “I used to take my little cousin, but I stopped because I ran into this racist lady one day who threatened to have her husband beat me up because she wanted me to speak English.”
As soon as the words left Michael’s lips, Karen’s face changed. She went from excited about the opportunities that lied ahead at her new job to paralyzed with fear. She finally recognized Michael.
Michael didn’t say anything else. He concluded the training and sent Karen on her way to deal with her own shame.
What Goes Around Comes Around
On Friday of that week, Karen showed up to work for started to seem like a normal day at work. But Michael had other plans for Karen.
When Karen went to lunch, Michael called the placement agency and told them to tell her not to come back after lunch. She was being let go and the plant wouldn’t be needing her anymore. Michael wasn’t worried about getting in trouble. “I could do this because she wasn’t an actual employee,” he explained. “We just had a contract through the agency and didn’t need any valid reason to let her go.”
It was a long time coming, ten years to be exact, but Michael finally got the revenge on Karen he had always dreamed of. Let this be a cautionary tale: the bad things you do will alway find a way to come back and haunt you.