Thursday, July 20, 2006

A hero's pink collar blues

Huckleberries Online is highlighting the story of Amber Deahn, an area woman who helped direct authorities to Joseph Duncan, who had kidnapped and assaulted young Shasta Groene and murdered her younger brother Dylan. From HBO:
Denny's was proud of Amber Deahn (pictured above) and other employees after they helped rescue Shasta Groene from the clutches of sadistic Joseph Edward Duncan last July – so proud that it bought a USA Today ad to salute them. That was then. After the hoopla died down, Denny's canned Amber while she was on maternity leave. Seems Amber was hired the day she became pregnant, stopped working in August, and went into labor on Labor Day. She delivered the bouncing baby boy 32 hours later. She was ready to go back to work during the Christmas holiday but figured something was up on Dec. 30 when she and hubby Nathan were treated badly when they dropped by the Coeur d'Alene Denny's. She discovered only after she applied for her current job at Coeur d'Alene's AutoZone that Denny's had fired her. While the baby fussed in the background, Amber told Huckleberries during a phone interview that she's worked for AutoZone for three weeks and that she's now counting down the 545 days until Nathan returns from Iraq. He was among the 60 Army reservists from the region deployed Monday. The reward money's gone. Amber joked that she wasted it on medical bills. But she remains in the spotlight. On July 27, she will appear on "The Montel Williams Show" along with other women involved in the rescue of others. And she's often recognized by well-wishers who ask about the reward offer made by Steve Groene of his $17,000 motorcycle and $10,000 in cash. She's tired of the question. She hasn't received a dime from him.
Here we have a classic example of the thankless attitude toward women's work. Deahn was fired from her job (Did you know that in Idaho it is not required that waitstaff be paid a full minimum wage? Just a reminder to always tip generously, unless you're comfortable with supporting slave labor.) for having the temerity to become pregnant, and she hasn't even received the reward promised her for the act that saved a young girl's life. A woman who has worked so hard for her family, not to mention the safety of others, deserves better.

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