Why I Failed in
for LJ became an issue, since I had to work some nights and
weekends. None of the daycares, even the home ones, wanted to work
retail hours. Jane Ann refused to take up the slack, saying LJ was
my "lumpy-headed baby" and, therefore, my responsibility.
On my Taco Nacho salary, even as an assistant manager, reliable help
was hard to find. I happened upon a good-natured deaf girl (on
Social Security disability due to a back injury) who was willing to
take care of LJ if I paid her under the table. I was a little
concerned that she couldn't hear him cry or lift anything over 20
pounds - like LJ - but LJ was a happy tot and I had no other choice.
The situation at Taco Nacho became unbearable. The other assistant
manager, Chad, invented a new entrée: the Taco Nacho Nacho Taco.
Totally lame, since all he did was pile two tacos together and drown
them in cheese sauce, but the home office guys creamed their pants
over it. Chad - the brown-nosing overachiever - was promoted to
manager at our store. I had to get out fast.
I landed a second interview with the Homes and Wrecks Insurance
agency and knew I was a shoo-in for the job. I was assigned to the
"Wrecks" department, which was auto insurance sales. I didn't know
much about insurance, but figured it was a product everyone needed.
Turns out it was even more competitive than the Taco Nacho was, plus
I had sales quotas to meet. Homes and Wrecks had its own version of
Chad, named Emily. Emily was pure evil, which I could tell from one
glance at the swastika tattoo on her neck and the plaid skirt that
didn't even cover her rear end.
Emily always had the highest sales and customer satisfaction ratings
of anyone in our office and our division. I happened to notice that
all her customers were men and that she seemed to meet them in the
evenings at bars a lot of times. I suspected she liquored them up to
close deals, which I considered unfair. But what could I say about
the agency's star performer?
Four years in, I decided to think like Emily and took my next
prospect out to a bar. Things were going well until about the fifth
shot of tequila. I suddenly realized I had forgotten to pick up LJ
and reached in my pocket for my phone. Only it was his pocket and it
wasn't a phone I grabbed.
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