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My father is furious.  My mother is ready to kill me.  Daddy’s gone through the time on the engine and my mother has gone through her gas card receipts and they know what I’ve been up to.  My weekly trips to the beach have to stop.  I’ll never forgive the line boy at the Myrtle Beach airport.  He said to my dad, “What are you doing flying Suzanne’s airplane?”

I could have gotten away with my scheme for all four years of college if he hadn’t opened his big mouth.  My girlfriends and I only went once a week and our grades were good. We never skipped the same class two weeks in a row.  Who were we hurting?  Well, maybe we were hurting my chemistry grade, but I really didn’t care.  I hated that class.

My mother tells me that there is a job opening at a local hardware store.  I’m to report on Monday morning.  She has it arranged already.  I’ll be working in the toy department, since I’m not exactly a tools and hardware type of person.  This is horrible.  This place is smelly and the aisles are crowded. It is a place where I would never go voluntarily.  I am pissed.  Maybe I should steal the plane and run away again.

I show up at work and learn the various boring things that I’m supposed to do.  I walk around and look at the toys, wind a few up just to be obnoxious, then go back to the counter and hang out.  The more I can wind up, the more obnoxious the noise.

At the end of the day, I am informed of the closing routine, and know immediately I’m going to hate it.

“Suzanne, please get the vacuum and vacuum the aisles in the department, then wipe the counters so everything is spotless for tomorrow,” the boss demands.

One of the guys I’m working with is selling Amway.  He sees this as a temporary job, though I have my doubts he will ever get rich with any kind of multi-level marketing.  He goes to all of these meetings that are kind of like pep rallies.  He tries to get me to go.  No, thank you.

I see this job as a sentence to hell.

I wonder if vacuuming is my job because I’m the only girl but I bit my tongue.  How do you turn on a vacuum?  I am not going to ask for help.  I can figure this out.  If I can fly a plane I can do anything.  I find the switch and start to vacuum.

On Aisle 3 I confront the biggest cockroach I’ve ever seen.  I quickly suck that bastard up with the vacuum cleaner before it can get away.  I finish and I go home, but not before I stop at the library and look up alternate careers.  My mother may have squashed any dreams of a career in interior design, but I can do better than this.

And I did.

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