Angel went a bit crazy. By that, I mean she went off of her medication and intentionally drove her car into a group of trees in order to kill them since they were going to attack her. She went to a hospital and was given leave from Discount Store until she was better. I sent her a card and waited to hear that I’d been promoted, even if it was just for a few months until Angel came back.

Who else did they have to choose from? It was me (already trained) or Oxana. That’s when Assistant Manager pulled me aside for another chat and left me grinding my teeth to the gums.

“Zoogie2, you are not getting the promotion.”

“What? I’m trained; Oxana is not trained!” I said, imaginging it must be Oxana getting the position.

“Oxana will not be promoted either, because her English is not strong enough. You will not be promoted because the regional manager thinks – after Jessie’s mistakes and Angel’s instability – that promoting high school students is a bad idea. No more high school students can be promoted. So Manager will hire someone, but I will make sure Manager does not expect you to train them.”

That night I applied to ten other places, determined to leave the shit heap that was my job.

I knew they had hired someone, but I wasn’t paying much attention since I had the flu – it was awful. I called sick to work and to school for over a week and could barely lift my head to vomit. I received a call from Manager saying that if I didn’t go to the mandatory work meeting that night, I was fired. They were introducing the new Key Holder, so I put on my uniform and my mom dropped me off.

After a long introduction where I wearily swayed on my feet, sick and dehydrated, Manager finally interrupted the meeting to ask if I was ok. They got a trash can under me in time for me to puke, then Oxana caught me before I fell over. They sent me home, not a good first impression with my new supervisor, Ana…