Hustleman

One day, after I walked home from school, I decided to stop by to ask if I could get a job. I mean maybe if I could earn money, I could help Mom buy food. I was determined to at least try.
I walked through the front door. Behind the counter was a teenage girl.
“Hey kid, can I help you?”
“Yes, I am wondering if I can get a job here?”
“Hi, I am Babe. I am sorry, honey, but you are way too young.” “Okay, take care.” I said as I turned around and walked out. Just
as I got to the sidewalk, I heard a voice behind me.
“Hey, kid, wait!” I turned to see who hollered at me. There was
Babe with an older man.
“Hey, kid, do you need a job? I need someone to pick up my
parking lot and sweep it. If you do a good job, I will pay you well.” I made my way back to where Babe and the older man were standing.
“I will do it. Can I work every day? We need the money.” “Let’s start by telling me your name.”
“My name is Joey.”
“Nice to meet you, Joey. I am Bob. I own this joint. How
old are you?”
“I am eight, sir.”
“Very good. I will show you what I need you to do every
Saturday. I will pay you two dollars each time.” I was so excited to have a job.
Bob walked me through the duties in no time flat. After he showed me where I could get the supplies, he gave me a can of soda. As I sat across from him at one of the tables he said.
“One more thing son. This job will not help much with your family’s situation. You are just a child; it is not your place to be con- cerned with this matter. What this job will do for you is give you a little spending money to buy something you want. I am impressed with your attitude and commitment to this job. If you do good work, I will give you a raise,” he stated emphatically. After I drank my soda, I made my way to the door.
“Thanks, Bob, and thank you, Babe. I will see you later.” “Tomorrow, kid. You work tomorrow. It is Saturday,” Babe said.
31

WHEN THE DUST SETTLED
“Oh, yeah. I will be here; bye.” Not only did I have my first job, I was in love with Babe. She was gorgeous. She had green eyes, brown hair, and was tall. I made it home, daydreaming about my future as a Sandwich Factory employee and maybe even Babe’s boyfriend.
I woke up the next morning. Instead of joining the other kids for our ritual of cartoon bonanza, I made my way to my job. I told Ma all the details. She was okay with me doing this. After all, it may lead to a longtime full-time job. I was surprised, to be honest, that she was so easygoing about it. Now there was nothing to i

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