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Vacancies: Chapter 2

What sort of scale were they working with to think that she and her husband didn’t qualify for something, anything! Middle-class misery

That daughter was doing a good job on her mother; there was no reason for Laya to interfere. The girl would make the sale all by herself, Laya thought, casting a careful sidelong glance at the pair in the corner.

“I’ll wear it every Shabbos, I know! They have gold on them, all my outfits match with gold. Nude shoes are too mature, I’m not 20!”

Yes, yes, keep going. Laya tried to telepathically message the daughter to try the, “It’s not so expensive when you think about the cost per wear” tactic. The mother seemed near breaking point. Laya had already brought out six pairs of shoes, and they’d hit Macy’s and Lord and Taylor before coming to Tziptoes. Nordstrom was next.

The mother looked exhausted, her shoulders drooped, she just needed a little push. Laya was sure the daughter would deliver, allowing Laya to maintain her dignity and not become the aggressive overseller some anonymous Google reviewer had dubbed her.

She wouldn’t need to be so pushy if the tuition committee would understand basic economics and her financial reality. Laya clicked on the e-mail she’d received earlier that morning, reading it yet again.

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Roth,

After careful review, the committee has determined that your children are not eligible for a financial assistance scholarship based on your income as indicated on your tax returns and accompanying documents.

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to us.


The Tuition Committee

Laya stabbed the X in the corner of the screen to exit the e-mail. Feel free to reach out? So they can tell me no to my face? Maybe they wouldn’t say no to my face, maybe that’s why they send cowardly e-mails and claim they’re efficient.

Seriously, they expected her to pay over 60 grand in tuition for five kids? At that rate, it wasn’t worth working. She should close the store. Or maybe Chesky should quit his job and go back to kollel, he’d been threatening to do that for years anyway. Then they’d qualify for a break.

What sort of scale were they working with to think that she and her husband didn’t qualify for something, anything! Middle-class misery.

Laya scowled, but then quickly relaxed her features. She didn’t need a Google review commenting on the grumpy proprietor.

The mother-daughter duo were gathering their stuff now, it seemed like the score would be Daughter 1, Mother 0. Sometimes Laya would feel guilty about the power plays she regularly benefitted from, but today she felt she deserved the $109 she’d be making on those shoes. Well, not even that much, there was the cost of the shoes, of course, and all the store’s overhead. Terrible business model. No wonder Zappos is taking over.

(Excerpted from Family First, Issue 654)

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