Simdale Valley (Old Town)
August 1-4, 605
Narrated by Moira Jones.
Miguel and I have been having some challenges keeping the bakery running lately, and it isn’t due to our age, even though I turn 60 this week. At least, I don’t think it’s our age. Miguel’s a better baker than ever, and has no trouble getting up at 4:00 AM to bake and prepare to open the store. I still jog in early morning before we open, or after closing.
But our tried and true employees have all moved on to other jobs, so I advertised an open position, for sales and general upkeep of the shop.
In spite of having recently left Bella’s Secret after a very short stay, the most promising of shallow pool of candidates was Lexi Weinstein, so I called her in for an interview.
“Your resume says you only stayed at Bella’s for a week. Can you tell me why you left?”
She smiled, and said that she would rather work at a family-owned shop than a big chain. I don’t know what to believe, but we were desperate for help, and her other references looked solid, so I decided to give her a shot.
I seriously started to doubt my decision the next morning, when she showed up claiming to have a stomach-ache.
Within minutes, she was sitting in the coffee shop area, chatting with customers as if her stomach-ache had miraculously disappeared, but as far as I could tell, she was just loafing, instead of checking if customers needed anything.
Miguel and I were so busy helping customers, we couldn’t get to them all. When one man got angry and stormed out, that was the last straw.
I felt it was better to nip this behavior in the bud, rather than let it slide, so I called her over.
“Lexi, we need help ringing up sales, answering questions, and restocking, not chatting with customers. Did you see that man get frustrated, and walk out after no one helped him?”
Lexi looked confused. She told me that she thought her job description was to clean up the store and nothing needed cleaning right now. She also said she wasn’t familiar with our cash register and couldn’t help ring up customers.
“Next time you don’t know what needs to be done, just check with me, Ok?” I said. “There’s always something that needs to be done. Right now, we need some restocking done. Can you do that?”
She said she could, and got started on it right away.
But she couldn’t keep up with the pace of sales. The coolers were practically empty and customers kept coming in.
I called Julia, our granddaughter. She’s on break between semesters at PSU. I asked her if she could come give us a hand, and we closed the store for a few hours and got everything caught up quickly, with her help.
Julia offered to call Hattie, her friend and roommate, and see if she could come help out too.
“I’ll gladly pay both of you, if you can help,” I said, relieved.
When Hattie arrived, Julia explained what was going on and showed her the check-out tablets we use. Hattie’s in the honors program, too, and a quick study, and she was very willing to help.
Julia quickly got her a uniform and a tablet.
In between ringing up customers, she even managed to check in on customers and take eat-in orders for pastries, tea, and coffee.
as well as box up to-go orders
Miguel noticed she was a little distracted by one young man she was ringing up
And Julia told us his name is Gordon Nott, and they have been sweet on each other all summer. She said they have been taking it slow, but she thinks they are a great match, and so cute together. Hattie loves to read, and Gordon’s a Literature major, and both of them are really kind and considerate. She said the only problem is, Gordon’s frat brother, Seiki Ono, had really hurt Hattie. That’s why he’s respecting her wishes not to jump quickly into another relationship.
Hattie and Julia were both great help. I wish they could stay on when school starts, but they’ll both be juggling full-time honors program and competitive business internships, so it won’t be feasible. Maybe by then, Lexi will have caught on to both the skills and the work ethic we need.
Miguel and I are concerned that Lexi might not work out.
After all, when Hattie was taking orders, Lexi was loafing with the customers again, and even had the nerve to ask for free donuts!
But we agree, we might as well see if we can train her since she’s all we’ve got right now.
This week is not only my 60th birthday, but also my daughter, Alexis’ 42nd birthday. We’ve been planning a special get-together at the house for family and friends.
Early on the morning of the party, I went for a jog and did my yoga routine.
Hattie and Julia had stayed over. It was great to have them; they hadn’t stayed since last Thanksgiving. Hattie joined me for yoga.
I was enjoying my coffee and the peacefulness of early morning.
Miguel was fixing Alexis’ favorite, Pasta Primavera.
Alexis arrived and we started with salad.
Miguel and I raved to Alexis about Julia and Hattie, and how they’d saved the day at the shop.
After a while, Alexis and I retreated to my room to catch up more privately on her latest juicy gossip. She’s doing great, just working, and enjoying her freedom, now that Julia’s moved out and she doesn’t have any romantic interests. Since she had Julia so young, and then worked her way through law school, she never had leisure time before. She’s having lots of fun going out dancing, most evenings. But I do wonder if she’ll find a special someone; I don’t want her to be lonely later in life.
Then we found the others outside, and I excused myself to go clean up in the kitchen while they chatted.
Miguel told me later, Julia was asking her mom if she’d decided whether to help her rent an apartment instead of living in the Honors Dorm again this fall.
Alexis told her, she would have been grateful to be able to live in a dorm, she lived at home with us and cared for Julia as she worked her way through college and law school. And anyway, their scholarships completely covered the cost of the Honors Dorm, but wouldn’t cover all the cost of the high rent off campus around the university.
Julia said that a lot of the other students acted like they were on drugs, and it was really chaotic sometimes. And the food was terrible.
Miguel was sympathetic on that point, but Alexis was not.
“It’s not like when you were growing up, mom,” she said. “There’s this one guy, Amulius, who starts fights constantly!”
Hattie spoke up. “Amulius is a sweet guy, he just has a hard time managing his anger.”
Julia has told us that Hattie will point out the good in anyone, but as her friend, Julia listened without contradicting her, because although she disagreed with Hattie, she knew it was Hattie’s earnest belief.
Then she turned back to her mom. “Mom, we need to have our own place. We work really hard and we won’t let you down.”
Alexis threw her hands up in defeat. Although I know she feels that Julia should be thankful for what she has, she also knows that she is a very hard worker and has asked for very little from her parents.
“Ok,” she agreed. “But no boys overnight as long as I’m helping pay rent.”
- I really wanted them to fire Lexi, but since they don’t have any perks yet and haven’t had time to train her, I figured I should give that a try, first. They couldn’t make a profit before they got Julia to help because the only things Lexi would do was clean and sometimes, stock, but very slowly. They lost a sale while she was assigned to ring customers up. And one time, when Moira checked in with her, she requested free donuts! I played the store three days, and on the last day, Lexi skilled up in sales so the game says she can ring customers up now. I didn’t realize she wasn’t able to do that before.
- Gordon Nott was the guy who was checking out Jenny Blue on the first day I played the store. Then he came in again when Hattie was there. In Sims 4, Gordon and Hattie hadn’t met yet, although in May, 4 months ago, in Sims 2 they had a great first date, and last year, they had met and hit it off in the library at PSU. So I’m giving Sims 4 Gordon a pass this time on the googling. Sims 4 Gordon is, I think, going to be a very nice guy.
- It’s actually me getting fed up with the dormies that made me want to have Julia and Hattie move out of the Honors Dorm, even when still playing Sims 2. The dormies do act like they are on drugs, at least some of the time! Now I just need to get them set up in a nice little apartment near campus before their fall post.