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The Salary Is Soda-pressing

| Friendly | November 26, 2015

(I am babysitting a little girl overnight. The mother is paying me a lot less than what I normally charge for babysitting, but I take the job because I have bills to pay and my job teaching preschool pays badly. In this story, the mother has left us $5 to get a ready-made pizza from a chain that advertises $5 pizzas. When we arrive at the chain, which is situated in a discount store, we are told that they are currently out of the ready-made pizzas, and it will be a ten-minute wait. This is acceptable, so we sit at a booth. The pizza chain has a soda fountain which clearly offers free refills, as the employees of the discount store keep coming up to refill their pre-purchased cups. My charge has been eyeing the fountain.)

Kid: “I’m thirsty.”

Me: “If you go up to the pizza counter and ask nicely, they’ll probably give you a cup for water.”

Kid: “I don’t want water. I want a soda.”

Me: “Unfortunately, your mother didn’t leave us any money for that. Just the pizza, but you’re more than welcome to get that water. Or our pizza will be done in just a few minutes. I think there’s juice at home, if you want to wait until we get our pizza and head back.”

Kid: “No! I don’t want juice! I don’t want water! I want a soda!”

Me: “Your mom didn’t leave us money for soda, [Kid]. She only left us enough for the pizza.”

Kid: “Then you buy it with your money.”

Me: “I don’t have any money for soda. I only have what your mom left us for pizza.”

Kid: “What? How can you not have money? Didn’t you just get paid?”

(I think I stared at her open-mouthed for a full thirty seconds before replying that no, I had not just gotten paid. I have no idea where she got that idea, but while it was the first time a babysitting charge had demanded that I use my own money to buy them something frivolous, it was certainly not the last. It was, however, the last time I sat for her.)

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