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Friday, March 27, 2015

THE DELI - CHAPTER 3


 

 
 
Like most older people Lennie’s father was set in his ways and didn’t want to change anything. 

When he saw the new layout and the new cases; he was lost and couldn’t find anything.  Also there were none of their homemade products, and it was too much.  Lennie had to take him in the back office to cool down.

When his Dad had settled down enough, Lennie told him what he saw in the cases were products that cost less than half of what it cost him to make them. 

People wouldn’t pay the higher prices even though the home made stuff was much better.

He allowed his dad to watch the customers as they shopped and then went to the checkout stand. He explained it took less than half the staff to run the shop now.

His father was worried about the workers who worked there for years and Lennie said they have retired like you.

Right now Lennie said we are making money but in the future we will start to lose again.  This neighborhood is a slum in the making and we must sell now or we won’t be able to salvage anything from the business.

His father wanted to know how someone else could make money and Lennie couldn’t.

Lennie said they will be willing to do things I can’t bring myself to sell and will be skirting the letter of the law.

Lennie was getting tired of explaining and arguing so he finally said it is either sell and live comfortable the rest of your life or go broke and live on the dole in a one room apartment till you die.

I need to get some employment for I have worked without pay for too long and am about broke.

His father still wanted to argue and said you ruined the business by bringing the junk in here.

Lennie handed his father the keys to the store and said, “You haven’t listened to anything I’ve said. You haven’t worked here for three years and don’t know what has happened to the neighborhood.

The people who live here now don’t want our old products, they won’t buy them, and if you want to bring them back be my guest.

You will be completely broke in a month and will owe money you can’t pay and be foreclosed upon.

Lennie said I’m out of here.  You know where I live for the next week then I have to move because I can’t pay my rent.

His father stood there mumbling and shaking the keys.  He locked the doors and walked through the neighborhood once again. He could see how it was beginning to be run down and just a few people he knew sitting on their stoop to try to cool off.

The ones he knew were getting old and weren’t long for this world.

He began to feel uncomfortable for some young guys were staring at him.  He hailed a cab and went to Lennie’s apartment and handed him the keys and said; “Sell,”and left.

The next day Lennie met with the new buyers and a couple weeks later the deal was done. They paid in cash which sped up the process.

Lennie took the proceeds and paid off his folk’s house, set up a bank account for them.  With their government check they were in good financial shape.

He was all but flat broke since he never took any of the proceeds for himself. He didn’t want his siblings to say he took advantage of the folks so he gave them a complete accounting of the transaction along with the fact he had worked for free the last three years.
 Of course they all said he should have taken wages but they didn’t understand it was that money he used to change the store over to a profitable enterprise.

In any case he could breathe freely once again for he was liberated of that responsibility.  Now it was time for him to plan his own future.

 TO BE CONTINUED
 
 

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