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Heads and Tails - Chapter 9

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By Leigh Anne Florence

 1997 – Not the 21st century, but close! At least everything felt familiar. For one, our computer was back. Not the computer I was accustomed to, but a late ‘90s model. I had to dial a phone number so I could connect to the Internet. Our TV included more channels and a remote control. Also, just by turning it on, we knew all the news all around the world in just a matter of minutes.

As I had in every other era, I wanted to find a job. By spending foolishly in the ‘50s, I had suffered a setback. I needed to work hard to recover from my mistake. After reading the classifieds in the newspaper and searching the Internet, I decided Matt Mobley might know of something I could do.  I asked my parents if Chloe and I could walk to Mobley’s Mart. Mom said she would drive us. With the traffic, she didn’t want us out alone. As we drove to Mobley’s Mart, we were amazed at the growth. There were stores, coffee shops, gas stations and office complexes on every corner. We arrived at Mobley’s Mart and couldn’t believe our eyes. It was one of the biggest stores we’d seen. No longer was it called Mobley’s Mart, but “Mobley’s Mega Super Center.” Mom, Chloe, and I stayed together as we entered. At the Super Center, one could buy groceries, purchase clothes, get a prescription filled, and even make deposits or withdrawals at a bank! A shopper could even pick out a fresh lobster for dinner!

“Excuse me, is Matt Mobley available?” I asked one of the workers. “You mean, Matt Mobley, the CEO?” I didn’t know what CEO meant, but Mom said it was the top boss, chief executive officer. Within a matter of minutes, the three of us were seated in Matt’s office. After we caught up on the news and after Matt teased me about the Elvis incident, I explained I was looking for a job. “Well, Woody, I’m having cable dug underground so the Super Center can have Internet access. We could sure use your digging skills,” Matt said. Even though Matt and I were friends, he explained that I still had to fill out an application and even interview several times before obtaining the cable-digging job. 

After several interviews, Matt called me on the phone. “Congratulations, Woodster!” Matt said. “You were chosen for the job. Before you can start however, you have to go through OSHA training.” I was confused. “OSHA, a government agency, stands for Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Its goal is to prevent accidents on the job.” “Don’t worry about that,” I said. “I haven’t had an accident in months – and that was only because I drank too much Jungle Juice before bed.” Matt laughed and said that wasn’t the kind of accident OSHA was concerned about.

The days flew by and before I knew it the job was complete. With the long hours and minimum wage at $5.15 per hour, my paycheck was large. After the company took out taxes, my net pay was a little over $300. Using the bank at Mobley’s Mega Super Center, I deposited 10 percent into my savings account. I donated 10 percent to the local Humane Society since they were building a brand new animal shelter. I would keep the other 80% and use it wisely. 

“Thanks for your help, Matt,” I said as I stopped by his office before leaving the store. “You’re welcome, Woodster. Listen, everyone knows you’re the best digger around. Have you ever thought about starting your own company? Just think, you could advertise in the newspaper, on the Internet, or even have your very own Web site.” “How would I get the money to start a company?” I asked. “Well, I know you have a nice savings account. It may not be enough, but you could find a partner to go into business with you. With your skills and experience, you would be one top diggin’ dog!”

Wow! I did enjoy digging – and did well at it, too. Maybe it would be a good investment, but what would I dig? I had dug potatoes and ditches, but knew I didn’t have enough training or education to open my own digging company, yet there had to be something I could do. If there was one thing I had learned, it was that I needed to really think about this decision. I had to evaluate my savings and consult my budget – and my family, of course.  Before I rushed into anything, my No. 1 goal was getting back to the 21st century. I didn’t want to start any other project until that was complete. Purchasing a penny from Chloe, I looked at the date…

Thanks to LG&E/KU both E.ON companies and KPA for making this project possible. Thanks to the Kentucky Secretary of State for sponsoring the new podcast. For podcast and questions and activities go online to www.kypress.com.