Wednesday, February 23, 2011

"The Difference a Quarter Makes" by Irene Clark

My name is Irene Clark. I would like to tell you something that happened to me when I started to work in this country. My cousin's husband was a hostess at a restaurant and he found a job for me in the morning, cleaning the bar. He was working at night so we didn't see each other. My cousin showed me where to take the bus to go to work and where to get off and also how to get back home. The first day I went to work, my aunt gave me 50 cents: one quarter to go to work, and one quarter to come back home. When I got off the bus, I was tossing a quarter in my hand and I dropped my quarter in the sewer, but I wasn't paying much attention to it. After I finished working, I went out to the street and that was when I remembered I didn't have the quarter to get back home. So I kept looking at the street and asking myself how I was going to get back home. I didn't know my way home except by taking the bus. For a little while, I was thinking and I thought if I followed the bus, I would be able to get back home. I waited for the bus to see the way the bus was going and how I could follow it. So, I started to walk behind the bus until I couldn't see it anymore. Then, I waited for another one and did the same. By the time I got home, it was very late and my family was very worried because they had been looking for me without knowing where I had been. They called my work and my boss told them I had left at 4:00 pm. It was 7:00 pm when I finally got home. They were mad at me because they couldn't understand why I hadn't called home or asked somebody for a quarter. But I was embarrassed to ask for a quarter or tell them what had happened. The next day, when I came to work, my boss knew what had happened to me, and he was laughing. I didn't like it, but I couldn't do anything about it because it was my fault.