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Code 13 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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     "Code 13 for carry out. Code 13," squawked the intercom. Another call to help someone. Pushing carts is hard enough, but having to deal with customers is unbearable. I am a Wal-Mart associate, a Code 13, who picks up carts in the parking lot and does carry outs for customers. It's not really a tough job, just an annoying one.

I get to see everyone who walks in and out of the store. Not too much happens without me noticing, from cars with leaky gas tanks to fights in the parking lot. People are always running in and out - some I know and some I have never seen before. I love watching the parking lot and see more unusual people than I could imagine. I used to loathe working here, but after last week, I discovered that my life really isn't that bad and neither is my job.

That day I had gotten up late as usual to find that I left the light on in my truck. The battery was dead. What was I to do? Finally, with the help of my mom's car, I got my truck started and headed to work. While on my way, I received a call that was supposed to be good news, but wasn't. My best friend was going to hook me up with this girl, but once she saw who I was, she went running. The day just couldn't get worse, but then it started raining.

I was in such a bad mood by the time I got to work, I didn't really notice much until the biggest jock at school pulled into the parking lot in his nice, brand-new SVT Mustang Cobra. Three girls were with him, which made me even more jealous. He had money, he didn't have to work to have a nice car, and he had the girls I only dream of talking to. He walked by me in his Abercrombie & Fitch clothes and I looked down at my blue Wal-Mart vest that was missing a button. Disgusted, I turned back to work.

A while later he reappeared with the "2 Fast 2 Furious" DVD, which I'd been wanting for weeks. My watch showed it was finally time for a break, and on my way I passed the DVD display. I picked up "2 Fast 2 Furious" to admire the flashy Nissan Skyline GT-R 34 with the beautiful brunette lounging on it. With a car like that, impressing girls wouldn't be hard. I turned it over and thought how easy it would be to slip it in my pocket. If Billy was able to get the cars, the girls and everything else his heart desired, I should get this one measly DVD. But then I realized the magnetic strip in the DVD would set off the alarm and send for the cops. Besides, it wasn't the right thing to do, so I returned it.

My 15-minute break flew by, as usual, and soon I was back to pushing carts. I was in such a bad mood that I was working my butt off to vent my rage. Then I noticed Billy's girls were still waiting on him and I wondered what he was doing. At that exact moment, I found out. As he walked out the door, two undercover cops grabbed him and asked what was in his pocket. Out came five computer games.

The cop cars pulled up to the front doors. I knew what would happen next, I had seen it before. Billy would be taken inside for questioning. Since he was 18, he would be charged with a felony, which would go on his permanent record. Suddenly, I realized that could have been me. It was kind of funny to think I had believed I had it bad. He had it worse, having to steal in order to live up to what everyone expected of him.

Now I see that I really don't have it so bad. Come to think of it, I don't have it bad at all. My truck is running fine and since that day last week, I've gotten a raise. I can handle Code 13's. Now, if I could just meet a nice, good-looking girl ...

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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AnnaFay said...
Jan. 12, 2009 at 4:09 am
I really like the way you wrote this.. It really made me say "awwww" at the end. There is always a bright side to every situation! :)
 
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