20-نجات غریقکتاب: زندگی در چند بخش / فصل 20
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متن انگلیسی فصل
Ed and I returned to Daytona Beach, broke again. We got day jobs on the pool decks of hotels. Officially I was a lifeguard, but my first order of business wasn’t rescuing flailing swimmers. Instead, I was charged with keeping the pool and deck spotless and selling suntan lotion. This was at the oddly named Alaskan Hotel, a box of whitewashed stucco and thin walls, featuring cheap fixtures and cheaper food. And me: a ginger-haired idiot posing as a lifeguard. I wasn’t in a position to save my own life.
Mostly I hawked Sub Tropic oils and lotions by the caseload. Though it wasn’t as desirable as the Hawaiian Tropic brand sold at other hotels, Sub Tropic paid for the pool cleaning and maintenance at the Alaskan. In return, Sub Tropic got exclusive rights to sell its products on the premises.
After selling oils to pale tourists dreaming of a perfect tan, I’d sell them an aloe vera concoction to soothe their nasty sunburns. I negotiated a deal that paid me 50 percent of whatever I sold—only commission, no hourly wage—so I tended to focus on selling rather than swabbing the pool deck. Every three days, my supplier would count the remaining inventory of bottles unsold, and I’d owe them their cut in cash—Sub Tropic got the other 50 percent. He’d then restock my supply for the next three days.
Here was Sneaky Pete again: working, planning, conniving a way to increase profits poolside. At the end of each day I would pick up the half-empty bottles of lotion and oil abandoned on the pool deck, and I’d bring them to the subterranean room where the filtration system was housed. Once a week, under the cover of darkness, I would empty all the lotions into one big bucket and all the oils into another—regardless of the brand or SPF rating. Then I would clean the empty Sub Tropic bottles I had collected and make them look like new. Next, I’d use a funnel to fill the Sub Tropic bottles with the amalgamated liquids, thus creating my own inventory, which I then sold. I kept 100 percent of what I made on these doctored products. I thought I was pretty clever. Sneaky, but clever.
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