October 10, 2021
Christina saw her former classmate, Mia, waitressing at the local restaurant and decided to mock her for being so much more successful. Although it hurt, Mia pretended to be alright, and then the tables turned.
Christina grew up in Phoenix, Arizona, and returned there after finishing college in New York. She earned a position at a prominent marketing company and climbed her way to the top. But it was incredibly stressful.
She hadn’t dated anyone in years to become the Marketing Research Director. But Christina didn’t have time to herself, even after the promotion. That’s why she was bone-tired one night and stopped at a small restaurant near her office for dinner.
“Good evening. My name is Mia, and I’ll be your server for the day. What can I get for you?” the waitress said when she came. Christina looked up and recognized the woman as a former high school classmate. Her eyes widened.
“Mia? From Horizon High? It’s Christina! Do you remember me?” she said to Mia with a smile.
“Ugh, yeah. It’s nice to see you. I thought you moved to New York for college,” Mia said nonchalantly.
“Yes, but I came back years ago. I’m now one of the main executives at a marketing firm. Isn’t that cool?” Christina bragged a little.
“Congratulations. Should I give you some time to browse the menu?” Mia asked as she had no time to chit-chat with a former classmate.
“Sure. Thanks!” Christina replied. She watched Mia picking plates from another table and taking them to the kitchen. Ha! I’m so successful, and she’s just a waitress, Christina thought cattily. She waved to Mia and started ordering her dinner.
“So, have you been working here long?” Christina asked before completing her order.
“Since we graduated from school. Is there anything else I can get you?” Mia answered.
“Oh, Mia. Don’t you have any ambition? Did you even go to college? Are you planning on working here all your life?” Christina sneered.
“Maybe, I don’t know. It’s a good job, and the people are nice. Will this be all for you?” Mia said, going back to business. Of course, she had ambitions and had been saving for years to achieve them. But Christina didn’t need to know that.
“Oh, yes. I'd like a get a side of fries too. Thank you,” Christina replied. A few minutes later, Mia brought her order, and Christina ate happily. She was so glad to have seen Mia. It lifted her spirits to brag about her success.
She paid and waved goodbye at Mia, promising to return. A few days later, Christina invited her other girlfriends from their high school and took them to the restaurant. Mia was once again their server.
The girls had bullied Mia and other students back at school, but they were adults in public, so they smiled at Mia’s face and sneered when she left their table.
“OMG! I would die if someone from school saw me waitressing. It’s so embarrassing to be doing that so many years after school. Doesn’t she have any shame?” one of the girls, Erica, scoffed.
“I know. At least, move to another town so no one can recognize you. But I always knew Mia wasn’t going anywhere. She was the weird kid in the corner, reading books,” another girl, Rina, smirked.
“She’s nothing like Christina here. She’s the most successful one of us! But honey, next time you have to invite us somewhere nice!” Erica added, and they all laughed.
They didn’t know that Mia heard everything. They weren’t discreet, but that was the whole point. Mia knew that Christina wanted them there to make fun of her.
Unlike those girls, Mia’s family had always been poor. She couldn’t afford to go to a four-year university and worked to help her parents since she was 15. But she took night classes at the community college and graduated in business. She only continued working at the restaurant because she was saving for her goal: her bakery.
Christina and the girls left that night. They all got so busy that they never returned to the restaurant, and Mia was glad.
Several months later, she quit her job. She rented a spot and opened her business, The Cookie Cook. She prepared artisanal desserts with organic ingredients, including gluten-free, lactose-free, and sugar-free products to suit most of her customers. Her products sold off almost every single day and a year later, she opened a second location.
Mia had an incredible eye for business and excellent baking skills. After several years, she had ten locations in the state of Arizona and wanted to expand. But it would take some time.
Meanwhile, Mia liked to hire new employees, and she needed a new social media manager. To her surprise, Christina walked in for the interview. “Christina? Is that you?” she said in wonder.
“Who…oh! Mia?” Christina realized in horror.
“Yes, I’ll be interviewing you today. I see your C.V. here. I’m sorry I don’t remember your last name that’s why I didn’t know it was you,” Mia explained.
“Ah, yes. Well…maybe, I should go,” Christina hesitated.
“You don’t want the job?” Mia asked.
“Yes, but I—”
“Sit down. Let’s talk,” Mia insisted. “Well, you have some impressive credentials here. This job is frankly a huge step down from that. What happened?”
“I got fired from my previous company, and no one else would hire me,” Christina revealed.
“Do you remember Rina? Well, she got really close to my boss and his wife. She started having an affair with him. But when I threatened to expose her, she turned the tables around. Rina accused me of being the one engaging in the romance. She lied to my boss’s wife. It was a huge thing,” Christina explained.
“That doesn’t seem fair,” Mia muttered.
“Right? Well, I was fired, but that was not enough for my boss’s wife. Her family has tons of connections. She badmouthed me to everyone. No one wanted to hire me because of her. I need this job now. But the worst part is that Rina is still a part of that crowd,” Christina said disdainfully.
“Sounds exactly like something Rina would do. I’m not surprised,” Mia said.
“Yeah…well, I should probably leave. I’m not getting this job, right?” Christina wondered hopelessly.
“Why not?” Mia asked curiously.
“I was horrible to you years ago when you were waitressing. I actually worked as one at that restaurant for a while, but I wasn’t good at it. But anyway, I was also insanely catty and a bully to you…bringing those girls to make fun of you. That was my lowest point,” Christina noted shamefully.
“Hmmm…” Mia agreed wordlessly.
“Can you forgive me for that? For everything I said and did back then? I wouldn’t blame you if you turned me away right now and laughed. But again, I really need this job. I lost everything and haven’t worked for months,” Christina begged, almost in tears.
“Christina, I’m not like Rina or any of those friends you brought back then. I don’t like to put others down to bring myself up. I like to help people. I think you’re talented. Are you up to this job? Do you agree with our salary offer?” Mia asked, business-like.
“Yes!” Christina almost yelled.
“Ok, see you on Monday.”
Christina started working and managing The Cookie Cook’s social media. She gained Mia’s trust and got more responsibilities. Eventually, Mia named her Chief of Marketing Operations, and they became close friends.
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