Survivor
China Reunion

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How It Didn't Happen

Denise. (Full name: Oh Denise.) Jeff reminds her of her "very different welcome home," and refers to the discussion in which she sadly told Amanda that she'd be returning to life as a lunch lady for seven bucks an hour, and this was all she had to come home to. "Only, when you got home, that isn't even what happened!" Jeff says. "No," Denise says sadly, "I went back and I talked to the food service director, and they didn't give me my job back. [Dramatic pause, waiting for gasp of horror from sympathetic audience.] So I wound up having to go. I'm a janitor now, I clean the toilets, I wash the floors in the bathrooms, I vacuum the kids' rugs. I miss dinner with my family, I haven't been to a field hockey game yet...I'm missing out on a lot more than I had originally planned on doing." Jeff reminds Denise that she told him the reason she couldn't have her job back was that she was too easily recognized, and she says yes, yes, this is the reason -- all the kids come up and talk to her, so they didn't want that disruption. She goes in for the kill by looking out and saying that if anybody's looking for a day-shift lunch lady, they should sure give her a call.

As you know by now, this story was a crock. Parsed carefully enough, it doesn't contain technical lies, but you have to read it like this: "[Before I went on the show, I put in for a promotion from seven-dollar-an-hour part-time lunch lady to seventeen-dollar-an-hour full-time custodian. After I came home from the show, I decided I wanted to change my mind, so] I went back and I talked to the food service director [informally, though I didn't follow the official process], and they didn't give me my job back. [Dramatic pause, waiting for gasp of horror from sympathetic audience.] So [since I wasn't able to take back the decision I'd made earlier], I wound up having to go [back to the job I had when I left, so], I'm a janitor now [like I was before I went on the show]. I clean the toilets, I wash the floors in the bathrooms, I vacuum the kids' rugs [and I make more than twice as much money as before]. I miss dinner with my family, I haven't been to a field hockey game yet...I'm missing out on a lot more than I had originally planned on doing [when I originally decided to change jobs, a decision I now regret that I've decided to blame on other people, because that's how I roll]."

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