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There was no time for celebration. Derrick had to catch his breath. His heart raced. He was perspiring, and his deodorant wasn’t holding up to the claims made by its advertising campaign.

I can’t go to the store looking like I s*** my pants.

A Starbucks was nearby. He practically ran to it, and headed straight for the bathroom. He locked the door, splashed water over his face at the sink, and then stared in the mirror. His breathing returned to normal, but he was red in the face. That always happened when he got nervous, and he hated it.

Why couldn’t he be more confident?

His mind started going blank. He couldn’t focus. He used the urinal carefully. His hands were trembling so hard that he was afraid he might pee on his own leg.

He washed his hands, took another look in the mirror, and left the bathroom, bumping into a patron waiting to use it.

“Sorry about that,” he said.

The man grunted in response.

Derrick ordered the tall mocha, and grabbed the table and chair in the back of the café. He needed to get a grip of himself before returning to the store.

What the hell was Judy thinking? No preparation, no warning. Just bang! You’re in charge now.

He had dreamed about getting his own store, but not like this. He’d always assumed that when the magic day finally came, he would have a smooth and orderly transition. Instead, he had been handed a store where the previous manager failed.

He was in for a tough ride.

Why hadn’t Judy stuck around long enough to introduce him to his store personnel? It would have been the perfect time for her to let everyone know he was now the man.

No matter. He’d been on his own before.


This excerpt is when Derrick realizes he’s just been promoted. You can read more when you have the book in hand. ‘Who’s Minding the Store?’ can be ordered through your local bookstore or on amazon.

Keep on reading!


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