I was so happy! That summer I was going to work on a big, high-class yacht in Florida!! I would have to serve the owner of this yacht, his wife and their two children. It was very easy work and it was well paid: $ 20 a day. I was going to stay there for 6 weeks!

"WOW!" I thought. "I’ll make friends with the children, I’ll have enough free time to do whatever I want, I’ll be on the ocean, perhaps I’ll even see some whales or dolphins. I’m so excited, I can hardly wait…! This will be great!"

Oh yes………

It was going to be great…!

Two weeks later I was standing in a harbour in Florida, waiting for my "boss", Mr. Walker.

A lot of ships, yachts and tankers were anchoring in the harbour and while I was looking around I saw a big, high-class, graceful white yacht. "My goodness!" I thought.

"I hope THAT’S the ship, where I’m going to work!!"

But first I had to find Mr Walker! That wasn’t easy because I didn’t know, what he looked like and there was a big crowed in the harbour.

Suddenly I bumped into a fat man who was holding a sing in his hand: CLAIRE BAKERS! That’s me! The man shouted: "Are you Claire Bakers?" " Y..yes!" I answered. "Fine!" he shouted. "I am Mr. Walker! I hope you’re stronger than you look, dear!! You are not on holidays!" ‘Why is he shouting?? Everybody is starring at me! This is going to be FUNNY!’ I thought. "So let’s go!" Mr. Walker shouted. (aaargh!!) But then I could not believe my eyes!! He was walking straight to this beautiful yacht that had caught my eyes some minutes earlier. Her name was…"Mallory I"

I was happy: My dreams were about to come true.

Ten minutes later, I was standing on the deck and I was shocked: The boat was so dirty! And it smelled terrible!! But only inside…then I saw the wife and the children…They all were very small and fat and they looked very conceited. The two girls – I think they were 7 or 8 years old, put their tongues out at me and ran away. "NO, that’s not true!! That’s the wrong boat…" I thought.

The woman barely greeted me – she just said "Hello"!!!!! – and her husband said (this time he didn’t shout!) : "Amanda, that’s Claire Bakers! Our new waitress and maid-of-all-work!" Maid-of-all-work??? NO! "Er…Mr..! That’s wrong! In the article you wrote, that I would just have to serve your meals. There was no…." "No dear! YOU’RE wrong! In the letter I wrote to you I explained that…" A letter? I didn’t get a letter, I thought…"… you would have to cook the meals and serve them, clean the deck and wash our clothes.." He went on and on. I started to panic! "I didn’t get your letter, Sir..!" "Well, that’s your problem, baby!" Mrs. Walker said. "Now you’re here and you have to work for us! We want to have our holidays, too, don’t we, dear?" she asked her husband. " Right! This nice girl will make our holidays wonderful because WE won’t have to stir a finger!!!"…I couldn’t believe my ears! " Am I on the wrong boat?" I asked myself. Well, that’s how slaves feel. OVERWORKED…!

First I was shocked, but then I was getting angry! "This can not be!!" I went to Mrs. Walker: "Excuse me, Mrs. …your husband…was that a little joke? I mean… the letter… I didn’t get any… " "SHUT UP!", she shouted. ??? I stopped talking. "Excuse me, please?" I couldn’t believe my ears a second time…Did she really say ‘SHUT UP’? But she didn’t answer; she turned around and walked away!

Then I was sure: This was getting H O R R I B L E!!!! (And of course, I was right…!)

The next morning I was just in the middle of a wonderful dream, when somebody knocked on my door.

"Claire!" zzzZZZzzzz…What?? "CLAIRE!! GET UP, it’s breakfast-time and we’re hungry!"

That was one of those cheeky brats! " I’m coming.." I mumbled. "One minute, ok?" "Noooo, you have to come out NOW! I’m hungry! HUNGRY, HUNGRY, HUNGRY!! I’ll go to mum and tell her that you’re a bad girl!"

‘Don’t do this!’ I thought. " I’m ready, dear!" I said and went to the kitchen. I made a nice breakfast, set the table, served breakfast. Later I cleaned the tables, washed the dishes and all the time I was observed by 8 eyes…When I made a mistake… NO! I don’t want to describe it! It was a horrible morning!

And that day seemed never-ending!

I had to clean the deck, serve lunch, tidy up the rooms, a.s.o…

And at last I had to serve dinner and THEN I was allowed to do what I wanted!

While I was reading a book, Mr. Walker came and said: "You’ve done all your work very well! Especially the deck is as clean as ever!" "Thank you, Sir", I said. "Well dear, tomorrow you can do a little bit more work than today! Can you?" "Er…well" " OH you’re a nice and busy girl! I like you!" he said and went away.

……….!!…………??………. !!!….

"Don’t get angry!" I said to myself. "Everything will be alright! In six weeks time I’ll be at home again. Only six weeks…I’ll survive…I hope..!"

The next day I had to work much harder! I felt like a slave!

Every evening I fell asleep as soon as I lay in my bed. It was HORRIBLE!

And then, it was my last evening on the yacht and I had just finished my work, when Mr. Walker came to me.

"Ah my dear! I’ve forgotten something!" noooo….more work? "

"Yes, Sir?"

"Here’s your money!"

"Oh thank you very much!"

He gave me an envelope. I opened it. There were $10 in it! I couldn’t believe it. "Mr. Wa…?"

But he wasn’t there anymore.

Later when I was lying in my bed, I started crying. It wasn’t fair!

The next morning we arrived at the harbour again. I was glad, when I could finally say good-bye to Mr. and Mrs. Walker and their "nice" children. Then I saw my mother and hasted to meet her and I was sure: I would never do something like this again!!!!!!!!!

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