Sunday night, after getting her needed Body skill point, Yelena went to the flower shop, and called in her 3 employees.
Yelena's new rule was that whenever one employee went into orange, she would send everyone home. The venue was most productive when everyone was working full tilt; once one person stopped, Yelena figured she might as well send everyone off to get some rest, gather up the snapdragon bouquets (tonight there were 37!), and head to Yelena's Russian Baths.
She let Ethan go home, then released Rose, then Brandi.
At Yelena's Russian Baths, Yelena got her gold Sales badge and learned to Dazzle!
She immediately upped the venue charge to S999 and tried to Dazzle Marylena Hamilton, and was amazed when she succeeded!
Yelena's Baths all of a sudden reached Rank 6.
Since Kennedy had all the Cash and Connections points, and Yelena had all the Cash and Motivation points, as well as the wholesale discount from Brandi, Yelena decided to pick up her first Perceptions point.
Yelena joined some of her customers in a hot tub, and asked Marylena to join, hoping that she'd stay a second hour, at least.
Meanwhile, Yelena received the daily stock market report.
Unfortunately, Yelena was too exhausted to remain at work at the Russian Baths, and was in a green mood so wasn't able to use the Energizer safely, so she had to go home before she collapsed from exhaustion.
Before dawn on Monday, the reopened home venue made it to Rank 4.
Later on Monday, Kennedy was promoted, and brought colleague Marisa Bendett home from work.
Not a great day for the couple's stock market portfolio, though.
Still, achieving Rank 5 again, in such a short time, is a good thing.
Later on Monday, Yelena was again promoted.
She rested up a bit, then went to the Russian Baths.
After she tidied the place up a bit, she went outside to work on her Dazzle skills.
Though she worked hard, it became clear to Yelena that she needed help in the venue. She could Dazzle a potential customer into paying the S999 entrance fee, but the real payoff would be in having those customers stay for hours. "Someone inside--stay in hot tub--could keep customers entertained," she thought to herself.
Yelena returned home before dawn. Since she was very tired, she overslept and was late for work and, as a result, she didn't get promoted on Tuesday. She realized that the few thousand dollars she had earned at the Russian Baths the night before didn't make up for the bonus she missed out on at work.
The home venue continued to improve.
Kennedy brought Marisa home again, and she came over to admire Yelena's snazzy new automobile. "Hey, Maris'," said Yelena offhandedly, and immediately turned to her husband. (Yelena had nothing against Marisa; it was only that Yelena had had a brainstorm at work and couldn't wait to share it with Kennedy.)
"Kenny, I have great idea!" (Marisa thought it was very funny that Yelena still couldn't pronounce Kennedy's first name accurately.) "Will make us millionaires almost overnight!! How 'bout you come to Russian Baths with me, you get in hot tub, I turn customers, you invite customers to join you in hot tub, you make friendly with customers, so we keep them at Baths for hours!!!"
"So, all I have to do is sit in a hot tub and chat with people? And this is the path to riches for us? Sounds too easy," Kennedy mused.
"That because I doing all hard work--Dazzle and Rally Forth," Yelena responded. "And come rest up, because we got lot of work to do tonight."
Kennedy wasn't sure what either "Dazzle" or "Rally Forth" was, but he had faith in Yelena's business instincts, so said goodbye to his friend and took a nap with his wife.
Yelena's master plan, it turned out, included having a Dream Date with her husband, to keep them both in good enough moods to use the Energizer. Kennedy was particularly fine with this part of Yelena's business model. They arrived at the Russian Baths in platinum moods.
"This was a great idea, babe," Kennedy enthused as he kissed his wife once more.
"Okay, but now is serious business," Yelena admonished as she broke away from his embrace. "Go get in hot tub, and I send customers in. Oh, and let's keep track of money--at start of night, available cash is S215,364 ."
As Yelena had planned out their strategy, she would Dazzle customers into paying the S999 entrance fee,
and Kennedy would invite the customer into the hot tub and socialize.
Once there were 6 customers in hot tubs, plus Kennedy, Yelena realized that she might run out of room, and decided to install a third hot tub.
After she put in the third hot tub, Yelena performed her first "Rally Forth." It appeared to work, since the customers stayed in the venue a long time.
The good witch briefly visited, but without illuminating the lot.
Yelena performed another Rally Forth.
Yelena's Russian Baths reached Rank 7.
It was not a good day for the couple's stock portfolio.
By the time night fell again, Yelena and Kennedy had all three hot tubs going. Yelena even took a few minutes off to socialize with her customers.
Goopy Gils Carbo offered to help Yelena get a raise.
Once the couple's available cash had gotten over S375,000, Yelena told her husband it was time to close for the day and go home to sleep.
The couple's available cash was over S380,000 by the end of the night. "Gotta hand it to you, babe," Kennedy said admiringly to his wife. "You really know what you're doing!"
"Just wait to see what new plan I have for Baths for this weekend," enthused Yelena. "We have first million in no time!" She collapsed into bed.
Climbing in behind his wife, Kennedy said, gently: "You know, Yelena, we're doing well now. Do you think it might be time to start a family, so that we have someone to leave all this to?" Yelena didn't respond. Kennedy didn't know whether she was thinking about what he'd said or ignoring him. He reached to stroke her hair,
and heard a quiet snore. Kennedy sighed, figuring there would soon be an opportunity to discuss the issue, and snuggled up to his tired wife.
Before they left for their respective jobs Wednesday morning, Yelena and Kennedy had agreed that they would concentrate on their regular jobs through Friday, and catch up on their rest. Neither one of them enjoyed going to work exhausted and in poor moods and, as a result, not getting promoted.
The next 24 or so hours were a whirlwind of success for the Andropova-Coxes:
Yelena and Kennedy were both promoted on Wednesday,
they had a good day in the stock market,
the home venue reached Rank 8,
and Yelena and Kennedy were both promoted on Thursday.
Friday was a little tougher: though Yelena was promoted,
the couple's stock portfolio took a slight hit on Friday,
and Kennedy did not get the promotion he was expecting. Still the couple thought their home looked lovely in the snow.
They slept for a few hours, and headed to Yelena's Russian Baths.
Yelena's "new plan" for the venue was to raise the fee to S9,999. Though Kennedy thought this price might be too high, he took his place in one of the hot tubs, to await Yelena's dazzled customers.
Yelena was not too busy dazzling Jan Tellerman to notice that a woman she didn't recognize walked right up to the ticketing device and paid the fee without needing any sales pitch.
Yelena wondered whether this woman was a reviewer, and signaled Kennedy through the window that he should pay extra attention to her. He invited the woman, whose name was Cheryl Danaher, to join him, Jan, and Abhijeet.
Yelena threw herself into her work.
She and Kennedy took time out for a short date, so that Yelena would be in a good enough mood to use the Energizer.
Just in time, too, because her energy was running dangerously low.
While Kennedy moved into a second hot tub to keep the customers occupied,
Yelena resumed her energetic sales duties.
Once the venue had 6 customers in hot tubs, and there were no more potential customers outside, Yelena joined Jan, Abhijeet, and Cheryl.
Kennedy was getting along great with regular customer Brandon Lilliard, who worked in a home furnishings store, and offered Kennedy a discount.
"That would be great, Brandon!" Kennedy said happily. "Yelena and I are planning to start a family soon, so we'll need lots of new furniture." Kennedy was careful to say this quietly enough that Yelena, only a few feet away, wouldn't hear him. He had a feeling she would disapprove of his sharing any personal information with a customer.
The venue reached Rank 8 during the morning,
and Yelena decided the time was right for the physically draining Rally Forth.
Re-entering the hot tub, she was pleased to find that the reviewer had 2 stars.
Before noon, Yelena had made her first million.
By mid-afternoon, the customers had started to get tired. Yelena--who herself was tiring--decided not to do another Rally Forth, but just to work only as long as her energy held up, then to go home to sleep. She hugged Jan Tellerman goodbye. "Thanks for being here and helping us be big success," she said.
"Oh, what's money for if you can't spend it on your friends," Jan responded, and left.
Yelena noticed that Cheryl and Abhijeet, now alone in their hot tub, were still talking animatedly, their eyes bright. "Cute couple," Yelena thought. She also noticed that Cheryl was up to 3 stars. "Good work, Abhijeet," she thought.
Kennedy was still in the other hot tub, entertaining 3 customers, when the daily message came in about the couple's stock portfolio. The gains it had made that day dwarfed all collective losses so far:
Once Abhijeet departed, Yelena got back in the hot tub with Cheryl, and schmoozed her a little more. It turned out that Cheryl shared Yelena's interest in the stock market.
As they walked back home, Kennedy raised the subject of having children. "Oh, yah," said Yelena, to Kennedy's amazement. "Is good time, I think, before I get too old." This remark struck Kennedy as odd, because Yelena was not old at all. They walked on a bit further. "Well, maybe tomorrow," added Yelena, "after I get some sleep." Kennedy walked alongside his wife in silence, afraid to say anything that might cause her to reconsider.
Once they had arrived back at home, Yelena announced that she had to find a new job before she could go to bed.
"Why?" sputtered Kennedy. And, because he couldn't help himself, he added, "Didn't we just decide to start a family??"
Yelena looked at her husband as if he were hopeless. (Kennedy had come to know this look well.)
"American companies have very good maternity leave. Must have job that pays on days I will be not working!" She clucked her tongue and walked away to the computer.
Yelena chose a job that would pay her Saturday.
"You know, Kenny," Yelena said drily as she walked toward the bedroom, "now that we have really big money, you should find job you actually like."
Kennedy sat awhile by himself in their small living room, and thought about what Yelena had said. He knew he'd driven her to her caustic remark--Yelena's business-oriented nature was nothing if not measured, and he suspected she would never have taunted him if he hadn't goaded her.
He went to the computer, and looked through job listings. He tried to concentrate, but his mind kept wandering to thoughts of finally having children. How wonderful it would be! Of course, their lives would change. For one thing, their cozy house was not big enough for a family--it had only one bedroom and one bath (which was the reason Yelena had picked it up cheap). Kennedy liked the house and didn't want to move. He started to think of ways they could enlarge the house.
"We could build an addition for the baby behind our bedroom," he thought to himself. "Maybe separate the wings with a small deck for Yelena and me; maybe put a hot tub there, where Yelena and I could be together. And maybe put a family room way in the back, that opens to the back yard. And maybe put in another fireplace. I bet it could be done...."
Kennedy suddenly realized that what he really wanted to be was an architect.
And so he looked for, and found, a job in that field.
After Kennedy and Yelena were both finally asleep, the home venue reached Rank 9.
Kennedy, having maxed out his Motivation points, started his Perceptions points. (He didn't need the Wholesale points, he felt, because of Brandon Lilliard's offer of a discount.)
In the morning, the couple tried for a baby before Yelena (obstinately, Kennedy thought) left for her Politics job.
Kennedy thought back to his wife's remark on their walk home the previous night--that this was a good time to have children, "before I get too old." In fact, Yelena was nowhere near old, and she had already made her first million.
Kennedy, having finally found a job in the career that would make him happy, had the next 2 days off. He decided to improve his Logic skills by playing chess with Allyn Thomason,
and later worked on his Mechanical skills.
The stock portfolio continued to increase.
When Yelena came home Saturday afternoon, she told Kennedy that she'd been promoted at her Politics job, but that her new position didn't pay on Sunday, so she'd have to find something else.
"After I sleep," she said. "Am exhausted."
Kennedy remarked that Yelena did look tired, and hoped that she wasn't coming down with something. The strain of making her first million and her pattern of relentless job-hopping must be taking a toll.
"Hon," said Kennedy, "why don't you look for something you'd really like to do? I'm happy that I finally realized I want to be an architect--what's your dream job?"
"Hmmm," said Yelena, crawling into bed. "Maybe I be good spy," and promptly fell asleep.
Kennedy brought his reading into the bedroom and relaxed next to Yelena while she slept.
He worried about his wife's health, and wondered--if they were lucky enough to have a child--how she would cope with childcare and household duties. He finally got off the bed, went down to the home venue to use the phone, and called a domestic service agency.
Yelena arose briefly, found a job as a spy, and went back to bed.
Their new butler, Berjes Gothier, arrived early Sunday morning, and proved to be quite efficient. He bustled around doing chores while the couple worked on improving their skills.
He organized the kitchen,
and prepared a pancake breakfast for the couple.
Yelena was excited about going to her new job that afternoon, and was studying Cleaning. She was hungry, though and, as she got up to reshelve her book before going to the dining room, she suddenly realized she was expecting.
Though she was disappointed that she wouldn't be able to start her job that day, she downed her breakfast,
and returned to bed, exhausted again. After her nap, she joined her husband in the living room to study.
The stock portfolio continued to do well.
NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: The challenge is technically finished, because Yelena and Kennedy made their first million before she became an elder (actually, she had 13 days left of adulthood!). My score was 380.
I like Yelena so much (and I'm beginning to feel a bit sorry for the beleaguered Kennedy) that I'm going to continue this blog. Their children will also be Fortune Sims, and I'll put them through the same challenge (but with twists--I won't have them do the same thing Yelena did). FYI, in my gameplay, the children just started University, so there's more to come!
JOIN US NEXT WEEK AS WE SEE HOW YELENA DEALS WITH MOTHERHOOD!