The Pursuit of Happyness

Written by Steven Conrad

Summary

While downtown trying to sell one of the scanners, Gardner meets Jay Twistle, a manager for Dean Witter Reynolds and impresses him by solving a Rubik's Cube during a short taxi ride. His new relationship with Jay earns him the chance to become an intern stockbroker. The day before the interview, Gardner grudgingly agrees to paint his apartment so as to postpone moving out due to his difficulty in paying the rent. He manages to arrive at Dean Witter's office on time, albeit still in his shabby clothes. Despite his appearance, he impresses the interviewers, and lands an internship. He will be amongst 20 interns competing for a paid position as a broker.Gardner is further set back when his bank account is garnished by the IRS for unpaid income taxes, and he and his young son are evicted. He ends up with less than twenty-two dollars, resulting in them being homeless, and are forced at one point to stay in a restroom at a BART station. Other days, he and Christopher spend nights at a homeless shelter, in BART, or, if he manages to procure cash, at a hotel.Disadvantaged by his limited work hours, and knowing that maximizing his client contacts and profits is the only way to earn the broker position, Gardner develops a number of ways to make phone sales calls more efficiently, including reaching out to potential high value customers, defying protocol. Regardless of his challenges, he never reveals his lowly circumstances to his colleagues, even going so far as to lend one of his bosses five dollars for cab fare, a sum that he cannot afford. Concluding his internship, Gardner is called into a meeting with his managers. The manager smiles and says he should wear it again tomorrow, letting him know he has won the coveted full-time position. Fighting back tears, Gardner shakes hands with them, then rushes to his son's daycare to embrace Christopher.