fter a fight with her husband, Mildred Pierce finds herself alone and caring for her two young daughters. She hasn't worked outside of the home for several years but is excellent at making pastries and sells cakes and pies to friends and neighbors. She would like to work as a sales clerk or a receptionist but those jobs are hard to come by. She has an interview with a Mrs. Forrester about becoming her housekeeper but it's clear that her pride will not let her take such a low position. She finally realizes - urged on by her friend and neighbor Lucy Gessler - that she'll never get the type of job that she wants and settles for a job as a waitress in a hash house. She begs Lucy never to tell her daughters, especially the elder Veda, of the type of work she does.

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