What are the odds that a former top international advertising executive, 56, broke, homeless, and an invalid in Tijuana, Mexico can make a new start? The medical treatment she sought in Tijuana is not working. She feels, as sung in a narco-corrido, “neither here nor there.” She is a bird unable to fly. Out of place, separated from her life, mourning her affluent past, and unwilling to come to terms with her present.

A middle-aged has-been with no future.

Not true. This woman never gives up.

After an unexpected operation restores her mobility, she crosses the border to San Diego and starts job hunting. Her background and experience count for nothing. As a last resort, she takes a job as an $8-an-hour phone room research worker. A newcomer in the U.S. and in the ranks of low-wage earners, she finds herself out of her depth. In time, she learns how to survive in the fiercely competitive world of the working poor and avoid the “you’re terminated” sentence hanging over her head. She becomes a dominant force in the phone room, but that is not what she wants in life.

A new career.

She’s made it before, she can make it again.

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