Many people get fired from their first jobs. Often, that first job is a learning process, mistakes are made and these young professionals start learning what jobs suits them best and where their best skills are.
It can be an enlightening process, but also discouraging and depressing, as it can seem you never will hold another job again.
Peter finds this out first-hand when he gets, then loses, his first job ... that it's all a part of "How to Succeed in Business?"
Peter learns that a job as a mechanic is open at Martinelli's Bike Shop, where the Bradys are regular customers. Wanting to save some money, he applies and is hired!
However, Peter soon realizes he is painfully slow in doing his work. Yes, he wants to do it right, but customers are expecting their bikes back ... well, a little quicker than what Peter is capable of delivering on. They soon complain, and a few even tell Martinelli they are going to be taking their business elsewhere ... and not coming back. Mr. Martinelli is left with no alternative ... it is clear Peter, while very nice and willing to work hard, is not very "mechanically inclined" and tells him he's fired.
What to do? How does he break the news to the family?
Peter is about to summon his courage and come right out and say it, until at dinner that night, Alice brings out a cake congratulating Peter on his new job. With that, Peter just can't be a party-pooper and keeps putting off that he lost his job. He spends his supposed working hours at the park, resigned to failure and feeding the pigeons.
Just then, Mike and Carol, who have been talking about replacing their bicycles for some time, show up ... on new bicycles they just purchased from Martinelli's Bike Shop.
Mike then tells Peter that he knows that he's been fired. Mr. Martinelli told him.
And it's a pep talk Mike gives Peter: First, he's just 14 years old and that many teenagers lose their first jobs. Second, failure is a part of life. And third, his company and he himself — and just about everyone else, for that matter — aren't immune to failure; in fact, Mike says many of his clients have fired him and his company. And finally, that successful people, instead of feeling sorry for themselves, pick themselves up and try again.
With that, Peter feels a whole lot better, and is now determined to get a new job ... maybe one he's cut out to do.
But the job search isn't part of the ending; there's no mention of him being hired at a new job, whatever it was.
Instead, the cue out is the family on a bike ride through the neighborhood. Even Alice ... on a bike with a set of training wheels! Welcome to the 1970s health craze.
Postlogue: In his autobiography Growing Up Brady, Barry Williams speculates that Peter's professional life wasn't all that great, only finding solid footing when he and Bobby go into business together (opening a consulting firm) in The Bradys. After his ill-fated job at Haskell's Ice Cream Parlor in "Marcia Gets Creamed" early in Season 5 (in the same episode, he gets (presumably) a longer-lasting job as pizza delivery boy), Peter later enlists in the Air Force note but, although he did a by-all-accounts good job, was not happy. Nor was he happy as an administrative assistant by the time the 1988 Christmas movie and The Bradys rolled around.
Tropes present in this episode:
- George Jetson Job Security: Mike confides in Peter he hasn't always been successful, and that he (and by extension, his company) have lost jobs ... not to mention contracts.
- Homeless Pigeon Person: Peter acts like one when he, in procrastinating in telling his parents that he got fired, spends his days at the parks, bitterly musing his joblessness whir feeding bread crumbs to the pigeons. (Christopher Knight actually picks one up one day at the park.)
- Unconfessed Unemployment: Peter procrastinating in telling his folks that he lost his job at the bike shop.