The Simpson family host a tastemaker party at their home to promote Absolut Krusty, Krusty the Clown's own brand of vodka. Mr. Burns takes notice of the party's success and decides to promote Homer to "Account Man" for the Springfield Nuclear Plant. Robert Marlow, a seasoned account veteran, takes Homer under his wing and shows Homer what the high life is like in the corner office. The job changes Homer into a sad individual, who drinks in the dark and complains about the meaninglessness of his job. When Homer's long hours at the office become the norm and Homer becomes distant from his family, a family vacation with Marge and the children help him realize that family always comes before work. Meanwhile, Lisa introduces Bart to a new literary world which sparks his interest in reading classic novels. In the beginning, Bart struggles with reading and suggests that he should just get a job where he does not have to read. Lisa insists and Bart eventually learns to read properly. When the bullies watches him reading a classic novel at school, they force him to read Little Women to them.
Meanwhile, both Marge and Mr. Burns want Homer to go on the same rafting trip. Homer starts with being on his family's raft, and then swims back and forth between that and Mr. Burns's raft. Marge discovers that he has double booked the weekend while both rafts float near a waterfall, and is upset that he chose to do work on a family outing. Homer can only save one raft, and he saves the one containing his family. As Mr. Burns and the executives are about to go over the waterfall, Marlowe rides up on a motorboat and carries Mr. Burns to safety, while the executives fall over the edge. Homer goes over the waterfall by himself, but is completely unharmed and finds gold. Later, at their house, Homer tells Marge that he is a safety inspector again. Fireworks go off outside, and it is revealed that they were caused by a fire at the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant, presumably because Homer failed at his job.