Selling Sexless Sex at Abercombie & Fitch

One day in college, on what would have otherwise been a forgettable afternoon, two attractive people approached me outside of my department. The man, with his bionic back, parabolic pectorals and arms fixed at right angles, cut an intimidatingly precise figure. The woman was an implausible series of distends, curves and stares—all unnervingly suggestive. There were no introductions or pleasantries; instead, they presented me with a pristine white card. Looking down at it in hope of an explanation, I read, "Abercrombie and Fitch recruitment." They stood back proudly and expectantly, letting what I suppose they thought was an honor sink-in. When I showed no response, they resorted to their pitch. They told me that they needed someone like me and that I would really enjoy working at the company. Everyone was exceedingly "cool" and, in fact, it "wouldn’t even seem like a job."

My Summer As a Housekeeper

The summer I was 18, I worked at an amusement park hotel as a housekeeper. The system worked something like this: every morning, we picked up our clipboards from the front desk with our list of rooms for the day, color-coded by what kind of service they needed. Pink was for occupied rooms that just needed a little spiffing, or “makes,” and green for just-vacated rooms that had to be cleaned for guests the following day, or “turnovers”.

Susan Miller Deserves a Vacation

As do we all. This interview with Susan Miller on The Cut about her demanding readers, her chronic illness, and her lack of vacation days is BASICALLY AMAZING. That is to say, people are horrible, she is amazing:

Even Reese Witherspoon Has Impostor Syndrome

Kyle Buchanan at Vulture asks great questions of Oscar-winning, A-list, teacup-sized-person Reese Witherspoon and, because sometimes that works, gets great answers:

Cheryl had never been backpacking before she set off on this hike, and yet she did it anyway. As an actress, have you had similar moments where you felt like you were in over your own head, signing on to do something incredibly daunting and barely able to believe that you could make it work?

Oh yeah, a lot. Half the time on set, I feel like I’m hanging on by the seat of my pants and I don’t know what the heck I’m doing. I basically have a new job every three months where I’m like, “Uh, am I qualified to do this?” And I find out during the process whether I am or I’m not. This film was really a gift, and it’s exciting to not know if you’re gonna make it, or if you’re gonna break down in the right place. Really interesting creative things come out of that process.

Maybe Polly Pocket is feigning modesty here, doing a ‘Stars: They’re Just Like Us!’ routine. But she seems sincere, perhaps because she also comes off as thoughtful, and that’s harder to fake. (“I’ve never seen a film like Wild where a woman ends up with no man, no money, no family, no opportunity, but she still has a happy ending.”) Starting a new job every three months sounds incredibly stressful, after all; you’d have to have the preternatural self-confidence of a Tracy Flick not to let it get to you.

Another high-profile victim of Impostor Syndrome: Hello Kitty.

Job of the Day: Barista For The CIA Starbucks

The CIA Starbucks looks just like regular Starbuckses, except there is no writing names on cups and if someone questions the baristas too much they're supposed to report it. Also there is a very long line since employees aren't exactly running in and out and going for walks to 'grab a coffee' off the premises.

What It’s Like To Work For The U.S. Postal Service

Jess Stoner's essay in The Morning News about working as a contract worker -- "city carrier assistant" -- for the U.S. Postal Service ("YOU EXIST TO REDUCE OVERTIME" as her boss screamed at her) is revelatory and maddening and great. Stoner was hired at $15.13 an hour, earning $1000 every two weeks. As she outlines, though, it's much more complicated than that.

Fast Food & Fashion: Not As Different As They May Seem

THE GOOD NEWS IS: To get a meaningful job, you don’t have to go to a top-tier or fancy school! (Let alone pay a consultant $700,000 to get you into one.)

Which majors should meaning-seeking students choose? Medical fields, social work, and education, according to PayScale’s data. Counting down the top schools in the job meaning category are: Loma Linda University (91 percent saying that their job makes the world a better place), University of Texas Medical Branch (88 percent), and Thomas Jefferson University (86 percent)—all with a strong prevalence of nursing majors. …

Of the majors that are dead last in terms of job meaning: fashion, art, and business. “Finance majors are in the bottom 20 percent of majors for job meaning,” says Bardaro. The two least meaningful jobs are fast-food cooks and lawyers—the latter being one of the highest-earning professions with low job meaning. And the bottom school for job meaning: Fashion Institute of Technology in New York at 25 percent.

THE BAD NEWS IS: Most of us don’t have “meaningful” jobs, and many of us, especially women, have to rush from one difficult, un-meaningful PT job to another — which can be fatal:

Police found Maria Fernandes dead in her car on Monday night, parked in a convenience-store parking lot in Elizabeth, N.J., according to a police press release. Fernandes, 32, was wearing a Dunkin’ Donuts uniform when she was found. A friend and fellow employees told officials she worked as many as four jobs, said Lt. Daniel Saulnier, a spokesman for the Elizabeth police department. Authorities are waiting on a toxicology report to determine the exact cause of death, but Hazmat investigators found that fumes in Fernandes’ car were caused by a gasoline can that had spilled in the back, according to the release. Friends told police that Fernandes kept gas in her car to avoid running out of gas when traveling between jobs. And she often slept in parking lots to get a few hours of rest between jobs, authorities said.

 

Job of the Day: Spokesperson For Death Row

Michelle Lyons worked for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice for more than a decade, and the decade George W. Bush was governor, at that. She witnessed the death of 278 inmates on death row. Pamela Colloff chronicles Lyons' career for Texas Monthly. It is tough to read at points but, wow.

An Interview With David Melito, Hollywood Production Accountant

I met David Melito a few weeks ago when I was on vacation in Los Angeles. We were talking about our shared interest in money, mine because—well, you’re reading The Billfold right now, aren’t you?—and his because he’s a production accountant in the film industry.

Horrible Job of the Day: Hitler’s Food Taster

Well I may have finally found the worst job imaginable:

I Was the Pillsbury Doughboy

I was a graduate student in Chicago when I lied about my height and became the Pillsbury Doughboy.