“Working Has Become More Expensive”

If you don't need to work to live, why work?

My Life as a Magnolia Bakery Cupcake Bouncer

I was the first line of defense. Me. I was the gatekeeper and I was the key master.

My Worst Day Jobs: I Almost Sold Sex Toys and Might Have Worked for an Arms Dealer

“I really don’t care what I do!” I say with the kind of disdain that only a 22-year-old stuffed from too many unlimited salad and breadsticks from the Olive Garden that her parents just bought her, can say. “It’s just a job to pay the bills till I can support myself doing what I love!”

I’m home for winter break, and my parents just asked me if I’d given any thought to what kind of job I’d like to get when I graduate in a few months. My BFA in drama taught me many things: comedia dell’arte circus skills, basic fencing, and how to naturally speak in iambic pentameter. Unfortunately none of these are actual job skills people look for. Besides, as you and your friends say with all the weariness of a person who’s never seen the inside of a free clinic, “I just could never work behind a desk all the day!”

The irony is that unless you’re a bike messenger, waitress, or babysitter, you will definitely end up behind a desk all day, and doing grunt work for people who do things like tuck their button down shirts into jeans and says things like “oh bummer” as they check their Blackberry when being told someone’s grandmother just died.

I’ve always felt grateful for having a job and being able to support myself, but I’ve realized along the way that these just for now jobs tend to affect you more than you realize they will. In honor of all the people graduating now who didn’t choose the most linear paths to career success, but who still believe in themselves, here are some of my crappiest day jobs. 

Every Job I’ve Had: Indoor Bouncy House, Defense Contractor, Traveling Nerd

Two years in and I’ve succeeded in my one and only goal: to not send any inappropriately adorable otter videos to my clients.

More Work Poetry!

Here is an angry poem I wrote lo these many years ago when I was an assistant at a talent agency, and I’m re-posting it here, because we’re doing poems now? Sure, why not.

It was my first job out of college and it was … well, let’s just say, it was not a good fit. The good people at Conte published the poem way back when.

I Couldn’t Print This At Work

i. finally, a lovely day today. I know because I saw it out the window. finally a lovely day today. you called your old assistant.

I feel cheated on.

is it not enough to be penned in here with you, your name a cookie-cutter for my voice, my fingers dispensing your words? and after all, she left 

Oyster Pirate, Cruise Director: Match the Writer to the Wacky Day Job!

Some of these Famous Writers’ Wacky Day Jobs I knew, and others somehow I did not. Anyway, if you haven’t clicked on the link yet, let’s do a quiz! Match the famous writer with his or her source of income:

A) Kafka

B) Salinger

C) Vonnegut

D) Bram Stoker

E) Steinbeck

F) Orwell

G) Melville

H) Nabokov

I) Jack London

J) Jack Kerouac

K) Harper Lee

L) Robert Frost

M) James Joyce

N) John Galsworthy

O) Conan Doyle

P) Dickens

Q) Dostoyevsky

R) Agatha Christie

S) William S. Burroughs

T) Joseph Heller

1. Car Dealer

2. Theater Critic

3. Tour Guide

4. Cruise Director

5. Imperial Police Officer

6. Curator

7. Bank Clerk

8. Law Clerk

9. Ticket Agent

10. Dishwasher

11. Oyster Pirate

12. Cinema Operator

13. Blacksmith’s Apprentice

14. Barrister

15. Teacher

16. Surgeon

17. Engineer

18. Factory Worker

19. Exterminator

20. Apothecary’s Assistant

From Night Shift Obit-Writer to Corporate Monkey: An HR Exec Reflects

The breakfast interview is akin to going to the dentist’s office: you have something in your mouth while the person in front of you asks important questions.