Times Books. Or more specifically, assisting the puzzle editor at Times Books, whose job pretty much involved reprinting the New York Times puzzles in book form. Ah, the good old days of publishing! My job involved occasionally typing a letter or mailing something, but mostly it involved me sitting around doing crossword puzzles. Once I talked to Puzzlemaster Will Shortz on the phone. He sounded, at best, slightly irritated.
David’s Cookies. First off, you take a job in a cookie store thinking you’ll get sick of cookies. Maybe eventually you would have, but not over the six months in high school working there. Now the store was in a rather strange location (42nd Street and 5th Avenue) and this was also a strange time in our nation’s history, involving a craze known as Cabbage Patch Dolls. Around the corner from the store there was at that time a Cabbage Patch Doll Hospital and the folks that worked there, dressed up as doctors and nurses, used to come into our store all the time for milkshakes. I will never forget these brave workers.
Macmillan. This was one of those one-day temp jobs in which I worked as a receptionist. Although even that does not quite capture the actual improbability of this "job." What happened was I sat at a desk in the center of the floor. On either side of me was a door. My job, for which I was actually paid, was to buzz people in to either door when they got off the elevator. I’d like to think that I answered the phone too occasionally, but I really don’t think I did.
The Leonard Lopate Show. There’s plenty I could say about working on the show as an assistant producer, and sometime soon I just might, but I think perhaps my fondest memory is of director Pedro Almodovar staring directly at my boobs and being literally unable to take his eyes off them while talking to me.
La Cage Aux Folles. One summer during college I worked in the costume shop on a summer stock production of this show in Pennsylvania. The show starred old-time comedian Shelly Berman, who was a total jerk, but once laughed hysterically at something I said. Here is where I learned to iron properly as one of my jobs was to iron 22 men’s shirts every single day and my other job consisted of dressing and undressing men in dresses and high heels. I also hand sewed part of a costume for Bonnie Franklin, who was starring in a subsequent show, and who I never met, but who apparently had an attitude problem. This is it.
B. Dalton’s. This store, now a Barnes and Noble, was where I worked every summer when I was home from college. It was on the corner of 8th Street and 6th Avenue, and thus pretty much in the middle of where I wanted to be all the time. It’s true that my book collection is a bit larger as a result of working there, but I should add that all of the books were very much loved.
There's more, of course. Isn't there always? Stay tuned.