Tuesday, April 6, 2010

She Works Hard for her Money!

Since my arrival, I have had a few odd jobs here and there. In thinking about how fortunate I have been to have had opportunities as such while in New York, I began to think about all of the jobs I have had since I first started working at 16. They are as follows:

- actor
- mcdonalds- 1 shift
-"entertainment coordinator" aka birthday party host at a glow in the dark mini putt
- assistant manager at a jewellery and watch store
- waitress at a cafe
- sales rep at The Gap
- 'crusader for the arts" at a theatre company
- assistant Manager of Partnership at a theatre company
- sales Manager at a theatre company
- marketing Coordinator at a theatre company
- session runner for two casting houses
- hostess at another restaurant
- waitress- one week
- box office for film festival
- personal shopper
- grant coordinator
- wardrobe assistant
- publicist assistant/ nanny
- barista- two weeks
- cater-waiter
- auntie nanny
- nanny
- personal assistant/cleaner/cook
- promotional waitress
- researcher

And that brings me to now.
When I answered a post on Craigslist entitled "help" I hoped that the woman in need would be "normal"- not just some freak who invited illegal Canadian girls to their apartment in a potentially fitting neighbourhood called  "Hells Kitchen."
And thankfully, all was "normal." Through conversations, I learned that this die-hard Jewish New Yorker and her partner were typical working class women with good jobs who indeed needed just a little help. My boss lady had a degree in English and Women's Studies, and an MA in Social Work. Invested in the youth of today, this woman was smart, well-rounded and a crusader for all those in need. I felt safe and ready to work.
And then she asked me if I knew of any women aged 25-35 who were brunette and busty who would be willing to have a drink with a random man who would pay them to do so. I said, uh no ( as I looked down at my own chest) and asked, with a little hesitation why? She told me 1. that she wasn't crazy and that 2. she made a little side money setting up dates for this really well-to-do man that she had been friends for a few years. She joked that her friends called her a madame and completely normalized the situation by saying, its just a little oral, you know?
Right. NBD. But that's what got me thinking. There are worse ways to make money and in looking back on my ridiculous employment history, I readily acknowledge that we all "pimp" ourselves out to make an extra buck- in some way or another. That's why when I got hooked up to be a promotional waitress at a private cocktail-attired fundraiser, my qualms about pushing my sex appeal a little further than usual to have men (and women for that matter) slide twenties into my hand didn't feel so wrong. At times, a little gross and socially degrading but all in all, pretty empowering.

The bottom-line is that I understand the value of humbling opportunities to make greater ones. Clearly I feel like there is nothing that I can't do...

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