My stint as a beer cart attendant at a North Georgia golf course is not among my worst jobs. Actually, the only bad part about that job was dealing with golfers.
Gay gossip columnist, West Hollywood: I answered an ad in one of the trade dailies seeking a freelance writer to cover gay issues. As a gay freelance writer, I felt qualified.
I was hired not as a reporter but columnist — gossip columnist, to be exact, purveyor of juicy tidbits about gay Hollywood, which at that point was Ellen and a bunch of closet cases. I was assigned a name and a double entendre: Romeo San Vicente, Deep Inside Hollywood.
Unfortunately I lacked sources, interest and motivation. My column was cribbed from other sources, though blind items were easy enough to concoct.
My unorthodox tastes (“How can you be gay and not watch ‘Will and Grace?’ “) rubbed my syndicator the wrong way, and eventually a new Romeo San Vicente was hired. I survived.
Filing clerk, Disney, Burbank: Through a temp agency, I was assigned to the Disney Internment Camp, where I filed box office returns from rural theaters. It was as tedious as it sounds, though by showing up late, leaving early and taking extra long lunches, I shrunk the typical workday by three hours. And that’s not including all the smoke breaks with my corpulent cubicle mates named Pat, Fran, Madge and Jo (or something like that).
Waiter, Kudzu Cafe, Buckhead: I wasn’t qualified for the job, nor did I much want it. By my second day, I realized I was over my head. My training lasted two weeks, including several tests administered by my more experienced cohorts. They took their job seriously and were very enthusiastic about teamwork and service and napkin folding. Usually waiters are unified by hatred for their bosses and contempt for the customer. Not here. During my three weeks at Kudzu, which served upscale Southern cuisine (aka fried chicken with garnish), I was encouraged repeatedly to smile. The phrase “resting bitch face” was not yet a thing so I had no excuse.
Indentured servant, Animation Department, Disney, Burbank: I was almost looking forward to my second stint at the Disney Salt Mines — maybe I’d even get an opportunity to pitch a project or two. Instead, I spent my days thumb tacking animation stills onto giant cork boards. I pricked myself repeatedly, though I didn’t complain and showed up on time. But once again resting bitch face (like a millennial attending Oberlin, it knows no gender) did me in, and, after one week, the temp agency informed me my services were no longer needed.
Steamer attendant, Wardrobe Warehouse, Disney, Burbank Warehouse District: My last assignment from Showbiz temp agency — branding the Disney logo onto previously worn garments, like the cum-stained polyester pants worn by Bob Crane in “Gus,” was also my briefest. I left for lunch and never turned back.