I've had so many jobs in my life that I can think of twenty while hardly trying. I guess I'll list
4 Jobs for Which I Was the Least Prepared
- Au pair in Switzerland. This was the summer I turned sixteen. I was reasonably good with kids; the main problem was, I didn't speak Swiss. Now, German, I spoke—and this was the motivation for doing the whole thing in the first place, to buff my German (that sounds kinky, doesn't it?). But Swiss is to German sort of what the heaviest Jamaican is to English. You know the movie The Harder They Come, how they're supposedly speaking in English but there are English subtitles? Swiss is kind of like that if you speak German. I think the kids thought I was a little slow. I ended up learning a lot of Swiss babytalk (also sounds vaguely kinky).
- Cocktail waitress. I was bad at this not simply because of my dearth of physical assets, but because you don't make good tips from drunk people when you have a look on your face that says "Not only do you disgust me on a personal level, I find your choice of beverage risible."
- Kaplan MCAT teacher. On paper, it looked like I should be good at this—I had made excellent use of the Kaplan materials and scored very well on my MCATs. In reality, I was hopeless. While I had used the written materials, I had never found the classes to be helpful, and I didn't see how they could help someone else much. Sitting in a classroom a couple of hours once a week was not going to change anyone's score. I was supposed to go through questions with the students, but I would typically read a question and say, "The answer is B, because ... because ... well, it's just obvious it's B, isn't it?" And they would stare at me, thinking, "Bitch." Mostly the students made me sad. They came to class carrying bottles of "Brain Power Amino Acids" and chewed their fingernails and asked me too many questions about their chances of admission to medical school.
- Grand Rounds organizer. This is a duty that I managed to unload recently, thank god. It involved lining up speakers for our weekly educational conferences. It's a job for a schmoozer, which I am not.
Hmm. I can't really watch any movie over and over. Here are some movies I've definitely watched from beginning to end twice:
- Office Space
- This Is Spinal Tap
- The Matrix
- 12 Monkeys
- The hospital. I've never had my mail forwarded there, but sleeping someplace every third or fourth night for years adds up to some serious time.
- With four different men. (No, serially, not all at once!) No one ever lived with me, because when I had my own places, they were aggressively mine—no room, no shelf space, no special chair for anyone else. After the third guy, I swore I'd never do it again; I loved my own space too much. Then I met my now-husband and weakened. I'm glad I did.
- In a state of despair. Added up over the years, I'd say I've spent about ten to twenty percent of my life there. I do not plan to ever go back.
- In a quasi-group house, when I was little. I say quasi because the house had more than one apartment, so it wasn't really communal living, except for the hangers-on and boyfriends my mom would occasionally collect. I loved it. I wish I could live that way now.
A long time ago I found a list in a travel magazine of The World's Top Ten Islands. I'm crazy for islands, so I saved it, and I plan to visit them all one day. (The list gets revised every year, but I'm committed to the one I saw first.) So far, I've managed to get to:
- Puerto Rico (ok, not on the Top Ten list, but I think it should be)