A partial list.
  1. Cookie describer
    It is what it sounds like. A bakery hired me to eat their cookies and write descriptions of them for their website. I got so sick from all the dairy, I had to quit. The cookies were okay.
  2. Coat-check attendant
    A drunk man tipped me $20 and a gin-and-tonic. I was 16.
  3. Legal assistant
    This was at my dad's small-town practice, when I was in school and right after college. Tasks included sorting seized guns, photographing pot plants, staking out an apartment in downtown Skowhegan, interviewing a muderer in the Supermax, filing paperwork and painting the fence outside the office parking lot.
  4. Ticket-seller: movie theater
    I lived on free popcorn. I still live for popcorn. (And movies.)
  5. Ticket-seller: classical music theater
    I thought this would be a chill, genteel gig, but I got yelled at by a lot of Gil and George types. My boss was great, though.
  6. Pharmaceutical company ghostwriter
    A man met me at a cafe in the East Village and paid me in cash to write white papers about how new drugs didn't have side effects. In retrospect, this may not have been entirely legal.
  7. Zagat contributor
    Such a fun gig. I got sent binders of real people's reviews, and I'd use them to compile the "classic," "distinctive" official Zagat review, which must be one sentence and which cannot re-use words. I also had to work in "fresh, innovative" descriptors without misrepresenting the average scores. Basically, word games with pay. I also got invited to a chichi holiday party with free drinks.