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Nine Lives: From Stripper to Schoolteacher (1994)

Lynn Snowden

Buy this book
Sure, it's gimmicky: take nine different jobs within the span of a year and then write about them, making sure that at least one of the jobs is sexually provocative. Snowden, however, is smart, writes well, and is able to compare her job experiences in interesting ways, such as when she compares her time as a band roadie with doing time as an ad agency exec:

Back at my desk, I try to ... look as busy as possible for the benefit of passersby who may or may not be important. This effort brings on a longing for my days with Skid Row. As a roadie, no one really cared what you got up to during the workday as long as the work got done. In corporate life, getting the work done is not nearly as important as appearing to be busy at all times. Personal phone calls are camouflaged with businesslike noises the moment someone pops their head in. Aimless wandering around the hallways can appear to be a purposeful walk to a meeting, if you remember to bring a file of papers. A slightly late arrival to work can be concealed if you immediately make yourself visible, as if you've already been working and are simply taking a break or getting "more" coffee.

The other jobs Snowden worked: substitute teacher in Virginia, cocktail waitress in Las Vegas, publicist in Los Angeles, housewife in Connecticut, rape crisis center counselor in Austin, candy factory worker in Philadelphia. This would be one interesting woman to have at your cocktail party, without a doubt. But she's not coming to your stupid party. So the least you can do is buy her book instead.