Nine to Five


Everyone assumes all writers are wealthy. Sure, Ernest Hemingway made big bucks, but he also had 6 ex-wives, so they got most of his royalty checks. I bet Stephen King is real rich, but he’s so scary looking, he probably doesn’t’ have many friends. And Dave Barry must be struggling because he supplements his income by being in a band. We all know musicians make even less than writers.

No, dear reader, 99.9% of writers are flat broke.

We’re all running around with novels inside us that are either written and searching for the perfect publisher or half written and driving us slowly insane. Plus the older writing crowd is confused because nobody’s figured out e-books yet.

So this lowly humorist called her Very Best Friend to discuss her finances. VBF’s sage advice was this. “Simple. Go out and get a job.”

Now you must understand that this post-menopausal princess hasn’t worked for anyone but herself since 1990. That’s the year I started my marketing and design firm. Sure plenty of people worked for me, but the only person I had to answer to was the CPA. Granted, Dearly Demented Mom was my boss for the last seven years, but she was a pushover.

After hearing VBF’s advice, I girded my loins and headed to the classifieds. If I could weld or drive an 18-wheeler, I would be gainfully employed pronto. The rest of the options were bleak.

Since I’ve had plenty of experience in caregiving, I opted for a job helping the elderly. I was hired immediately and sent to the closest bargain store to buy myself some “scrubs.”

Why do they have such a name? Because the stiff fabric slowly scrubs your skin away. I bought two outfits even though I looked like the hearts and bubble bees version of the Michelin Man.

The next day I headed to my job wearing scrubs and my best pair of flip-flops. The first words I heard from the boss were, “No toes! No toes!” Evidently, the sight of a couple of bunions could scare an old lady to death. I was required to wear tennis shoes. This shorts and sandals gal was not happy.

I worked at the job for one week. I took a nice elderly woman to the doctor and I packed up an aging woman’s apartment so she could move across the street to an assisted living facility. The only other work they had was a shift from 7 pm to 7 am but this old gal isn’t allowed to be out after 10 o’clock at night.

Hope was on the horizon. The next job I found is working at a garden nursery and you know what a gardener I am. Plus I can wear shorts and open toed shoes while I water over 10,000 plants a day.

I love my new job because plants don’t boss you around. Sure there’s the occasional crazy agarita bush whose thorns attack, but it’s a beautiful spot with birds singing and butterflies flying.

I’ve always said my hair is so thick, it’s like wearing a ski mask all summer, meaning heat can really get to me. I’m trying to build up my un-air conditioned strength, but at this point I start fading around 3 pm. By 4p pm I’m so wilted, I feel like May West on a bad date wearing 4 inch stilettos that are a size too small.

Today I’m soaking my feet and hiding in the air conditioning. And I’m very thankful that my new found career gives me more to write about. Still, time to go research e-books now.

Spreading laughter throughout the world…one chuckle at a time.

Mikie Baker

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8 Responses to “Nine to Five”

  1. Forrest Landry says on :


    Mikie, you’d best promise all us author-geeks you’ll do a long series about ebooks. Otherwise I’ll have to be wasting time slam-dunking emails at’cha asking about your opinion on this, that, and the other re: ebooks. I’ve had “learn about epublishing” on my Agenda for so long I think it’s engraved by now.

    Please help me thru this one!

    Hugs & Hilarity, Forrest

  2. Medina Mikie says on :

    Guess I’ll have to fall on the e-sword for you…

  3. Kay Ashley says on :

    Mikie, don’t know if you’ll remember me or not from TGIF days. I was F&B Administrator (and Joe Snouffer’s sidekick). We both left with Walt in 1982, to start Gershwin’s. If that doesn’t ring a bell, maybe you’ll remember me as the freakishly skinny redhead, lol. I used to coordinate (when the food gurus cooperated) the food shoots with you. I always thought you were hysterical and so fun to be around. And you had the most fascinating office of anyone there, although I was blessed with the round stained glass window for awhile. I stumbled across your blog tonight while reminiscing about the “good ole days” at TGIF. Anyway, I’m hooked. You’re still hysterical. I’m enjoying every word!

  4. Mikie Baker says on :

    You are so awesome to remember me. I don’t think I was the least bit funny – just funny looking! How are you?

  5. Mikie Baker says on :

    You are such a dear! I’m glad to know I’ve still got it and those days at Friday’s formed our lives. We were so lucky to be in a creative, standard of excellent environment. Jimmy still thinks you are a real doll! What are you up to these days?

  6. Mikie Baker says on :

    Of course I remember you! I’m so excited you’re reading my column. I admit my office was cool, but the round stained glass was the primo spot because no one wanted to be on Executive Row – too close to Dan! Thanks for the kind words.

  7. Kay Ashley says on :


    For Pete’s sake…somehow I never saw your replies to my posts. It’s only been 4 years, and I just stumbled on them again, haha. Guess better late than never?!?

    When I left TGIF, I went with Walt and Joe to start Gershwin’s. I stayed with Gershwins from 1982-1991, until the corporate restaurant politics finally beat me down. Joe had left Gershwin’s a bit before that but we had been doing consulting together all those years, so that just kind of continued until about 1998. I’d have to pm you the stuff that happened then but when Joe died I lost my heart for it. I decided to get out of the restaurant stuff and go back to my accounting roots. Which was boring as hell after the R&D stuff, but it afforded me a more normal family life, lol. One thing led to another and I ended up in the non-profit accounting sector, which I at least find some personal satisfaction in. So, that’s what I’ve been doing. My kids are grown and I have 4 grandkids. My husband and I are about to celebrate our 41st wedding anniversary, which is just ridiculous to me, haha.

    Tell any old TGIF peeps I said hey. That was an awesome time.

  8. Mikie Baker says on :

    Kay, just getting back on my sight. Nice to hear from you. Hope you are all doing well since this post is 4 years old! Oh My!

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