September 6, 2010
When I was in college, I worked part-time for the public TV station in Dallas. Over the Christmas holidays, I worked full-time (seven hours a day, six days a week) at Northpark Mall, hawking public TV subscriptions in a booth stuffed with Muppet premiums.
“Lady! How much dat Big Bird?”
“You go stay with that lady over by Bert and Ernie and mama be back in a while.”
Most weeknights (four to eleven) I worked solo. No break. Saturdays I worked ten am to eleven pm and generally enjoyed the company of a co-worker. Breaks were left up to us.
For at least two weeks out of each of these months that rolled around every December, I was still doing schoolwork — final papers and exams and everything. I remember one Saturday I spent polishing a paper — in Spanish — on the stereotypical figure of the Moor in Anglo-American literature while hustling public TV subscriptions and listening to my co-worker sing songs from the “Super Fly” soundtrack.