8 Things I Did for Money

Sure, you look at me now and think to yourself, Wow, how'd she get to be an actress, comedian AND writer? Well, surprisingly this flashy lifestyle of mine didn't come without struggle. If you can believe it, there was a time when I used to have all sorts of odd jobs and some nights (last week) dinner was a box of Triscuits and a mug of wine.

Chances are, though, no matter what your profession, at some point in your life you've had an "in-between" job. Maybe it shaped you, maybe it inspired you, or maybe like me, it made you literally want to scratch your eyes out wondering why life hates you so much.

Here are eight things I did for money:

1. I Watched Brownies
My job was simple. I had to watch and make sure no one touched a trayful of brownies that was delivered an hour too early for the meeting in the conference room. Armed with just a scrunchie and the will to live, I successfully protected all 39 treats. (38, Shhh...)

2. I Was a Meter Reader
Not to brag (too late?) but I was a successful member of the costume character circuit. From the Tazmanian Devil to Hector the Bear, I sweat my way through college in every suit. So, it was no surprise when I was hired to be the now-retired Marty Meter Reader for the Electric Company. For one warm Saturday in July, I danced, posed and mimed laughter as a gaggle of confused kids mistook me for a dancing marshmallow.

3. I Was a Slasher Girl
Are you perplexed? Well, I sure was when I was hired to literally "slash" prices at Bernie's Used Cars and Trucks, somewhere in Delaware. I wore my skimpiest outfit -- a mock turtleneck and knee-length plaid skirt from Ann Taylor Loft -- and firmly held a soap stick as I put on my little nightly show. Bernie would say, "Katina, show these fine folks just how much you'll slash for them today." That's when my dead eyes looked straight ahead and I robotically said, "I'm gonna slash $500 dollars because that's what I do." And then I softly honked a hand-held horn. If only cell phone videos existed back then.

4. I Filed for a Law Firm
What I didn't realize when I took the prestigious filing job was that filing simply means alphabetizing things. So basically, your co-worker could be a kindergarten dropout; who, between us, I'm pretty sure was. For weeks on end, I would swiftly place "Apple" in front of "Montgomery", "Barney" in front of "Zee", only slowing down when I got to the harder last names that started with "Mc" or those tricky fancy words like "L'Oreal." If you're thinking of getting into the business just know that it's a great place to daydream, lose brain cells and get all the paper cuts you'll ever want.

5. I Answered Phones
Just so you know, when you answer phones for a large company, you should never accidentally push the intercom button so everyone in the building can hear you say in a Valley-girl tone, "I think I smell smoke!" Because then they'll call the fire department and everyone will have to evacuate immediately and be forced to stand shivering in front of the ice skating rink in Rockefeller Center.

6. I Was a Landscaper
So what if I never mowed a lawn, cut a bush, or pulled a weed? If you wanted an experienced landscaper, I was your girl. For four miserably humid days, I worked next to my boyfriend-at-the-time as a trusted manure expert. Until one day when all of a sudden they "didn't need anymore help out in the field" and I was instructed to just pick up lunch for everyone at Wawa.

7. I Was an Under-Eye Pad Model
How are you ever going to know what you'll look like in stress-reducing eye pads if no one parades around Bloomingdales all day in a terry cloth robe and fuzzy slippers to show you?

8. I Was an Iron Demonstrator
The problem with buying an iron is that not everyone understands that you need to plug it in FIRST before touching it to your wrinkled shirt. That's where my job came in as an iron demonstrator. Every weekend for three months, I stood in a Macy's in Connecticut and showed confused people how an iron worked. As one loving customer put it, "I don't need one, but I feel bad for you, so I'll get one." I guess like most of the people I came in contact with, he was impressed.