Work & Business

  1. We were up for whatever. We were all up for whatever. That's the one thing I keep coming back to. What were we up for? Whatever. Were we up for it? We were. In the end, there is no one to blame. When you're up for everything, sooner or later, everything will happen. We were up, once. Are you up for whatever, they had asked us, and to the ones who said Yes they had…

  2. Welcome to THE DOUGH, an occasional series in which Manjula Martin talks with women in creative professions about money and work. When I called AB Chao on the phone, she was in New Orleans painting the kitchen cabinets in her new apartment. The cabinets had been “a gross, rental off-white” and Chao was in the middle of a lengthy process of repainting them bright white, not being pleased with the results, then repainting them again.

  3. If Shakespeare’s Richard III were your coworker, he would use smiley emojis in all his emails, and although you—being Minnesotan and well-versed in the nuances of passive-aggressive behavior—wouldn’t buy it, your boss and all the VPs would find it charming. If Shakespeare’s Richard III were your coworker, he’d have long conversations with himself in his cubicle, which would be right next to yours -- alarming conversations you would think you were meant to overhear -- but because your…

  4. Previously: Please consider my application to become a feudal vassal. 1. I am convinced that I have spent most of my life waiting to subsume my will to someone more beautiful and powerful than myself. I am crammed with ambition on the behalf of others. 2. I would happily sidle over to up-and-comers at court during a masque, deliver a short, cutting remark about their social-climbing, then whirl smilingly away into the crowd.

  5. Stephen Kearse's previous work for The Toast can be found here. I sat quietly as my shorn hair fell, sprinkling my bare shoulders. I’d received haircuts in barbershops, shopping malls, salons, basements, garages and college dorms, but this was the first time I’d had my hair cut in a bedroom. I was thankful there were no mirrors in sight that would allow…

  6. “Most girls aren't into this kind of stuff.” No way, do you have the list? The list of things most girls are into? I've been trying to find that thing forever, can you forward it to me? You have my email. Thanks, man, you're the best.

  7. Kathryn Ionata's previous work for The Toast can be found here. During my first semester as an adjunct instructor of English at two universities, I had come to dread Wednesdays. In the morning, I taught composition to a class of sleepy-eyed freshmen whose staunch refusal to participate in class discussions rivaled their unwillingness to crack a smile. After an interminable fifty minutes, I retreated to the “bullpen,” as a colleague referred to the small,…

  8. On a cruise ship the size of a small European nation, it's not surprising that the first thing I did was get lost. I had already seen the vast 1000-seater theatre and the dressing rooms, featuring a Return to Oz-like gallery of wigs, where I would be spending most of my time. I had also been shown to my cabin, the one I would be sharing with a fellow actor, Jen, for the next sixteen…

  9. Since childhood I’ve always been good at recognizing patterns. During a spelling test in second grade, I realized that my teacher was calling out the words in the same order they were listed in our English textbook, and was able to fill out the remaining blanks in advance, from memory. Walking between the rows of desks as she announced the words, my teacher noticed my completed test, accused me of cheating, and sent me to…

  10. Pilot G-Tec pen, $3.95, Officemax. CPU: $.19 per overwrought diary entry.


    Garlic press, $10.00, Ikea. CPU: $2.50 per clove. (Lost part of it after one use.)


    UC Santa Cruz Banana Slugs T-shirt, $15.00, UC Santa Cruz Bookstore. CPU: $7.50 per wear. Funnier in theory.


    No Run! tights, $18.00. CPU: $18 per wear. Got a run.

  11. This conversation first appeared in Scratch magazine’s Q4 2014 issue. Read more Scratch about the business of being a writer here. In the publishing industry, most of the gatekeepers come from a place of race and class privilege. How does this skewed power dynamic affect the careers of writers of color? Scratch invited our panelists to have a conversation about their experiences as people who walk through those “gates” every day. Novelist and essayist…

  12. The Product Manager Who Fights An Invisible Enemy Every Morning He's so funny! Who is he swinging his arms wildly at? Is he screaming silently, or trying desperately to breathe because something is choking him? No one knows, because by the time he joins the office meeting at noon, he's in no shape to talk about it. (He's usually very badly beaten!) The Woman Who Lives Under The Glass In The Copy Machine Every office has…

  13. In Colorado the lowest point is three thousand, three hundred and seventeen feet above sea level, where the Arikaree River finds Kansas, and the average elevation is just shy of seven thousand. Spanning from the Great Plains to the Colorado Plateau to the Rocky Mountains, Colorado is a floating quadrangle in the mountain west.

  14. The summer after my freshman year in high school, I took my first real job. Not the first time I’d be working really hard or getting paid, but the first time I needed paperwork. I was 14, uncomfortable with every inch of my body, shy. 

    Minimum wage was $4.15 an hour, at least in Alaska, but without expenses like a car or kids or booze habit, the money added up nicely.

  15. The summer I was twenty, I spent six hours a day in an empty back office reading people’s mail. These people were long dead and their son had sold their papers to the Harvard Theatre Collection, but it still felt partly illicit, and partly like I was solving a mystery--sifting through hundred-year-old clues to find out what had happened. Because something always happened--someone’s always being catty or evasive or finessing the truth (if not…