I was a “permalancer” for People magazine for two years (’96 to ’98). At times the climate at People was the most miserable I’ve ever experienced. Except for my short tenure at Entertainment Tonight, that is, which Iasted two or three months during the summer of ’98. Absolute hell, in part because I had to be at work at 5 am and in part because of the acutely political competitive-female vibe under boss lady Linda Bell Blue.

Will they fire me next month, next week…tomorrow? Why are people always speaking in hushed tones behind closed doors? Is the work I’m doing of any value to anyone? Will I always have to wake up at 3:45 am? Is it too late to learn a new trade?