I lasted much longer than my detractors wanted. By the time they let me loose, I was the first person anyone called when they wanted to present a product to the sales force which irked the people that should have been called. Looking back, I know I was out of my mind in trying to bring entertainment, or even reason, to the corporate world – but I was corporate bored, 15 years younger and I just wanted to take one last long hard shot at authority I guess. In the end, they didn’t fire me for the copy, but they did find a way to lay me off. I’ll just leave it at this… authority always wins.
Since then I’ve avoided large corporations, although I did end up in a huge one a while back when a very pleasant, small company I was working for was sold. We went from 50 happy employees to 50,000 miserable ones in one ultimately failed merger. And here’s a shock – that corporation and I, we didn’t get along either.
Lately it seems I’ve just been avoiding steady employers altogether. I’ve been a working girl since I was 15 years old and lied about my age to get a waitressing job. The restaurant owner was the first in a long line of occupational challenges. He used to stand in the kitchen and scream, “I have the stupidest girls in the world working for me!” He died young. I had nothing to do with it.
You always work for someone even if you work for yourself. There’s no way around that. In the past 3 years I have sold 32 paintings, which has by no means made me a good living, but it has been some of the most gratifying work I have ever done for the best employers I’ve ever had – those that appreciate my work. And on my 60th birthday, I just want to take a moment to thank everyone who has ever purchased my work, as well as anyone who has encouraged the work. You have kept me painting. You have inspired me and kept me out of Corporate America. I thank you, and Corporate America thanks you too.
Note: The artwork included in this post is a set piece I painted for a play that I wrote in 1989 called “The Artist”. It now hangs in my studio along with 5 other paintings created for the play.