Most jobs you need to work 40 hours a week, and if you're going to take time off, you need to ask for vacation time. I couldn't ever do that. I've always had this cool job where I could say, "Guess what: I'm not coming all next week." It's a job you can leave and come back to. I was 28 years old, and I dyed my hair purple, and my boyfriend, his mother says, "I was wondering what kind of job she had where she could do that." I like that you can be as counterculture as you want, be whatever you want, and still be really good at this [job], and really productive. I'd always imagined I would move on from it, and I haven't.

There was a lot more money in this industry in the '80s, before the fax machine and way before e-mail. I'm told that receptionists were sending each other notes by messenger because you could just put that on your company account and nobody cared, and there was a lot of money going around. So the heyday was before my day. But it's changed -- even more since the first World Trade [Center bombing] and then 9/11. The more the work becomes just the really important things, the better. You know, I don't want to deliver people's notes to each other. You know, call. That's what the phone is for.

-- Interview by Tyler Currie