She Works Hard for the Money (1983)
Unfamiliar with this week’s tune? Hear it here.
1) This song is about a woman who works hard as a waitress. What’s the hardest job you’ve ever had?
Being a mama to adults is the hardest job I’ve ever had. As for a job that paid money, I would have to say both of the jobs that expected quantity over quality were the hardest. I wanted to do the job right. They wanted me to do the job fast, even if that meant skipping steps and being haphazard. The way they wanted it, fast whether right or not, went against everything that I had ever been taught. Both of those places went out of business soon after I stopped working there.
2) The lyrics tell us she has worked at this job for 28 years. What’s the longest you stayed with one employer?
It would be a tie between my late father-in-law’s store and a convenience store here. I worked three or four years at each of those places.
3) Donna Summer was inspired to write this song during an awards show. She ducked into the bathroom and met the elderly ladies’ room attendant, whose job it was to make sure the room the spotless, the complimentary hairspray and moisturizer was abundant, and there was a hot towel for every celebrity who used the facilities. “Wow,” Donna thought, “she works hard for those tips.” Who is the last person you tipped?
The last place I can remember us tipping anyone was at Denny’s. That waitress got a smaller tip than she would have otherwise gotten for pulling a “Flo” on us.
4) Early in her career, Donna was in the touring company of the musical Hair. It played in Munich for so long that she became fluent in German. What’s the longest you have ever lived away from home?
I’m still living away from *home*. We have been living here in Texas since I was 39 years old. I’m 53 now. We’re almost to the 14th anniversary of our move out here, which was 13 September 2004.
5) Sam’s dad is naturally outgoing and enjoys striking up conversations with waitresses, librarians, the checker at the supermarket, etc. Sam is always polite but more private. Are you more like father or daughter?
I am more like daughter. I try to be polite, but my introversion is in high gear these days, so I don’t typically seek out conversation while out in public.
6) A little more than 10% of the American workforce is self-employed. Have you ever been your own boss?
Yes, that is our current circumstance.
7) Labor Day weekend may offer a golden opportunity for napping and sleeping in. Do you snore?
Yes, sometimes I snore. However, with COPD, I am chronically congested, and sometimes that makes noises that are confused with snoring. But, yes, I do snore sometimes, and I end up waking myself up when I do.
8) Will you be attending a Labor Day picnic or barbecue?
We didn’t go anywhere or do anything special for Labor Day.
9) Labor Day traditionally marks the beginning of the fall. Will you be adding any new fall clothes to your wardrobe?
Possibly, but it is highly unlikely. It is pretty much perpetual summer around here, so changing clothes due to changing seasons is unnecessary. Besides, I detest clothes shopping.