Working Hard/Hardly Working: Brooklyn Woman Juggles Four Jobs

Sarah Booz is a New Yorker, born and raised. She is a unicyclist, an avid science fiction reader and has lived in the twenty-something nirvana known as Bushwick for six years and, despite the generally disdainful stereotype held against her young neighbors, Booz supports herself by working. A lot.

As the economy slowly transitions into a service-based one, jobs can be scarce. However, in a city already accustomed to its residents adapting to a high cost of living, the question isn’t so much if one can get a job but rather if one job is enough to pay the bills.

In the course of a week, the 27 year old wears the hats of bartender, manager, fry cook, cashier and karaoke hostess. All in all, she works four jobs and Booz says that she couldn’t be more satisfied about it.

“I’m happier doing this,” she said, “than I ever was in an office.”

That’s not to say that it’s all an easy gig, she added.

“It gets hard when I switch shifts and have to do a triple,” Booz said. “But as long as I stick to the same schedule, it’s not so bad.”

Booz was raised in Greenwich Village, and she manages to stay in the neighborhood for her two bar gigs. She’s worked at the Greenwich Village Bistro at 13 Carmine St. for a year and a half, and has been bartending at the Brooklyneer bar at 220 W. Houston St since May of this year.

Her other jobs keep her close to her Bushwick apartment. She spends Fridays and Saturdays nearby, spending Thursday nights hosting karaoke at Pine Box Rock Shopbar on 12 Grattan Street and doling our Sicilian rice balls from Arancini Bros. on Flushing to late-night snackers.

“I turned 25 and I realized I’d never been on a real job interview,” Booz said. “I worked in an office since I was 16. It was so 9-to-5 and it just wasn’t for me.

Booz estimates her living expenses at around $1,000, and said that she breaks just about even. All her jobs except karaoke pay an hourly rate plus tips.

“I don’t feel burnt out,” she said. “If I’m not working, I end up being not productive.”

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About Chester Soria

Chester Jesus Soria is a Brooklyn-based freelance multimedia journalist currently studying at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. He has written on culture, criminal justice issues and politics and has been published the New York Times’ Fort Greene/Clinton Hill Local blog, Alternet, Houston Press and the Innocence Blog. Read more at