Slate interviews Americans about their jobs.

Slate interviews Americans about their jobs.
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Slate interviews Americans about their jobs.




Working at MoMA: How Do an Art Handler and a Museum Registrar Do Their Jobs?

Of all the people who work at MoMA, there very few who get as up close and personal with the artwork as the museum's art handlers and registrars. Registrars are the people responsible for keeping tracking of every inch of every piece of art that belongs to the museum. They thoroughly inspect and catalog each detail and always know where everything is at all times. Meanwhile, art handlers are the ones trusted with physically moving the pieces. They’re the only department outside of...


Working at MoMA: How Does a Museum’s Event Planner Do Her Job?

Like any museum of its scale, MoMA relies on major donations. Which, of course, means throwing major events to match. This week Jordan talks to Tania Abitbol, MoMA’s in-house event planner. Tania is the person charged with dreaming up events worthy of MoMA-lovers. To do her job right, Tania has to make sure every detail of each party is interesting, memorable and, just as important, perfectly executed. She tells Jordan about the tiny details that can inspire entire events and how she...


Working at MoMA: How Does a Museum’s Building Manager Do His Job?

Nelson Nieves has never been especially interested in art, yet he has one of the single most important jobs at New York’s MoMa. As the museum’s assistant director for building operations he oversees the huge team of workers who keep the building clean and running—everyone from the janitorial staff who scour the galleries and bathrooms to the engineers who manage the high-tech heating and cooling system. Nelson talks to Jordan about keeping workers on their toes, the comedy of trying to...


Working for the Holidays: How Does a Christmas Window Production Director Do His Job?

For decades, strolling along New York City’s 5th Avenue during the holidays has meant being surrounded by the most magical window displays imagainable. And Spaeth Designs is part of the reason why. The company behind the amazing displays for the city’s biggest stores has been around for over sixty years. And, as the Production Director, Quinn O’Sullivan is the man who makes it happen. Quinn has been helping design and produce window displays for Spaeth since 2000. He’s worked on projects...


Working at MoMA: How Does a Conservation Scientist Do His Job?

When you think about the types of jobs at an art museum, scientist probably doesn’t spring to mind. But as it turns out, science plays a big part in the art world. As a senior conservation scientist at MoMA, Chris McGlinchey uses the latest scientific techniques to conserve the collection and study the art. Chris tells Jordan about all the complex machines he uses, the extremely tiny scale conservators work on, and how he figured out how to fill the museum with sugar cane that won’t...


Working for the Holidays: How Does a Greeting Card Writer Do His Job?

When you look at the rows of greeting cards at your local pharmacy or megastore, it’s easy to forget that each one of those cards was actually written by someone. And, if they’re anything like our guest, that person put some very real emotion into writing the sentiment inside. For this holiday bonus episode, Jordan speaks to Greg Vovos who is a senior writer at American Greetings and is exactly the kind of person you want writing for you. Greg truly believes in the power of giving a card...


Working at MoMA: How Does a Painting Conservator Do Her Job?

Anny Aviram has been conserving paintings at MoMA for 40 years. So, as can imagine, she’s had her hands on some of the world’s most famous artworks. And, occasionally, her saliva. Anny tells Jordan about the techniques conservators use to restore and preserve paintings. From taking X-rays to painstakingly reweaving canvas fiber by fiber to, yes, using spit to clean certain surfaces. And, as Anny tells Jordan, not only does the technology of conservation change over the years, but so does...


Working at MoMA: How Does a Museum Security Supervisor Do His Job?

This week Chet Gold tells Jordan about all the unexpected excitement of working security at a museum. Chet is not only a MoMA security supervisor but an artist in his own right. That’s why he’s treated his hours standing guard over some of the world’s most priceless art like a sort of residency. That is, when he’s not stopping people from destroying paintings with selfie sticks or spotting out potential vandals. This episode is brought to you by the following advertisers: Merrill Lynch....


Working at MoMA: How Do Exhibition Designers Do Their Jobs?

When you walk through an exhibition at MoMA, every step you take is part of deliberate design that takes you from piece to piece in just the right way. And it all starts with a dollhouse-like version the gallery and teeny tiny art replicas called “chips”. In this episode, Jordan talks to to Lana Hum (Director) and Mack Cole-Edelsack (Senior Design Manager) of MoMA’s Exhibition Design & Production Department. Lana and Mack talk about what it’s like to take the big ideas of curators and...


Working at MoMA: How Does a Curator Do Her Job?

The next person taking us inside life at MoMA is Sarah Meister, a curator in the museum’s Department of Photography. Sarah’s work ranges from pitching exhibits, tracking down and acquiring pieces to writing those words on the wall that let you know what makes that work special. This episode is brought to you by the following advertisers: Merrill Lynch. Get started today at American Express. Don’t do business without it. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit...


Working on Thanksgiving: How Does the Director of Operations at a Soup Kitchen Do His Job?

In this Thanksgiving bonus episode, Working takes a detour from MoMA to visit one of New York City’s biggest emergency food programs, Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen. Jordan talks to Michael Ottley, the Director of Operations of the program about tracking down Turkeys for Thanksgiving, feeding 1000 people a day, and how he had to convince Yelp to take down a rave review that was sending hordes of tourists to their kitchen for free meals. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit...


Working at MoMA: How Does a Collection Specialist Do His Job?

In the new season of Working, host Jordan Weissmann is going inside New York City’s storied Museum of Modern Art to meet the people who keep one of the world’s great artistic institutions running. Paul Galloway is MoMA’s collection specialist for the department of Design and Architecture. To explain what he does...well it takes about the length of this episode to do it justice. But think of him as the department’s central nervous system, the logistics guy who keeps working smoothly. Which...


Working With Weed: How Does a Marijuana Lobbyist Work?

In the final episode of Working With Weed, Jordan talks to Peter Marcus who is the communications director and head of political outreach for Terrapin Care Station in Boulder, CO. Like most positions in this newly legalized industry, lobbying for the interests of cannabis businesses means working without a roadmap. But for someone like Peter, that’s what makes things interesting. Whether he’s working to pass a unprecedented public cannabis consumption bill or unexpectedly explaining to a...


Working With Weed: How Does a Compliance Specialist Work?

As it turns out, doing business in an industry that only recently became (semi) legal involves a lot of red tape—and messing up even a small bit of paperwork can be a disaster that might get a marijuana dispensary shut down or fined. That’s why compliance specialists like Katelin Edwards, of Terrapin Care Station, are some of the most important workers in the world of cannabis, even if you don’t hear much about them. Jordan talks to Katelin about what the pressure of making sure the...


Working With Weed: How Does a Cannabis Lawyer Work?

Marshall Custer wasn’t planning on going into the marijuana industry after he graduated law school. But as he tells host Jordan Weissmann this episode, it’s turned out to be a booming business. You just have to be a little careful about knowing exactly who your clients are. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


Working With Weed: How Does a Marijuana Farmer Work?

In this episode, Jordan goes back to Green Dragon in Denver to talk with Ryan Milligan, the company’s co-owner and head of cultivation. He quickly learns that the hardest part of farming marijuana definitely isn’t growing the plant. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


Working With Weed: How Does a Cannabis Researcher Work?

This week Jordan takes a detour from the cannabis industry to take a look at the science of it all. Dr. Angela Bryan conducts research on marijuana at the University of Colorado Boulder. She studies marijuana’s connection to teen risk behavior, it's effects on cognition and even why it might make you hit the gym more often. And while cannabis is legal in Colorado, there are still all kinds of restrictions that have meant Dr. Bryan and her team have had to get creative. Their biggest...


Working With Weed: How Does an Edibles Baker Work?

In this episode, Jordan gets deeper in the nitty gritty of baking with marijuana. He talks with Lauren Kaufman, who helps oversee the kitchen at Love’s Oven in Denver, about the nuances of working with weed and why requires so much more precision than normal baking. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


Working With Weed: How Does the Head Chef at an Edibles Company Work?

Years ago, a terrible accident left Hope Frahm without taste buds. To cope, she began baking for friends, which led her to cooking school and jobs in top restaurant kitchens. Today, she’s the corporate executive chef for Love’s Oven in Denver, where she creates recipes for a popular line of marijuana infused edibles. In this week’s episode of Working, she talks with host Jordan Weissmann about how in some ways the accident that left her unable to taste has made her better at her job. Learn...


Working With Weed: How Does a Hash Maker Work?

Our series on workers in Colorado’s legal cannabis industry keeps on burning. This week, Jordan talks with Max Platt, a cannabis extraction technician at Denver’s Concentrated Love about the physically demanding art of making professional-grade hash for a living. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit