The Next Chapter

Judy Batalion on blending into the background

Author and essayist Judy Batalion talks about the muffin-serving job she had in high school.
The author of the memoir White Walls had a high school job as a muffin server in Montreal. (Sharon Edelstein/Berkley)

Judy Batalion is the author of White Walls, a memoir about the dysfunctional relationships she had with the women in her life while growing up in the suburbs of Montreal. Below, she talks about her experience working at a muffin shop in high school.

I was a muffin server at mmmuffins in the mall right near my home. I was responsible for laying out the muffins, making sure the muffins were labelled correctly and the coffee as well. It was interesting because it was the first time that I noticed that when you're wearing a mmmuffins visor and apron, which was bright blue in the day, people kind of treated me like part of the muffins counter and would have very personal conversations right in front of me. I know about their children, about husbands, about personal matters. It was as if I was just part of the mmmuffins' furnishing.

Judy Batalion's comments have been edited and condensed.


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