“Sometimes people act like children,” my boss told me the first day she designated me the cupcake bouncer. “So you have to treat them like children.” That was the motto of Magnolia when I worked there. Nobody cared about their job; I was one of the four people I knew who worked there and had moved to New York to write. Two co-workers were dancers, and one was a girl from Greenwich who was too frightened to ever go into Brooklyn to drink with us. We hated the customers equally and felt nothing but white-hot rage every time one of them said, “Aren’t you getting so fat working here? I would eat everything!”

We hated the ones who waited in line, and when it was time to close, complained if they didn’t make it in—too bad for them, there was no sympathy. I don’t know what it’s like to work at Magnolia now, but back when it had a single owner whom we hardly ever saw, long before she sold it to a buyer that has been working with franchisees all over the world to open up Magnolias, if you bought a cupcake from Magnolia, there is a high probability that the person behind the counter hated your guts.

Jason Diamond, writing in The Billfold about his former job as a Magnolia Bakery cupcake bouncer.

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Photo: Shimelle Laine