What I Learned From Being A Pregnant Usherette


Around 10 years ago I was pregnant with my first child, and my husband and I were extremely skint.  We had no money whatsoever.  I knew that I needed to find a job, so when I saw the local cinema advertising for an usherette, I fired in my application and after a brief perfunctory interview, I got the job.  I thought it would be the perfect solution: it would bring in some more money, it was relatively low-level physical activity and I just love movies.  However, the reality didn’t quite live up to the fantasy. What follows is a list of what I learned from my brief employment at the cinema whilst pregnant:

  • Even if you love movies, after watching The Spice Girls Movie for the 14th time, you will quite happily swear off movies for life.
  • The smell of popcorn and morning sickness do not mix.
  • A pregnant woman standing collecting tickets for more than 10 mins will not stay standing for much longer.
  • Stiff polyester uniforms do not make the most comfortable maternity clothes.
  • The majority of people who went to see LA Confidential didn’t ‘get’ it, as evidenced by the confused expressions on the faces of the departing audience.
  • A little popcorn goes a long way, particularly when the bag is kicked across the aisle.
  • Large groups of mouthy teenagers are really annoying.

What is the oddest job you’ve ever had?  What lessons did you learn from it?


April 13, 2008. meme.


  1. kacey replied:

    Hm, my oldest job was working McDonald’s (besides babysitting). I learned I never wanted a job in fast food again!

  2. mrschili replied:

    I never really had an “odd” job. I babysat and nannied as a teen and 20-something, I had a gig as a waitress from 16 to about 22, then I worked in banks as a teller while I made my way through college to become an English teacher.

    I DID learn that service jobs are incredibly difficult, especially when people are a little too willing to be rude to people they consider “beneath” them (waitresses and bank tellers). I could probably not work in service anymore, just because I wouldn’t hold with being badly treated.

  3. Robert Hruzek replied:

    Amy, I remember my time behind the concession counter, and then as an usher at our local cinema too. You’re right – I could NEVER watch any of those movies again!

    Back in my day it was: Airport (the first one), Easy Rider, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, and one more which escapes me – thank goodness!

  4. cybill replied:

    I once cleaned truck air filters for a living, I liked it, I got left alone to do my work and there was visible proof of my efforts at the end of the day (all the clean filters) sort of the opposite of being a mum.

  5. Middle Zone Musings » All Entries: What I Learned From Odd Jobs replied:

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  7. Brad Shorr replied:

    Amy, if and when my daughters are pregnant, I will encourage them not to become and usherette. Some jobs that don’t seem glamorous actually aren’t!

  8. mgoodyear replied:

    I’m guessing the Spice Girls Movie and morning sickness don’t mix either.

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  10. Mike replied:

    The oddest job I’ve ever had was as a groundskeeper at a cemetery for a summer. What I learned?

    -Cemetery workers are the most creatively foul-mouthed people I’ve met.

    -When you dig a grave, the different layers of dirt are quite pretty: deep browns, rusty oranges, light tans, and black.

    -Weed-whacking is harder than it looks, until you get good at it.

    -When you get to work at 7:30AM and it is already 85 degrees and humid, you will have a hell of a day. I have respect for people who work outside for a living.

    -Working in a cemetery WILL make you contemplate your own mortality.

  11. Nicholas replied:

    You’re far too young to remember but I can recall the days of cinema-going when women with ice cream trays would stand at the end of the aisles during the intervals (remember when films had intervals?) selling Walls Ice Cream in little tubs that you ate with a tiny wooden paddle thingy. Eating a tub of tutti frutti much too fast, with the inevitable result halfway through a Bond film, put me off eating at the cinema for life.

  12. Zhu replied:

    When we were really broke, my husband worked as a usher and I think he has about the same comment. I still hate the smell of popcorn after literally smelling him coming home from his shifts…

  13. Karen Swim replied:

    LOL! Oh dear Amy, you painted quite a vivid picture. I’m only glad we can look back on it and laugh but I imagine it was awful. When I first started my business, I took a job making sandwiches to make extra cash (okay not exactly extra) and having never worked in food service it was definitely “odd.” I hated the food smells, cleaned obsessively all day and learned that customers are not always nice!

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  15. amypalko replied:

    I can imagine that wasn’t a terribly pleasant job, Kacey! I imagine you probably don’t eat at fast food restaurants very often now either 😉

    I’ve worked in quite a few service jobs, Mrschili, and I struggled in them for precisely the reasons you set out here. Respect goes both ways regardless of social position!

    I tried watching one of them recently, Robert, but I just couldn’t get through it.

    That does sound like the opposite of being a mum, Cybil! A mother’s work is far less quantifiable.

    And that was one job which was most certainly not glamourous, Brad!

    You guessed correct, Mgoodyear 😉

    That was fascinating, Mike! Thank you so much for sharing that with us.

    I think that was more what I had in mind, Nicholas. Not the polyester uniform or the scraping of sticky sweets of the seats!

    Yeah, it’s amazing how quickly you can go off the smell of popcorn, isn’t it, Zhu?

    If we can’t look back and laugh, what can we do, Karen?

  16. Tanya replied:

    I read the title of your post at highcallingblogs and immediately thought of my time as a pregnant greeter at our church. Everyone shook my hands then rubbed my belly. I felt like a budha. 🙂

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