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Jeffery H. Baer

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Joann HamannXBuchanan

Joann HamannXBuchanan

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At age 2, back in 1971, I was able to read the Times Square message boards--out loud, that is. I was so fascinated by the stories rolling past that I didn't notice the crowds watching me read. If I had, I would've passed the hat around. But that feat should've been a signal that I was not your average child--even to yours truly.

My family and I moved into a new house on Staten Island the day after the blackout in July 1977. But once again I stumbled over myself socially in both the neighborhood and at school. Let's leave it at that.

I won a scholarship to Baruch College to study accounting, but after I while I realized I didn't understand anything about crunching numbers. Since I loved to write, I detoured into journalism, but my imagination was too hyperactive to stick to reporting. Meanwhile, I spent five years working for a trade magazine publisher as their receivables manager and coping with alienation and politics--as well as the worst boss I ever had, a bigger bully than anyone I encountered as child. The experience inspired my novel THE STRICKLAND FILE, which is still being edited as I type. I left that dump in 1995 and went to work for Stevens-Knox & Associates, a list management firm. (Suffice it to say list management is a factor in how we get junk mail.) The job lasted 16 months because our #3 officer slowly grew to hate me for reasons that aren't entirely clear. To make a long story short, she found good reason to have me canned at the start of 1997, but she was too much of a coward to give me the bad news to my face. As a result, I've sought steady work for the last 14 years, disappointing employers on interviews and in the workplace at an alarming rate.

 
 

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