I am a correspondent for Marketplace covering the economy, economic indicators, employment, labor and workforce.
What was your first job?
I had a job every summer during college running the receiving dock in a large sheet metal factory in North Jersey that made cans. My first job in journalism was as an editorial clerk at the Philadelphia Inquirer after graduating college in 1985.
What do you think is the hardest part of your job that no one knows?
Marketplace has among the tightest deadlines and the most demanding expectations for daily news stories of any national public radio newsroom IMHO.
What advice do you wish someone had given you before you started this career?
If you love your job, stick with it. If you're really good at something, keep doing it.
In your next life, what would your career be?
Bodhisattva (in the Mahayana Buddhist tradition, a being on the brink of enlightenment who could end the cycle of rebirth and gain nirvana but chooses to return out of compassion for other beings). Seriously, if I came back in a next life, it would confirm this teaching and I would care more about being in harmony with the universe than having another career. If I had to choose a career (and just be a bodhisattva on the side, I guess), I'd be a public radio reporter again.
Fill in the blank: Money can’t buy you happiness, but it can buy you ______.
What is something that everyone should own, no matter how much it costs?
What’s something that you thought you knew but later found out you were wrong about?
Being a parent would constrain my choices and box me in. It did, but I didn't care.
What’s your most memorable Marketplace moment?
Emceeing a Sotheby's auction of literary memorabilia from the Beat Generation — I sold Jack Kerouac's last shot glass for high six figures. (As David Brancaccio was oft-required to say on air after segments like this: “It was a joke!”)
What’s the favorite item in your workspace and why?
Eve Epstein, my former editor and now office mate in the Marketplace Portland bureau at All Classical Portland.