Working For Oprah Is Hard, Man Fakes Book Club Entry

Working for Oprah may sound like a dream – remember when she took all of her employees on holiday to thank them for their hard work? Well, being her personal assistant may be more ‘The Devil Wears Prada’ than anything else.

According to one Harpo employee, Carla Bird, the girl Friday to Oprah’s TV co-executive producer Lisa Erspamer, filed for 800 hours of overtime from January through April of this year.

“Several weeks ago, it was discovered by accounting and human resources,” our source said. “Most employees would have been walked right out the door. Well, that’s just not the case for good ol’ ‘Birdie.’ ”

Lisa Halliday, chief of communications at Harpo, insisted the story was false and said Bird’s claims were totally legit.

“Many of our employees contribute significant hours of overtime during our production season. This is quite common within the television industry,” she told Page Six.

“From January to April 2007, this employee legitimately accumulated approximately 800 hours of overtime.”

New York Times

So how many hours a day does this clock up to? Seven days a week, 12.5 hours a day, over 17 weeks! No one really believes television is glamorous anymore do they?

However, at least the financial rewards were more generous – Carla Bird was paid $65,000 for the overtime!

I’m not sure if being overtime like this is across the board in America, or just a generous package from Oprah to her staff who obviously earn it, but in New Zealand you can work these kinds of hours and not get paid any extra if you’re on a salary. Which really, makes you a big ol’ loser. If there were no financial rewards, why do it?

Oprah is also in the news this week as a self-published author claimed his book was going to be her next book club pick, and that he had been interviewed by the big O.

Bill Schneider, Provincetown’s administrative director of tourism, even posted a transcript of the purported interview with Winfrey on his Web site, though it later was taken down, the Cape Cod Times reported Thursday.

“Crossed Paths,” was self-published by Schneider in March, and recounts the story of two men who fell in love in the 1970s. One later committed suicide.

A spokeswoman for Harpo Productions, Inc., Winfrey’s studio, said Schneider never appeared on the show and the book was never listed on Oprah’s Book Club.

“I acknowledge an error in judgment, in my attempt to memorialize (in my book) someone very special who didn’t get a chance to finish his life,” Schneider said.

While lies are not the best way to get ahead, what genius this would have been if it had worked out. That’s worth an interview on Oprah’s show just for being so clever.

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