I’m hoping that at my new gig here I never have the same kind of night that I had when I was working a steady at the Pump Room. I came home from my day job, took a quick nap, and missed my alarm. I got dressed and jumped into the car to head to my gig but ran out of gas near the Independence exit off the Eisenhower. I used my cell phone to call my mother to come pick me up, but as soon as she said “Hello” the phone died. So I walked up the ramp in my heels and glitter jacket, and eventually someone pulled over and asked me if I needed help. I said that I’d run out of gas, and the guy offered to go get me some at a station just up ahead. I figured I had to trust him, so I handed him $10 and asked him to please call the Pump Room to tell them I was running late. Sure enough, he returned with the gas but said that the pay phone was out of order. I thanked him and raced down to work, but when I walked in there was another singer on the bandstand. I was furious. I went up to the manager and asked, “What is that singer doing here?” and he said, “Well she’s here every Thursday night. What are you doing here tonight instead of tomorrow?”

–Jen Zias, jazz singer