Lament of the Delicious Librarian
I worked at a small Mac software company from 2008-2010 called Delicious Monster, founded by Wil Shipley and Mike Matas. Most people know the company for its hit software Delicious Library, but most people know me from the infamous booth at the 2009 Macworld Expo.
My boss Wil didn’t even want to have a booth. Those things cost a fortune and require tons of time to plan and operate. But I was a giant nerd, had never been to Macworld, and was worried by the buzz that it was Apple’s last year at the expo. We HAD to go to Macworld.
I did some thinking and came up with a concept to pitch: a booth modeled like a cozy library with bookshelves that look just like the ones in Delicious Library. We could dress as “Delicious Librarians” (don’t tell me that wasn’t clever!) complete with nerd glasses and name tags. My coworkers and I stayed up late one night planning everything out so we could present the idea to Wil. He loved it, and gave us the go-ahead to do the booth as long as he didn’t have to do any work on it; he was busy trying to ship an app, after all.
In the months leading up to it, Maja worked her ass off getting us registered with IDG, coordinating our travel, and handling logistics I still can’t grasp to this day. Terry spent days sewing, grommeting, and fireproofing custom curtains (blood was shed). Come January, the three of us flew to San Francisco. We bought twelve Billy bookcases from IKEA, wheeled them to the convention center, and built them ourselves. I bought 216 books from Goodwill and schlepped them over to Moscone in a crummy old suitcase. We carried a 9ft fake tree up Market street because it wouldn’t fit in a cab. Our booth rocked. After four 8-hour days at the Expo, our limbs were sore and our voices were gone.
And what did we get out of it? Well, we turned a profit for one. But we mostly got called booth babes and asked if our boss put us up to it.
It’s likely that the visitors to the company’s Expo booth might have forgotten all about the finer points of Delicious Library 2 while chatting with the folks hired to promote the software.
I’ve spent a few years recovering my reputation, trying to be known more as a fancy business lady and less as one of those Delicious Monster “promo girls”. I especially try to lay low when all these debates about booth babes go down on the internet. It’s embarrassing that I was once one of those girls!
But you know what? Fuck everyone who ever called us booth babes. Fuck everyone who thought that our wearing pencil skirts must have meant everything was some other dude’s idea. We designed, built, and ran everything at that booth and I’ll always be proud of the work we did there.