Although it's been many years since Lily Tomlin worked as an executive assistant, the comedienne's still haunted by memories of her first job in a big New York City office.
"I was sort of the office flunky and the other three women in the office just tortured me," recalls Tomlin, who currently stars as a sassy executive assistant opposite Bruce Willis in Disney's The Kid. "I was a hippie in burlap skirts and T-shirts and the women in the office were all the opposite of me with long fingernails and bubble hairdos.
"They would send me out during lunch hour to do everything from exchange a bra at Lord & Taylor to get some ice cream for their dessert," she tells TV Guide Online. "I would say, 'Could I have cab fare?' And they'd say, 'Take a bus.'
"Finally, one day, I was walking to the front of the office with this pile of oversized ledgers and one of the women, Florence, had her feet stretched out and I couldn't get by. I was paralyzed. Finally, one of the other women said, 'Florence, let Lily by.' And Florence said, 'Let her speak for herself.' That was the final humiliation and also my emancipation. I did start speaking up!"
Tomlin's character in Disney's The Kid has no problem speaking up to her jerky boss, played by Willis. "I think my character has a real affection for him," she says, "and she believes that there's a better man inside him waiting to get out. I'm waiting for that guy to turn the corner, you know?"