Author David Rensin included the story of Irwin Winkler in his 2002 book
Irwin: I was going to be a salesman in Cleveland. Then I read The Carpetbaggers,
by Harold Robbins. The glamour of the show business lifestyle he described
seemed somehow...more interesting.
When I delivered an envelope to Zsa Zsa Gabor at the Waldorf-Astoria,
she came to the door in a negligee. Immediately I had all these fantasies
of her inviting me into her bedroom, where I would have this wild sexual
encounter with the beautiful Miss Gabor. Instead she said, "Zank
you," and closed the door in my face.
I felt misused and exploited in the mailroom. I knew I was just a messenger
boy with a college degree. At first it didn't bother me because William
Morris masked the job in this mystique that if you did well, you'd get
promoted and be an agent someday. You were motivated by that hope. But
only a handful of "trainees" ever got out and developed into
talent agents, not to mention producers or writers or directors or managers.
Meanwhile, the executives took advantage of those hopes and got young
people to work a five-and-a-half day week for very low wages.