Before she became the queen of Southern cuisine, Paula Deen was barely making ends meet at her first job as a bank teller. Paula started cashing checks and depositing paychecks at age 18—and continued working as a teller on and off for two decades.
To relive her humble beginnings, Paula clocks in at a bank in Studio City, California, for an afternoon behind the counter. After taking a tour of the vault, Paula reports for duty armed with supplies. "I brought some of my wonderful oatmeal cookies here," she says. "I can always bribe my customers if they get aggravated with me or something."
For two and a half hours, Paula counted cash with ease. "It has been 23 years since I've been in a bank, and it felt like I was gone 23 minutes," she says.
Management agrees. "The clients loved Paula," branch manager Anna says. "She was funny; she was friendly. I would hire Paula Deen in a second."