Thursday, April 29, 2010

That "W" Thing

In total, I've worked about 40 years of my life. I started two weeks after high school as a clerk at an insurance company in downtown San Francisco. That did not last long. I caught my hand in an elevator one day,simply went home and never went back.

My next job (2 weeks later) was as a sales person at the Emporium in SF. Fun job and much more lively than being a "clerk". I then went to work for a finance company and loved working there! I worked the desk and took payments, collected money from borrowers and took applications for loans. I also did credit checks and hung out with the other girls in the office. Not really hard work, but fun work. I met my first husband while I worked there. (He was a sales rep, not a borrower.)

After getting married, I had a job selling linoleum at Sears for a while. I didn't like it much and wasn't very good at it. I also worked as an instructor at a health studio (spa) for about a year. Kind of fun but also had to hustle up memberships (hated that part!) and show people how to use the equipment. I was hired because I had a 3 month old baby and weighed 105 pounds. (I claimed my good shape was because of the exercises but it wasn't.)

I also worked for JC Penneys for a while as the assistant to the man who owned the jewelry concession. He was old and kind of icky and patted me on the ass every time he passed me. (He also fired me which pissed me off after allowing him to pat my butt.)

My first long term (12 year) job was at Chevron USA. I started as a file clerk, moved to the typing pool, and ended up the administrative assistant to the General Counsel.

I then worked for a high tech firm and wired and soldered keyboards, burned in eproms, and beta tested equipment. I was hired as a marketing assistant but these guys preferred to use me in engineering labs. Great with me! I loved the protective glasses and white coat!

I went to work for an Australian owned engineering firm and stayed there another 12 years. This was a great job where I worked directly for the president and did a lot of fun stuff. I had a staff of about six who I hired and fired. I also arranged apartments for visiting honcho's from Australia, managed office redesign, ordered phone and communication systems, traveled the US to assist in presentations, arranged 500 person conferences, set up security systems, and wrote and produced a film promoting the company. It was a fabulous job!

I also worked for an architect for 3 years as a Marketing Director and then for an Engineering firm for another 10 years as Marketing Manager. I photographed projects, wrote proposals, prepared graphics for presentations, and coached presenters. In other words, I paid my dues.

During my employment at Chevron, I went to school at night to get a degree in Business Management. Chevron paid the tab for Golden Gate University and that's a good thing because it was damned expensive.

Meanwhile, keep in mind, I was raising two kids, mainly on my own. If I'm lazy now, I have an excuse! I'm still tired from what I did in my earlier years! If I had it to do over again, I'm not sure I could! I used to get up at 4 and do homework till 6 when I would get ready for work (and get the kids ready for school.) I worked from 8 AM till 4 PM, when I would run across the alley to school and my first class from 4 to 6. The second (or third class) would end about 10 PM. I'd get home by 11 and go right to bed. I did this 4 nights a week. I had a babysitter, most nights, and if not, the kids were told to call the next door neighbor if there was a problem. (I doubt you could get away with that today.)

A young friend came to me last week to ask me to help her because she needs a job. She's 19, very sweet, and has really no experience beyond fast food. She's a very pretty girl. I helped her decide where to apply, how to polish her resume, and what clothing to wear to interviews. (I really wanted to tell her to just find a rich guy to support her and forget about working but I didn't!) She had an interview at a place I sent her yesterday. I think she'll get the job!

Somebody told me recently to think about the first thing you wanted to be when you were a kid. That's what you should be when you grow up. I would have a detective agency with another woman. We would call ourselves "The Dickless Tracy's"!

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