Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Thinking back

I got my first full time job after I graduated from High School in 1970 (yea, yea, yea... do the math). Anyway, as I was working on W2's today and saw what I had made working a part-time job, I had to think back to that first job.

The job was with the State Department of Health as a Clerk/Typist. Thinking back, I'd have to say I probably pissed my fellow employees off. I actually liked to type and it didn't seem like work to me at all, so when break time would come, I'd wave everyone on and keep typing. Well I did that until my supervisor called me into her office and told me that breaks were mandatory. That was insane to me! So I quietly filed out with the others for 15 minutes every morning and 15 minutes every afternoon for my "mandatory" break. Of course, we had a lunch break too. As in many offices, there were the talkers and there were the workers. I was definitely one of the workers... which got me another sit down with my supervisor. It turned out I was working too fast. There wasn't enough work to go around and they didn't want to admit that to the powers that be, so I was asked to "slow down". How is that for bureaucracy at its best. Remember, this was 1970. We had no computers. Actually most of us didn't even have electric typewriters. We were typing on old manual typewriters and everything was in triplicate with carbon paper in between each sheet. We had correction tape for errors but usually if we made an error, we'd have to start over.

What really prompted me to write this post, though, was the wages. My first paycheck was for $305.00. Not too bad? That was for a MONTH of work! And let me tell you, I thought I was in high cotton. That was a fortune to me. It was plenty to live on since I still lived at home. What did things cost in 1970?

A gallon of gas was 36 cents.
A first class stamp cost 6 cents.
A dozen eggs cost 62 cents
A candy bar cost 10 cents
A loaf of bread cost 25 cents

Ahhhh, the good ol' days.


The Blue Ridge Gal said...

Darn tootin' the good old days...

Intense Guy said...

Wow. You could have bought 3050 candy bars a month which would have averaged just about 10 a day exactly.

I won't say what I think of the "slow down you are working to fast bit" its not printable.

Karla said...

yes the good old days...If only i had known then what I know now. *sigh* My first job was in 72 and I think I made about $80.00 every two weeks. I can't remember! Old timers has made it to my brain LOL

AliceKay said...

I remember typing in triplicate. :\

Your work ethics were (and are) admirable, Punkn.

My first full time job after high school (1973 - so you aren't that much older than me....LOL) was in the installment loan department of a local bank. I took home $55 a week for a 44 hour week. (they had to cut back my hours for a few months when they realized I was still only 17) After being promised a raise after three months when I was first hired, I finally got up enough nerve to ask for one after six months went by and no raise. I got the raise in my next paycheck.

I can remember filling up my Mustang with gas for $2. Imagine that.

LadyStyx said...

I had a manual typewriter while growing up. I cant tell you how thankful I was to finally get my first word processor (with a monitor so things could be printed after editting.....). Wont go into remembering anything from 1970...as I dont remember ANYTHING from back then!

sexy41 said...

Am proud of your work ethics punkn. I sure know the state jobs, most people don't really work. The ones that do get given hell because they make most of the others look bad.

My first job was in retail, because I was still in high school and a student they got to pay me less then anyone else over 18. I made 2 dollars an hour.

Wow those days of your money lasting longer with everything so much cheaper.
You could go on long rides with out spending to much on gas.

Hey I am younger LOL, I graduated in 1975. LOL

ChicagoLady said...

Wow, you graduated in 1970? That would make you...GASP!

I don't remember 1970, as I was just barely older than Styxie, lol. Ok, I was 1 year old!

I do remember typing in duplicate with that carbon paper. Messy stuff for sure.

Definitely the good ole days!

Tori_z said...

Even I remember stuff being a lot cheaper than it is now. No matter how old you are, you can always remember "the good old days"... Because the good old days are any time before now. ;)

MarmiteToasty said...

I had my first job at 12... it was in a newsagents shop.. 2 hours everynight after school, all day saturday and sunday mornings all for a little over 2 quid ($2.82 on todays exchange) for the whole week LOL - of which my mum took half me money and from that day I was responsible for buying my own clothes *sigh*

They found out I was way to young and they were breakin the law so they got rid of me lol

second job I was 13 and we had then moved to a different area, I worked at Estee Lauder Factory in Petersfield, all day saturday til late and all day sunday til late.... for £8 for the whole weekend lol again half was taken from me.....

They found out I was to young to be employed and they to got rid of me LOL

My first proper job after leaving school and NOT being allowed to go to college even though I applied and was given a place.. *sign*.. was for the Ministry of Defence start in the typing pool :)... we to had manual huge old typewriters.... I loved typing and never found it a chore....

First real wage packet was £14.50 of which half I had to give me mum and half of the half I had left it cost me in bus fare to get to work and half of the half that I had left I had to spend on my dinner in the canteen cos my mum said I was then responsible for my own food, even though she had half me wages LOL....

I was there 9 years and worked me way up and way out of the typing pool :) - but thats another story lol

sorry waffling here.....


Punkn said...

amazing all the experiences! At least my wages were mine.

Marmie... you should write a book, dear - I would buy it.

I forgot to mention I lasted only 3 months in that first job. I couldn't handle their lack of ethics. I stayed with state government jobs, though and found some offices really tried to give tax payers the best bang for their buck.