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What was your first full-time job? I don't mean summer work as a student or baby-sitting after school or part-time work. I mean full-time, your first "real" job as an independent adult. How old were you? Where did you live - alone? At home? With friends or family?
I was 19 years old and living in the big city of Toronto Ontario. I lived with my mother's elderly unmarried cousin on the outskirts of the city. I don't remember how I found this job or submitting an application but somehow I managed to get myself hired as an assistant bookkeeper to the Chief Accountant for a huge Canada-wide Mortgage Company.
It was very exciting as I worked in a huge office building right in the heart of downtown Toronto. Mind you it took almost 2 hours to get to work, and several changes from bus to streetcar to subway to get there but I was 19 and full of energy and adrenalin and excitement.
|Lorine in a mini-skirt|
It didn't take long on the job before I was the official coffee girl. Every morning around 10 am I left the building and took a short walk to a nearby cafe where I placed the order for coffees and danishes for about a dozen executives. I actually enjoyed it as it got me out of the office and away from the glare of my trainer!
Next they decided I would fill in at lunch for the receptionist. I liked that too as I got to answer the phones. There was a huge bank of flashing lights with names and numbers beside them and a phone cradled on the left. A light would flash when the phone rang, I'd answer then I'd put the caller on hold while I pushed the appropriate button for whatever executive or secretary the caller wanted.
|IBM Keypunch Machine & Operator|
After 6 months my job consisted of keeping the ledgers for my boss, the Chief Accountant, plus coffee girl, plus noon hour receptionist plus payroll for all the Canadian offices! I had to walk to another building about 2 blocks away to sit in a horrible dingy little cupboard to use my keypunch machine to track all the employees Canada-wide and fill out their payroll cards.
I hated it! And I didn't have enough hours in the day to complete my assigned tasks. I'd go in early, around 8 am (which meant leaving my cousin's home at 6 am), work all day without a break, take a quick nibble of a sandwich around 6 pm then work until 11 or midnight. Then I'd head home. Being pretty naive, I complained to my boss. Repeatedly. I foolishly thought the company would relieve me of some duties or they'd hire another person to help. My boss informed me the company wasn't pleased at all the overtime I was submitting and that my job began at 9 and ended at 5. And I better get the work done in that allotted time.
But I kept complaining that I couldn't do it, and I soon found out that the person who complains constantly gets the boot. After another few months, my boss called me into his office and told me I was fired. I was stunned!
Later I found out that the company hired two girls to take my place - a separate one for payroll and keypunching and one for my original position of assistant bookkepper/coffee girl/part-time receptionist.
At first I was devastated - fired! How could I ever hold my head up? But eventually I realized it probably all came down to his trusted second hand disliking me and disapproving of my clothes plus me not knowing enough to stop complaining. I never was quiet and shy and always had trouble keeping my opinions to myself. C'est la vie!