Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Journal Jar Q48: Write About Your Favorite Job, Part I

It's been ages since I posted - I've been in a real blog funk lately but as I was surfing through my favorite blogs, I found this post to jump-start my return to blogging.  I love Caroline's blog, Mrs. M's Meanderings, and her Journal Jar posts are a great read.  I'm going to follow her lead and give you, as she said, a whistlestop tour of my working life.

Cashier - Presto's Supermarket, Whitefield, England

I started working part-time when I was studying for my A-levels.  We had gone to the supermarket one weekend when Mum noticed a sign at the customer service desk.  I applied and joined a group of about ten new employees who were assigned to various parts of the store.  I became a cashier and my new friends Sue and Brendan reported to the produce and meat sections respectively.  I worked Thursday and Friday evenings and all day Saturday.  I can't remember how much the job paid, not much I'm sure but I do remember that the wages were in cash.  I loved working as a cashier; I was good at my job and built up quite a following of customers who would stand in my line a little longer than some of the shorter lines because I always had a smile and a cheery hello for them.  After the store closed, we did various jobs until the end of our shift like sweeping or restocking shelves.  I loved the canteen lunches on Saturday - the ladies there made the best cheese and onion sandwiches.  I worked there less than a year and left to work full-time when I decided that A-levels and I were not going to get on.

Travel Clerk - Albany Travel, Manchester, England

I can't remember how I came to work at Albany Travel.  I left school and must have been looking for work and I found this position.  It paid ridiculously low (I remember that Mum gave me bus fare and lunch money so who knows what I did with my wages) but I enjoyed the work making rail, hotel, and ferry reservations and I had wonderful co-workers.  We were just up the street from Granada Studios so I can remember making bookings for several actors and actresses.  I left there after Mum talked me into going back to school - a course called Foreign Correspondents at the local technical college.  It was secretarial with languages and I lasted a year there before we moved to California.

Dispatcher/Customer Service Representative/Accounting Clerk/Administrative Assistant/Office Manager/Marketing Manager - State TV Cable/Cooke CableVision/Chambers Cable, Chico, California

We moved to California in 1978 and Dad had an interview at the local cable company.  I went along for the ride and waited for him in the car (it was August and there was no air conditioner).  He and the Office Manager decided he was over-qualified for the job and spent a considerable time chatting instead.  When Dad was ready to leave, he asked her if she would give me a few pointers on job hunting and so in I came, sweaty and no doubt pretty grubby looking.  I was very surprised when she called a few days later and asked if I was interested in a job!  I worked in the cable industry in California for twelve years, starting as a dispatcher and working my way through a variety of positions.  I loved them all, my co-workers were fabulous and I really enjoyed my time there.  I left to move to San Francisco, returned to Chico shortly thereafter, and went back to school for a semester before returning to the cable industry.

The launch of our first premium channel - Showtime (1979?) - before that, your biggest decision was whether to have one outlet or two!

Administrative Assistant to the General Manager - silk dress now instead of a T-shirt with a slogan - this was my birthday in 1991

Office Manager, Guam Cable TV, Guam and Administrative Manager, Saipan Cable TV, Saipan

I was going to school when I got a call from my former boss (I was his Administrative Assistant above).  In the shuffle from State TV Cable to Cooke CableVision and then to Chambers Cable, he had lost his job in that top management shuffle that goes on in big business, and he ended up as the General Manager in Saipan.  Where?  I had to look it up on a map.  I loved working for him and I jokingly said that if he ever needed an Administrative Assistant again, call me.  About a week later, I got a call from his boss (in Guam), asking me if I would be interested in interviewing for the Office Manager position.  Guam?  Why not?  If I didn't like it, I could come back to California, but if I didn't go, I might never know what I was missing.  Off I went for the interview and three weeks later, I was off to Guam.  I stayed about a month and then they transferred me to Saipan for a month to fill in for their Office Manager while she was on a month-long vacation.  I came back to Guam, armed with a report on all the things in Saipan that could be done more efficiently and four weeks later, I was transferred back to Saipan permanently.

It was an interesting four years during which time I met and married Vic, Sophia was born, Vic joined the Navy and we eventually moved back to the States.  The company was in financial difficulty and woefully mismanaged but we hobbled along.  When the end was near, the Navy opportunity came along for Vic and off he went to basic training and his first assignment in Florida.  Sophia and I stayed in Saipan until I completed my employment contract and then we joined him.  The company folded soon after.

Customer Service Department - 1992
I'm going to break this into two posts - more tomorrow.

1 comment:

  1. Great post, Pamela - really enjoyed reading it. Thanks for the linky, too.