Prompt 11 and my last post before my break for the 30 Day Writing Challenge is:
Write a short non fiction piece about your first job.
My first job was when I was 16 and was at a Printers in Peckham, South East London. My job title was Receptionist, but I soon discovered that that meant I had to do everything. I was the only female in the company, which, although this entitled me to door opening and apologies for swearing, it did mean that tea and coffee duties fell on me.
I operated a PMBX 4×18 switchboard…wow…how mad does THAT look now?
I had an electric typewriter (an IBM) remember these?
But the thing that set this job apart from any other ive ever had was the working conditions! OMFG you should have seen my office lol. In one corner the ceiling had come down and we were using a red fire bucket to catch the water when it rained. It was absolutely disgusting, and as the months went on we started to have more and more pots and buckets dotted around the office catching the drips. But I never complained. I had my own (slightly damp) office where I could smoke at my desk and have the radio on (it had to be turned off when the phone rang…a few times I forgot!) and was pretty much allowed to just get on with my work (answering the phone, typing letters and invoices and sorting out the post that I posted on my way home….if there was loads I got out early).
The boss, a real creepy bloke who would put his arm round me at any opportunity, was out quite a lot so when I wasnt busy I would sit and read at my desk.
I wish id taken some pictures but I didnt own a camera and back in 1984 we didnt have computers let alone digital cameras lol
I got so fed up with it I only stayed for 9 months. The dripping water and smell of damp finally got to me. I started job hunting and found a job through an agency who wanted me to start the next day. So the following morning, really early, my grandad drove me and The Hubster (who was the fiancee at the time) to where I worked and I cleared my desk and left a note, all before the boss arrived at 9.
I felt bad about doing it like that, but I didnt claim the wages I was owed and I knew my boss would make things difficult for me if I gave him the weeks notice id originally agreed to. In those days you didnt have contracts, and had no rights as an employee…things have changed a lot over the years.
Beleive it or not I look back on that job quite fondly. I felt so grown up! A proper job! It would be nice to say that if the working conditions had been good I would have stayed, but I heard through the grapevine a couple of years later that they had gone bankrupt. Spooky when you consider I ended up marrying the fiancé and we now own a Printers lol
So my first job was pretty boring….What was yours?