Slim and Franke

Slim and Franke

Monday, December 17, 2007

BEFORE I GET OFF MY SOAPBOX

1967 My first job out of college was working for an insurance company steno pool. I would be called into the various executive offices to take dictation. One gentleman had lovely pictures of his family on his desk. He would have me close his office door and on the back on his door was a poster of a full length nude woman. Did that make me uncomfortable? You bet!

This same company the President of the firm would claim zipper problems and have his secretary help him zip his pants every morning.

The company party at the firm did not include family members and was held at a lake resort over a weekend. I managed to get an excuse to skip this mandatory party because I was pregnant.

1968 Interviewing for my next job, I was asked if we were planning a family. (I had miscarried my first.) I said "no" and the interviewer went further to ask what form of birth control we were using.

After my divorce in 1975 I was single working mom with two small children. I was required to be at work and sick children did not constitute an excuse for absence. They could not go to daycare sick so if my parents could not help out with the children, I would hire Grandmother's Inc. and pay the sitter twice what I made that day.

My 30 year career spanned more discrimination than I can begin to list here. I made it to a high position in my field but not as far as I could have with a little more "cooperation". Even with that I still had to ignore the comments that came with each promotion dealing with sleeping my way to the top.

I managed to take care of my family, continue my education, move ahead in my field while training men and watching them move ahead of me at a rapid pace. Keeping my nose to the grindstone allowed me to achieve a lot. Perhaps my slow plodding and my limited success did help make a difference for other career women today.

I had stacks of documentation in boxes under my bed when I retired. Evidence for law suits on sexual discrimination. The day I burned them and let go was a cleansing episode in my life.

But,

did I believe Anita Hill? -- You bet I did!

7 comments:

  1. Granny Annie, I am sorry for those experiences you had but indeed you endured, grew, overcame, and moved on! You are a credit to working women everywhere. I have always been a stay at home wife/mother. I endured years of people looking down on me because I had no career and no skill (in their eyes). The bottom line...all walks of life has its challenges and finishing the race counts!

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  2. I believed her too. Luckily, I never had to endure the kinds of things you did, mainly because the work I did before marriage didn't lend itself to that, except in the hospital I worked in for a while.I am so glad I didn't have to deal with that!

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  3. Good for you!
    I hope you aren't keeping any lawsuit info on me as it pertains to Blog Church and your chocolate addiction and apparent succumbing to GREED.
    :-)

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  4. WOW , I knew things were bad, there were still some nutty things going on in the late 80's and 90's at my old job but not that bad, now you get in trouble for any little thing at work!! You put up with a lot!!!

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  5. I know of what you write because I heard it so often from friends outside of the teaching profession. We had our own problems, but nothing quite so ridiculous and prejudicial. However, when I started teaching becoming an administrator was something better left to the men in education.

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  6. Changes, I always felt sorry for my sister who was a SAHM and never got raises or promotions to recognize her efforts.

    Judy, I guess the funniest thing was not knowing I was enduring anything until years later. At the time it all just seemed like the way things were and always had been.

    Monica, I'm glad you didn't have the same things happen to you. That means there was some progress from my generation to make things a bit better for yours.

    Maria, I am guessing the teaching profession may have seen the least discrimination because the majority of teachers are or were female...but I may be wrong about that.

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  7. Interesting to hear a woman's perspective. That same time period, I have heard older family members talk about it from a racial perspective, but I'm part white too and none of the professional white women told me the crap they went through. I had no idea.

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