Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Working Nine-To-Five

Working Nine To Five
By Allison Adams 08-31-12 / Submitted to The Greeneville Sun on 08-31-12

Watch out, people:  This white-haired spent hen is preparing to re-enter the full-time workforce.

(I am not making this up.)

So what if it’s been a couple of decades since I’ve held a nine to five job – I’m employable! 

I have a (marginally) good attitude, and list of (archaic) credentials.

Back in the day, you know, I was a pioneer woma … I mean, a career woman.

I was a junior management executive trainee.

I was also a Notary Public with an official seal and an official logbook.

I had a work wardrobe that included suntan pantyhose that came out of a plastic egg.  I wore them every stinkin’ day.  Even underneath my polyester pantsuit.

My name and official title was imprinted on a plastic plaque that was attached to my very own office cubicle.

Sometimes I carried (my lunch inside) a briefcase to work. 

The workaday world was very different back in the day.  Very different.

My fingers flew across the keys of an electric typewriter, long before technology gave birth to the word processor.

I kept a secret supply of fresh carbon paper in my file cabinet, and I confess that I coveted my neighbor’s new little bottle of smooth and creamy Wite-Out when the contents of my own little bottle became dry and clumpy. 

My “go-to” office equipment included a real dictionary, the telephone book, a folded paper area map, and a pencil sharpener.

I had a 10-key adding machine on my desk, and I knew how to use it.

I was also wiz on the mimeograph machine.

There was no email and no text messages. 

People whistled and hummed, but nobody tweeted.

The only people with cellular phones were the astronauts.

If I wanted to tell my co-workers something important, I either picked up a telephone that was tethered to the wall and called their extensions – or I sent an interoffice memo, which was typed on paper, placed in the interoffice mailbox, and picked-up by someone whose job it was to hand-sort and deliver, long after my important message had lost its urgency.

I didn’t have a laptop.

There was no such thing as the internet, for the love of Pete.

I thought microfiche was hi-tech, back in the day.

Now, I’m speaking honestly when I say that I’m looking forward to huddling around some old office water cooler with my future co-workers.

Whoever you are – please make room for the new (old) girl.

Oh, sure – I know I’m gonna have to make some adjustments in my life.

The last time I woke up early on purpose and got dressed in something other than yoga pants and a t-shirt before the second hour of the Today Show started was when I … um … was when I… um … give me a second …

Never mind. 

Of course, I have to actually find a job first, which is proving to be a little more difficult than I remembered it to have been … way back in the day.

Back in the day, people looked in the newspaper classifieds for job opportunities, which were plentiful. 

You filled out a paper job application and handed it to a real person, who would look it over, and then look you over, and then tell you that Mr. SoAndSo was ready to see you.

Shortly after the interview you knew whether you’d landed the job, or not.

These days I spend an inordinate amount of time surfing the websites, hoping that I might see a job posting for even just one position within a 25-mile radius of my front door, that suits my quote, qualifications, end quote.

If I find something promising (twice), I complete an awkward online job application with absolutely no hope that it’s really going to end up anywhere but cyberspace when I press the “send” button.

Am I alone?

Sadly, I am not.


Did I mention that I was once a Notary Public?

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