Thursday, 10 September 2015

Five Things About Me . . .

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At the age of sixteen, I was legally entitled to get a job that wasn't babysitting.  (I started doing that when I was twelve).   I got a job at the local Metropolitan store, which was kind of like a Woolworths.  It was the biggest shop in our area and employed a lot of women/girls.   I was hired on as a floor walker.  My job was to patrol the aisles and tidy the shelves and chase away any would be shop lifters.   I got 80 cents an hour and a few hours on Friday nights and Saturdays.  I was so shy at that age, I can't believe I took the job.  I didn't have it for very long.  (No surprise there.)    I was as scared as a mouse and wouldn't say boo to anyone!  I worked there for about two weeks, and then got fired.  To be honest I was kind of relieved.

Yep! It's another five things about me post!

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A month or so later I  applied for and was hired for a store clerk  at the local jewelry shop in the mall, DLR Jewelers.  I also got 80 cents per hour and hours to work on Friday evenings and Saturdays.   I did slightly better at this job and actually kept it for a long time.  I had to dust all of the merchandise, which involved a lot of figurines etc. as he also sold gifts, and serve customers.  He had a really old cash register, which you had to punch down keys on to put in prices of what people were buying.

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I can remember being very intimidated by it, but the job suited me because it was not as busy as the Metropolitan store had been.  The owner was a dirty old man.   He was always on about wanting to paint my picture.  He fancied himself an artist.   On Friday nights, when the shop was closed and I was leaving to go home after work, he would turn out all the lights and chase me out of the store trying to grab me.  I was a bit terrified of him.  Those were the days!  I can remember saving up my pay to buy my boyfriend (my ex husband) an engraved lighter for Christmas.   I kept that job until the next summer when I had to take time off to go on a school trip.  He hired a girl to replace me for the week I was gone and kept her on afterwards.   She had a really ample bosom.  Of course you couldn't get away with any of that now!

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My next job was post Secretarial College.   I was hired on as the Posting Clerk at a Gas Company in the thriving metropolis of Kentville, Nova Scotia, which felt like the big city to me.  I boarded in a little old lady's house up on a hill.  It was a huge Victorian house.   It was my first time living away from home.  I did nothing but work and come home.    I would have supper and then go to my room, have a bath and read until I fell asleep, get up the next morning and do it again.   I was in charge of posting accounts, sending out bills, bank deposits, etc.   I quite liked the job, although it was boring at times.   There was one other secretary that worked there and she had been there a long time.    She used to tell me to do things which  I shouldn't have been doing.  I am not sure why.  She would call me up when she had gone home for lunch and ask me if I was alone and then tell me to do things.  I was quite intimidated by her.  I got a bit more than 80 cents an hour.   I think my take home pay (for a forty hour week) was about $85 clear. I didn't go anywhere or do anything (again too shy) so it was basically all savings, except for the $25 a week I paid in board.  I got married when I was working there at the tender age of 19.

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I left there to work at Acadia University.  At first I did fill in jobs for people who were off sick or on holidays, so I ended up working in pretty much every department.   My final job was in Purchasing which I really enjoyed.  By then I had learned I was expecting my eldest son.   I remember being called into my boss's office and he asked me if I was expecting and when I said yes, he told me he was going to have to let me go, that I was very good at my job, but he didn't want a pregnant woman working for him.

Again . . .  you would never get away with that kind of thing now, but in 1974 . . .  well, you could.

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I had my son and then thought maybe I could go to University.  My sister and I had never been encouraged to go on to higher education.   We were just supposed to get married and then our husbands would keep us.  The idea of university had never occured to me, but having worked at the University I began to think that maybe I could go.  So I applied, was accepted and enrolled.  I really enjoyed it, but never went further than the first year.  It was just too difficult to do with a child, and as a single mum.  I really needed to work.

And so I quite Uni and had a series of short term jobs until I got married again and then became a stay at home mom up until my divorce some 22 years later, which is not to say I didn't work during those years. I did all sorts of things.   I child minded for working mums, I cleaned houses, I cleaned offices, I cleaned schools, I did typing in my own home for people.  Mostly jobs that allowed me to be home when I needed to be, and where I could work when my husband was home to watch the children.  I was always happiest at home.

And that's my five things about me for this week!

A thought to carry with you through today  . . .

Do what you have to do
until you can do what you want to do.
~Oprah Winfrey

Cooking in The English Kitchen today  . . .  Creamy Rice Pudding.

Have a great Thursday!  Don't forget . . . .

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And I do too!


  1. It has been lovely reading about your working life you say different days...and when you think about it not all that long ago. I don't think girls today realise how much has changed....and how lucky they are...or no not it is now right that they are not abused in such ways as we had to put up with physically,mentally and with the wages we had...
    Well doubt if I will get reading your wonderful words for a few days....however I hope that we will find an Internet cafe on some of the islands and if I do and it's free I'll be popping in.."if I can't please take care of each other and Mitzie....hope yesterday went good in Chester...
    Bye for one. God Bless xxx

  2. Oh the joys of getting a part time job. They were scarce as we had early close on Saturdays and no evening shopping. McDonald's rejected me because of my deafness. Other places did too. I finally found work at a skating rink. I was paid about $3 for four hours work and it involved handing out and returning heavy roller skates and simple repairs too. The worst thing was that if anyone claimed to have lost their shoes we had to pay for them! The best thing was being able to skate often. I still love skating but am too scared my osteoporitc bones might not handle the inevitable disaster. Yes work was a trial and something one endured to earn a little money.

    Enjoy your day and God bless.

  3. Young women of today are indeed very lucky to have the work prospects and attitudes that they enjoy today. It will never be perfect, but nothing ever is! I hope you have a lovely holiday away! Looking forward to hearing about it when you get back! xoxo

    Yes, a bit of money was a good thing back then Suzan! It wasn't a lot, but it felt like a fortune! xoxo

  4. Like you I started working when I was 16 after school and weekends. I worked at a bakery and it was fun. I learned a lot about working with the public as they had a very good training course you had to go through. I have fond memories of those days. I never had to take any abuse from any of my employers, but the pay was way low in those days. But then things didn't cost what they do today either. The rest of my jobs were all in offices. I worked in a bank, a school and a private company. I also was blessed to have a span of years raising my children when I stayed home, but returned when my oldest was 12. Thankfully I retired 5 years ago and am enjoying not working now. Looking back, that time went so very fast.

  5. I cheated a bit and at 15 got a job at harrison's..a fabric store in fairview..the first beautiful west island shopping mall.I still remember Mr.Morty.My manager..older sweet..I worked cutting the fabric from big bolts..took the bus home..then I got Dalmy's..a hip at that time clothing store..same mall..the manager made us wear the clothes and stand at the front of the hot pants.
    I was 17..
    Then..I got Eaton's in the cosmetics dept..loved loved that..samples etc..this was in high school..

    then other jobs followed through college and uni.I had to leave uni when my mom passed to take care of my dad.
    They were fun jobs my part time ones..Thurs-Fri nights and Sat all day..stores were not open on Sundays.
    Great little walk backwards Marie:)

  6. That sounds like a dream job Pam! There was a lovely bakery in our local mall when I was a girl. They had the best donut twists! I loved reading about your job history! xoxo

    Your jobs all sound great as well Monique! I never wanted to work outside the home when my kids were growing up, mostly because my mom had worked and because I was the oldest it meant I had a lot of extra responsabilities. I could never join any after school clubs or anything because I had to get home to take care of my siblings and the house, get supper started, etc. I did not want to do that to my kids if I could help it.

    I wish Stores were still not open on Sundays. I think something has been lost now. Every day is the same. xoxo

  7. Rice Pudding is one of my favorites; thanks for the recipe.
    I loved reading about your jobs through the years.
    Yes, the 1970's were a different time. Of course, I started working in the 1960's. My first job was helping in my parents cafe when I was about 11 years old. When I turned 16 years old i worked as a waitress in a variety store. I got to be the cashier off and on and used one of those old cash register. Later on I worked for a very ornery old man as a secretary. He was a CPA and very mean. I worked there for a couple of year. I then became CNA while putting myself through nursing school.
    The most important job was being a mother to me and it was alot of hard work; but so sweet.
    Loved your thoughts and hugs for you~

  8. Thanks LeAnn! Loved reading about your experiences. You were smart to get a good education when you were younger. Love all that you share because your sweet spirit shows through it all. xoxo


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