Monday, 22 February 2021

My first job

When I left school, I had secretarial qualifications of accounts, commerce, shorthand and typing. Those were the days if you applied for several jobs, you often got offered most of them. 
 
Anyhow, I got a job with The Fatstock Marketing Corporation (Pig Division), as a junior clerk. I took lots of phone calls from farmers, who were letting me know how many of their pigs were going to market that week. I then had to type out paperwork to be sent off to the farmer and also the haulier so they could plan how many lorries were needed. Once the animals were slaughtered, cheques were posted out to the farmer.
 
I worked a 40 hour week, starting at 9 am and finishing at 5pm, with 1 hour for lunch. My boss was called Geoff and he had a florid complexion (high blood pressure I think) as he was highly stressed all the time. He was going bald and had tight blond curly hair. I was paid the princely sum of £7 a week and gave my sister and her husband, who I lived with, £5 a week.

There were two salesmen who only came into the office a couple of times a week. They liased directly with the farmers but I don't know what they actually did. However, a few times a year, they would come into the office laden with pork pies, sausages, bacon, or pork joints, which were thankyou presents from farmers. We each got to choose something.

I was only there for one Christmas but we could order, free of charge, a pork joint of our choice and I order a large pork loin.

There was an office manager plus another clerk in the office. We were at the top of the building, the 3rd floor and shared it with a French woman who ran her own business. Can't remember what she did but once a month, she used to boil tripe and it stank out the entire office building!

The office manager left and an American woman was in charge. Although she had a good head of hair, she insisted on wearing a wig to work (she had several), and came in looking very glamorous each day, wearing a different style.

Office staff changed frequently. In the end, apart from her, I had been there the longest and was repeatedly overlooked for promotion even though I could do every job in the office. 

In the end I left to better my office skills and got a job at The Halifax Building Society as a Junior Filing Clerk for a remarkable £95 a month. Wow! I hadn't realised until then, just what a pittance I had been earning. 

By the way, if when typing your posts you want to make a list or ingredients for recipes etc., you might have noticed it is difficult as you always get a paragraph between lines? If you look above where all the little icon buttons are, you will see the word paragraph and a downward point bit. Click on that and select normal. Now you can either enter line after line fine, or double enter to get your paragraph.



 


9 comments:

  1. Would be simpler if the Normal spacing was there all the time!

    I can't remember how much I was paid at 16 - not a lot I reckon

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    1. If you select normal, it should be there all the time. Then you would enter twice for a new paragraph. Paragraph seems to be the default setting for some weird reason.

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  2. Yes I remember my first pay packet $93 and $30 to M&D for board

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    1. When DS got his first job as a gardener, working for a neighbour, I charged him food. He needed a lot of pack up and ate like a horse due to the physicality of the job. He never objected. Showed me his weekly pay packet and I took 15%. People thought I was awful. Even from an early age, whilst we didn’t make him earn all his pocket money, he had to save. Again, people thought we were awful.

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  3. My first pay packet was in 1981. I earned £23.50 per week on a YOP scheme for 39 hours. Once I got a permanent job my wages increased. Pay increased with age so I got a raise at 17 and 18, by which time I'd worked my way up to the highest paid staff grade. At that point my take home pay was around £60 per week, depending how much bonus I earned as it was targeted office work. It was a great place to work, and there's a Facebook group full of people with happy memories of their time there.

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    1. Sounds a great place. I loved my first job but got cheesed off with being overlooked.

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  4. My first proper job was training in the WRAF (57 yrs ago). Living-in free, of course, but what was hard was buying drinks in the Mess and having to drink Lime juice as it was the cheapest. Most of my fellow cadets were a lot older and were earning real money. Women were also paid 15% less as standard.
    I've got lime juice in the fridge now.

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    1. I did apply later for the WRAF but as I was only offered secretarial work at a local training camp, declined.

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  5. Very similarly, I left school with secretarial qualifications, and after a Summer of being unemployed and on benefits (no problem as it was the Summer of 1976, so wall to wall sunshine all Summer long) I got £7 a week and like you I had to hand over £5 and got to keep the other £2. Then I got a job at Boots the Chemist for £14 a week, wow I thought I was rich. I lasted for about three months and then finally got a job as an office junior in the accounts department at Pickford's NFDC rising through the ranks to Accounts Clerk in a year or so ... but the pay barely went up as they had a strict policy that under 21 year old earnt a pittance. The rule changed just as I left at 19 and the age for full pay dropped to 18 ... shucks!!

    I ended my office days as an Audio Typist, Relief Secretary and Typing Pool Supervisor at the Equal Opportunities Commission. When I left to have my son I swore I would never go back to office life, and I haven't really.

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