Saturday, January 06, 2007

Oh! how times have changed.

My blogging friend Marty has been reminiscing about going for job interviews. When I left school in 1963 I had just turned 16. The day I returned home from boarding school my parents had the newspapers spread out on the table looking for a job for me. One possibility stood out, a job with the Electricity Generating Board, in Paternoster Square, London, England.

Paternoster Square was a new development built in 1961 immediately behind or north of St. Paul's Cathedral in the city of London. The area, which takes its name from Paternoster Row — a street down which the monks of the medieval St Paul's would walk, chanting the Lord's Prayer (Pater Noster means Our Father) — was devastated by aerial bombardment in the Blitz of World War II.

My mother phoned to arrange the interview, and took me up there, coming into the interview with me to make sure I didn't make any mistakes. I got hired, I am not sure if it was my pleasing personality, for I certainly did not have any credentials or if it was her firm belief that to work I would go and no messing around please, that influenced the personnel representative. Can you imagine that happening today?

That summer a group of us had our lunch in the courtyard of the building and watched Julie Christie filming parts of "Billy Liar". The rest was filmed in Sheffield.

The daily commute was quite long. I had a ten minute walk to pick up the double decker bus and then an hour bus trip to the tube station and about 40 minutes on the underground and then a ten minute walk again. To arrive in time for 8:30 I had to get up pretty early. I also had a 9pm curfew if I did not get home on time I was not allowed out on the weekends. Since I took night school classes in Pitmans College en route home three times a week this did not allow for much of a social life.

1 comment:

Jeni said...

When my oldest child (Daughter #1) was in high school, I was working as a waitress at a truck stop about 12 miles away but as it was a fairly large, very busy establishment, they frequently hired high school kids to work weekends and occasionally evenings. So, they hired my daughter in April of her junior year in high school for weekend work.

A year later, when she graduated, an opening came up for a full-time position (waitress) on the midnight shift and the owner asked me if I thought she would be interested in the job. Considering the unavailability of employment around here much of the time, I told the owner that she definitely would be interested in the job and accepted the position for her, went home and told her when she would start working there full-time! She worked there on that shift for 3 years after that too! Didn't love the job, necessarily, but was glad to have full-time work that she didn't have to go out and hunt down!