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Old 04-12-2015, 04:46 PM   #201
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Maybe in government jobs?

Certainly not in the private sector these days, as profit is essential to staying in business.
Worked in 26 years private sector and last 12 years in gov.

Agree , as long as you would have no ambition to promote. For upward career mobility ,even in gov. jobs, your mind, body or both will be working unpaid after and before the official work hours.
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Old 04-12-2015, 04:56 PM   #202
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With all the discussion about smoking, I seem to recall that a few non-smokers claimed not to be bothered by smoke. Hard to believe, but that's what they said.

Nowadays, many people are trying to get everyone to cease wearing "scented products" (perfume, cologne, scented body lotion) to work. Perfume - even strong perfume - has never bothered me, and I was surprised when a cow-orker confronted me saying my scented product was giving her a terrible headache. I had dabbed on a little perfume after my shower and thought it was long gone. At first I resented her complaint; and then I thought, "Well, what if it's doing to her what cigarette smoke does to me?"

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I never minded cigarette smoke back in the day, even to the extent of going into the smoker's break room and hanging out with them. Now that I'm not exposed to it all the time I find it bothers me more. DW and I were at the beach a couple of days ago and someone was smoking about 15 feet away, and we both found it annoying. But it never made me sick or anything.

Perfume, on the other hand, gives me a headache like a ice pick through the eye. Agonizing. Not all of them, but enough that I have always had to hold my breath walking into a department store. I don't know why they always put the perfume department right in the entrance. Surprisingly, the perfume kiosks in malls don't tend to smell, but a Yankee Candle store or a place that sells scented bath products is always painful for me. Victoria's Secret stores tend to stink to me too. I'm sure the scents are pleasant to most, but with the immediate pain I get in my head they smell worse than dead rat to me. Little old ladies strike fear into my heart, since some of them seem like they bathe in the stuff. I tend to walk up stairs so I don't get stuck on an elevator with someone wearing perfume.

Having said that, I don't ask anyone to accommodate me, other than not letting DW use most scented candles or room deodorizers. Some don't bother me, like vanilla or citrus scents and things like that. But flower or outdoorsy "pine fresh" type smells are way painful. There's nothing in nature that effects me that way. It's something artificial that they use.

I figure it's my problem, and I just avoid it whenever possible. I did once have to ask my boss if I could change cubes because the lady in the next cube wore so much perfume. If I'm forced to be exposed to perfumey scents I just suffer in silence. The headaches clear up usually in a half hour or so after the exposure ends. It's one of my very few allergies.
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Old 04-12-2015, 06:21 PM   #203
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Some of these stories remind me of my first supervisor at Mega. He was somewhat of a perv and would go to "nude contests" on weekends and come in on Monday morning with a stack of glossy 8x10s of naked women parading around in high heels. There were a few women in the department, so part of the "fun" was passing them around without the women noticing.

Although we had inter-department mail service, there was a separate "hot mail" run made each day to take important mail quickly to other buildings. When the perv got a new secretary, he would give her a stack of empty envelopes to deliver to his friends so they could check her out.

It is a miracle that the company was never sued over this idiot. He of course was promoted up the ranks.
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Old 04-12-2015, 06:44 PM   #204
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I'm bothered by both cigarette smoke and scented products and also get headaches. The problem with scented products started in college after taking two semesters of Organic Chemistry lab. Before that I wore perfume but after that it gave me a headache. Seems like I was sensitized by all those chemicals or something.
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Old 04-12-2015, 08:45 PM   #205
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On the other end of the spectrum, I've known a few that had, shall we say, "hygiene problems", including one cow-orker who reeked of diaper pale, with a hint of skunk...
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Old 04-12-2015, 08:52 PM   #206
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On the other end of the spectrum, I've known a few that had, shall we say, "hygiene problems", including one cow-orker who reeked of diaper pale, with a hint of skunk...
In my first IT job at a well known national geographical magazine, they hired a programmer who absolutely reeked. We were two in a cube back then, and his poor cube mate was really suffering. Finally the boss had to sit down with the new guy and tell him he needed to start showering before coming to work. That would have been a miserable part of the job. But it helped, a little. The guy didn't stay around long though. Must have hated being forced to take showers or something.
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Old 04-12-2015, 09:56 PM   #207
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We have two old HP 12Cs here and know what you mean. Didn't take too long to get used to them. Just wish I had them in college. They're still going strong.
I use my hp11c every day at work. It was given to me used by a previous employer in 1986 or so. The batteries last somewhere between 5-10 years. I also use an iPhone app that perfectly emulates either an 11c or a 12c.

About 15 years ago coworker was cleaning out the junk room at the office and found an ancient digital calculator complete with the bracket and key that locked it to the desk. Probably cost upwards of a grand in early seventies dollars.
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Old 04-13-2015, 07:05 AM   #208
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Some of these stories remind me of my first supervisor at Mega. He was somewhat of a perv and would go to "nude contests" on weekends and come in on Monday morning with a stack of glossy 8x10s of naked women parading around in high heels. There were a few women in the department, so part of the "fun" was passing them around without the women noticing.

Although we had inter-department mail service, there was a separate "hot mail" run made each day to take important mail quickly to other buildings. When the perv got a new secretary, he would give her a stack of empty envelopes to deliver to his friends so they could check her out.

It is a miracle that the company was never sued over this idiot. He of course was promoted up the ranks.
This story just boggles my mind. Unimaginable today (for the most part). Of course, times were different back then I'm sure.

My first job was in high school as an office cleaner. The office was 95% women. One day, one of the young ladies yelped as I was emptying a garbage can. She turned around and asked if I "goosed" her. Then she realized, that she backed into a can of pens. No harm, no foul.

The weird thing about this was that she actually kind of expected I would do this. I guess I should have taken it as a hint of some sort. But I didn't because I was way too shy. I think such expectations and "tolerance" in today's world would be few and far between.
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Old 04-13-2015, 10:08 AM   #209
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Just before RE from Mega they made the campus smoke-free. Instead of a smoker stepping outside for a quick smoke, they now had to walk to their car and drive off-campus. That meant leaving to have a few smokes instead of a quick one. It also meant driving around looking for a close parking spot. I swear for some people it was almost as long as lunch break. Poor productivity and bad morale among non-smokers.
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Old 04-13-2015, 01:55 PM   #210
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Just before RE from Mega they made the campus smoke-free. Instead of a smoker stepping outside for a quick smoke, they now had to walk to their car and drive off-campus. That meant leaving to have a few smokes instead of a quick one. It also meant driving around looking for a close parking spot. I swear for some people it was almost as long as lunch break. Poor productivity and bad morale among non-smokers.
At one point in my career when my boss and all his posse were smokers, they were constantly going out the back of the building for a smoke break, usually around 15 minutes and at least 4 or 5 times/ day. So I started taking a "fresh air" break, where I'd go outside and walk around the building for about 15 minutes, 3 or 4 times/day. I would make sure to take my breaks when he came back inside. This reduced the time we actually had to be around each other by a couple hours a day, which was great for me. And I could tell he wanted to say something to me about it, but I'd just give him an evil smile and dare him to do it. We'd have been talking to HR 5 minutes afterward.

I didn't really care about the smoking, just hated him and his cronies. I was pretty close to FI at the time, which probably didn't help my attitude at all.
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Old 04-13-2015, 02:32 PM   #211
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Just before RE from Mega they made the campus smoke-free. Instead of a smoker stepping outside for a quick smoke, they now had to walk to their car and drive off-campus. That meant leaving to have a few smokes instead of a quick one. It also meant driving around looking for a close parking spot. I swear for some people it was almost as long as lunch break. Poor productivity and bad morale among non-smokers.
We had a guy who did the same thing. He'd go out front and smoke for 20 minutes every 45 minutes. In addition to his coffee and lunch time he actually worked about 4 hours out of eight.

Now, management studies will tell you that if you can get 4 hours out of 8 per employee they're doing great. So in the case of this guy, he was showing up and not getting anything done!!
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Old 04-13-2015, 02:47 PM   #212
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We had a guy who did the same thing. He'd go out front and smoke for 20 minutes every 45 minutes. In addition to his coffee and lunch time he actually worked about 4 hours out of eight.

Now, management studies will tell you that if you can get 4 hours out of 8 per employee they're doing great. So in the case of this guy, he was showing up and not getting anything done!!
In my days at Mega Corp, one of the sites I worked was also the main corp data center. Lots of nicotine fiend IT folks were heavy smokers who worked very hard. Take away the nicotine and I'm unsure of the outcome
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Old 04-13-2015, 03:16 PM   #213
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I started taking a "fresh air" break, where I'd go outside and walk around the building for about 15 minutes, 3 or 4 times/day.
Not related to smoking, but at my last job I used to walk a couple of laps around the large parking lot twice a day. It was simply done as a stress relief. Some days it would be 3 or 4 laps. AFAIK, I was the only one who ever did it, but no one ever said anything to me.
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Old 04-15-2015, 03:42 PM   #214
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Great thread!

I graduated in 1978 with a degree in Applied Physics, and went to work for a large Aerospace/Defense company where I worked until my retirement on 1/1/13. They didn't hire me solely for my physics background, but for the experience I had acquired in programming mini computers while in college. The result was an engineering career in the development of real-time, embedded software. Much of my experience is similar to that recounted by earlier posters who worked in the engineering/aerospace industry so I won't iterate. However, there are couple of things I recall that haven't been mentioned...

Paychecks:
I still recall that the first paycheck I received listed my gross compensation reduced only by deductions for FWT and FICA. That was it. Medicare tax was part of the FICA deduction. No state tax where I worked. No deductions for health insurance, life insurance, etc. as these were fully funded benefits at that time. No deductions for savings plans, Flexible Spending Accounts, etc. as they didn't exist yet.
By the time I retired there were, in addition to FWT and FICA, deductions for Medicare tax, savings plan contributions, medical insurance, dental insurance, vision insurance, life insurance, FSA contributions, etc.
When I started my career, my net pay was a larger % of my gross than when my career ended.

Training:
I recall that when I first reported to work that I only had two mandated training classes. One was on Security, required for my security clearance. This training was repeated once a year. The other was a one time session on time charging. That was pretty much it for many years. This begin to change by the late 90s as bad actors in the industry forced companies to require additional training for their employees. By the time I retired, I was spending 40-60 hours a year in mandated training classes. These included training on Ethics Awareness, sexual harassment, workplace violence, labor charging, import/export rules, hazardous wastes, ESD, computer security, etc.
OTOH, when I started my career all technical training was OJT. In the latter part of my career, the company actively encouraged engineers, and engineering managers, to complete 40-80 hours of technical training each year. Most of this training was in-house, but the company was willing to pay for off-site training with good justification. In the few years before I retired, I was somewhat jealous of the technical training opportunities that were available to early career engineers, that were not available to me when I started my career.
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Old 04-15-2015, 05:29 PM   #215
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Wow.... Great thread, and wonderful memories. A few dot-dashes from my own career in retail 1958-1986.
First 8 years with Sears, as a catalog store manager, promoted and moved the whole family from RI, to Claremont NH, to Saugus MA, to Vineyard haven MA, to Falmouth MA.

Received Profit sharing... a saleman friend in the men's suit department retired in 1963 after 25 years with $300K in stock. $2.3 M in today's dollars.

Shifted to Montgomery Ward in 66 as Catalog Store District Manager with as coverage route of 1400 miles and 26 stores. 35,000 miles per year and 80 hour week. In 72 became territorial sales promotion manager... with base in Albany. Most memorable and pleasant years.

All the way...
HR was callled "Personnel" and was sensitive to the "person"... Always had a mentor, always recognized for performance, rewarded with associate parties after regional meetings... sometimes 4 times a year... resorts, sports, and full days of fun. Company sponsored.
Wore suit and tie. Called Mister.

Always had a secretary, sometimes 2
.
Smoked... too much... 2 cartons Pall Mall red /week.

On the road... carried the first portable fax... briefcase style.

Around 1972... was the only one of our regional 2000+ employees to have
a hand held electronic calculator... A Sharp Elsi 8... $500 discounted price.
The 22 ladies in the accounting department challenged me to a race... and I won.

In Albany, finished work @ 5 on Tuesdays and went for cocktails at the 1700 house or beer at the Persian Room... (called it the perversion room).

All info from stores (customer orders) were sent by teletype... yellow punch tape, from the RS232... polled by the main offiice at night.

We were the first retail company to integrate computers into the business. IBM punch cards... and huge tape computers that were in the "white room".
All of those employees wore white hospital garb. You dould hear the agonize screams as the card cart tipped over and spoiled hours of work.

Moved to Chicago main offices as National Sales Promotion Manager in 1980, and then as special assignment, to oversee the closedown of field operations of 2400 sales units in 1982.

Lived in the suburbs, and took the train into the city, picked up at the station in the city by a school bus to the office building. This added about 13 extra hours away from home... making the work week about 55 - 60 hours... not much different from the field management work week of 70 -80 hours. Never seemed a problem in those days.

The company was socially responsible. In Chicago, running after school classes for the local government housing kids. A personal volunteer cadre of employee "teachers" volunteering to help.

During the 1980-1986, saw changes in management and a new president from Target, who brought along a large group of young "climbers" who had lived a fast management life, and knew nothing of our business.

I was appalled when the new "managers" were living a fast life... no holds barred. I had to plan my flights weeks in advance for lowest prices., stayed in Motel 6, ate meals at MacDonalds and took scheduled limos. Almost died when I saw a young ladies expense account... Flying first class... Chicago to LA, stayed in a $150 room (1982)... had a meal tab of $46... and a $15 breakfast, and $40 cab fare, back and forth. A $650 bill for 2 days, when mine was $250.

Finally... after screwing up everthing from communications, to trasportation, to personnel, to planning and sales promotion... the final straw. THE ULTIMATE insult...henceforth our planning meetings were to be SMOKE FREE!!! The kiss of death.

Gone, the feeling that we would literally die for our company. Gone the Personnel Dept. Gone the performace reviews, (replaced by Standards of Performance)... Gone the comraderie... Gone the efficiencies of a well trained and experienced workforce. It took two years to destroy 110 years of retail experience. Beginning of the end. Final close down in 1990.

Actually... those years were more than just work. It was a social life tha extended beyond working hours. Never a fear of being fired. The loyalty went both ways. Families and personal welfare was understood by management. Always a guiding hand to point out the next promotion or pay raise. Our business was a family.

As we closed the last catalog facility, and I had worked my way out of a job, it was a new beginning... 1986, and entering the age of computers.

A wonderful time... interspersed with 25 years in scouting... Pack and Troop leader, committeeman... Little league teammanger, Army Reserve meetings and summer camps, four children, 14 total home and family moves, SBA volunteering, 6 years of nighttime snowmobiling in MA and VT, and 20 weekends per year of RV travel. Living on the vineyard, swimming, sailing and exploring history. Vacations at parents home on the ocean in Barrington RI... sailing, fishing, clamming and trips to Newport.

What was it like in the 60's 70's and 80' Long hours at the job, but an untroubled mind, and a great love of life... all shared with a DW, who was always there... almost always good times.
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Old 04-15-2015, 05:35 PM   #216
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I worked as a student in the mid to late 70's, then college I always worked. My first real job started 1985, I was a librarian. We had no online catalogs - still had the card catalog, no internet, cell phones were rare, we had to use books to answer questions. I miss those days!
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Old 04-15-2015, 09:48 PM   #217
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I entered the workforce in the 80's, after PC's but before email, and just remember the big yellow intra-departmental mail envelopes with about 50 boxes of "to/from" printed on the front. To send a memo, you'd handwrite it on a company memo pad, or print it out using your word processor, stick it in the envelope, seal it with the attached string, write the destination office number on the next open box on the front, and put it in your "out" box. Then a mail guy would come by and take everything from your out box and put anything incoming to your in-box.

When you got something in your in-box, you'd read the memo and save the envelope, scribbling out the last entry so you could reuse it.
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Old 04-15-2015, 10:11 PM   #218
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I went to work at a semiconductor company in the mid 70's. We had a steelcase desk and were lucky to have a calculator. Programs were coded on punch cards to be handed to a person at a window that would load a stack of cards that was maybe a couple of feed thick into a computer. The computer mainframe maybe occupied several hundred square feet of floorspace. I can remember watching a guy hand over his stack of keypunch cards to the operator at the window. When the operator on the other side of the window turned to load the cards into the card reader he accidentally dropped the stack of cards on the floor and a bunch of the cards flew underneath the computer. Boy, was the keypunch guy mad!
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Old 04-15-2015, 10:15 PM   #219
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Old 04-15-2015, 10:16 PM   #220
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At my first megacorp job in the 1970s, the managers had a Playboy subcription that they'd send around to each other in one of those interoffice envelopes that Kabekew just described above.

The women in the office were aware of this, although I'm sure the guys thought they were getting away with something.

----------

Sometimes some of the women at work would end up being groped by their neighbor under the conference table during a meeting.

--------

The skilled trades guys all had work carts that were plastered with photos of naked or nearly naked women.

Even some of the salaried men would have inappropriate photos of scarcely-clad women displayed at their desk area.

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