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Old 04-05-2015, 04:43 PM   #41
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You could stop for for a few beers and drive yourself home.
I moved to Kansas in 1978. They sold 3.2 beer anywhere, as it wasn't an intoxicating beverage. Used to buy a 8 pack of pony 7oz. Millers, drank them going down I 35 perfectly legal, never downed them all. It wasn't a very smart idea, but legal.
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Old 04-05-2015, 04:49 PM   #42
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Being referred to as "a girl" or worse, "the girl" and noticing that men my age were not called "boys."

Secretaries calling me by my first name, while men of same rank were called "Mr."

Cigarette smoke everywhere, and the smokers in angry denial of the harm their second-hand smoke was doing to everyone.

Amethyst
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Old 04-05-2015, 04:50 PM   #43
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1970's and 80's, remember real managers and supervisors, who got there by ability and hard work , who also used practical hings. Not my first job, but in the early 80's

First job at "Mega-corp" new guy in a remote engineering lab building 100 people , large plant (10,000+) . The lab manager assigned me to deliver the internal mail within the building for a week in addition to running a small lab. I was thinking Good Greif how petty..... Extremely useful , met virtually everyone in the building !!!!! I doubt many managers today have such simple , practical things like that in thier bag of tricks

EDIT: Oh forgot to add , The engineers stuck upstairs in a large common office pairs had to share a telephone on a swinging metal stand , although the each got their own personal stapler and ashtray. Cigars were prohibited in the office, but not in many of the labs,
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Old 04-05-2015, 04:50 PM   #44
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You could stop for for a few beers and drive yourself home.
Not all that long ago it was perfectly legal to drink while driving, as long as you weren't intoxicated. A friend of mine still talks of seeing a guy in a pickup making a hand signal, signalling a left turn with a can of beer in his hand. It was common practice when leaving a cocktaial party to go out for dinner to give everyone including the driver a "traveller" - a drink to hold them until they get to the restaurant. In Florida, they still sell single cans of beer popped into a brown paper bag just the size of the can - a beer for the driver on the way home from work.
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Old 04-05-2015, 04:51 PM   #45
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I started my full time working career in 1974 just out of college. On my desk was basically a phone and an old mechanical adding machine and a calendar/scheduler. We could make direct outgoing phone calls but all incoming calls came thru an operator/receptionist. No voice mail. If someone called and I was out of the office the operator/receptionist took a message. Our group of 5 or 6 people included a VP and his secretary. No email and no fax at that time. If you needed to communicate by other than the phone you wrote your own letter and submitted it to the secretary for typing and copying with carbon copies. Of course the VP dictated his letters to the secretary and she used short-hand. There was a huge number of filing cabinets required as nothing was stored electronically.


I do remember the smoking in the office and the off color jokes and comments that would never be tolerated today. People were great to work with, maybe because there didn't seem to be the stress and drama there is in today's workplace.


Thinking back to that time seems like a hundred years ago, but they were good times even if the work didn't get done as fast and efficiently as today.
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Old 04-05-2015, 05:01 PM   #46
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In Florida, they still sell single cans of beer popped into a brown paper bag just the size of the can - a beer for the driver on the way home from work.
Bruce
Every gas station in Houston (and maybe Texas) still has an iced-down cooler full of beer in the middle of the open space by the checkout counter.
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Old 04-05-2015, 05:43 PM   #47
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My other question that only a few answered was what other professions were in-demand and big back then.
I think nursing was a high demand profession even back then.
My uncle was a geologist. He spent his whole career with the U.S. Geological Survey, so he was a government employee. But he was constantly being recruited by oil companies, so I would say that was probably a high demand profession.

Here's an interesting look at the most popular college degrees.
The Most Popular Bachelor's Degrees: A Historical Look
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Old 04-05-2015, 05:46 PM   #48
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I remember my desk in the late '70s piled with unit record stuff - punch cards, printouts, racks for interpreters with cables everywhere. Spending hours on the card sorter, collators and keypunch machines. Handwriting technical documentation for the secretary to type.

Our workspaces were basically bullpens full of desks, each with a phone and filing cabinets. Funny, now I hear that at my old office they're going back to the old bullpens as part of agile development - but at least without the clouds of smoke.

And I really related to Office Space and beating the copy machine into submission - the early copiers had really finicky paper feeds.
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Old 04-05-2015, 05:49 PM   #49
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It's hard for me to answer "what professions were big" back in the 1980's because I was in a specialized program and had little contact with other professions. It seems to me that engineers and lawyers were a big deal back then. At least, people acted like they were. I seem to recall that computer scientists were not yet given the respect they deserved and were referred to as programmers - no matter their skill level.

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Old 04-05-2015, 06:10 PM   #50
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Being referred to as "a girl" or worse, "the girl" and noticing that men my age were not called "boys."

Secretaries calling me by my first name, while men of same rank were called "Mr."

Amethyst
As an new engineer starting as a GS-5, I was assigned to work with an older man who was in his 70's - retired in place. My boss wanted for someone to understand what the guy did in case he retired or died at his desk. The older man would never look directly at me but would look at my chest with this slight smile on his face which was very embarrassing. And yes, the secretaries treated the female engineers like the rest of the "girls" but were very respectful to the men, even the young men. And some of the secretaries were resentful.

On those Miller High Life 7 oz "ponys", I love those but can no longer find them. I don't always like to drink an entire beer.
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Old 04-05-2015, 06:34 PM   #51
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It's hard for me to answer "what professions were big" back in the 1980's because I was in a specialized program and had little contact with other professions. It seems to me that engineers and lawyers were a big deal back then. At least, people acted like they were. I seem to recall that computer scientists were not yet given the respect they deserved and were referred to as programmers - no matter their skill level.

Amethyst
Back in the 70's. I had taken several Fortran courses as part of my ME degree. It was fun, but pretty simple stuff. It was all "programming", hence the reason to call people who wrote programs..."programmers". I went into manufacturing as an ME.

In the 80's when I was in senior plant management, we didn't see the programmers anymore (I guess they were done doing what they were paid to do). What we saw were people who applied logic to machine control and used microprocessor based controllers to replace old style electromechanical relay systems. We called those people "Systems Engineers. They did good things! They installed systems and equipment that reduced maintenance and increased productivity in the manufacturing plants.

After that, I got an MBA and moved on to Big Oil at the corporate level (which I hated). I really never saw a "Computer Scientist" and don't have any idea how they would have interfaced in the manufacturing environment. Maybe they worked on Robotics? SAP? I'm at a loss in this regard.
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Old 04-05-2015, 06:39 PM   #52
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I had a few odd jobs when I first got out of school but I started my "career" in IT back in 1972. Back then everything in the office was pen, paper and filing cabinets. The high tech office desk back then was a DTMF (touch tone) phone along with an answering machine and maybe one of those new LED calculators.

The first IT devices (modems) I worked with ran at 300bps over dial lines. Back then, we had some modems that would run up to 4800bps over private lines.
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Old 04-05-2015, 06:40 PM   #53
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I guess part of the reason I'm wondering these things is what could I do if I were to switch careers from my high stress 24x7 IT management position to something else that allows me to leave work at work after 5pm and on the weekends. I guess I'm just feeling nostalgic and imagining a simpler life of the yester years.
I started my civil engineering career in 1984. It wasn't 24x7, but I couldn't leave at 5 pm every day either. Plenty of overtime was required. After 11 years, I joined the federal government, and it has been much less demanding of my time. You may want to consider the same if the hours are too much.
The computer has radically changed my career. I used to love sitting behind a large drafting table sketching up designs, and performing calculations with pencil and pad in 1984. Now I sit behind two computer screens all day, and basically operate software. The software does all the fun stuff in my opinion. My desk is so small, I can't even roll out a set of full size plans. I miss the hands-on feel of civil engineering, I miss the draftsmen, and I miss my triangles.
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Old 04-05-2015, 07:09 PM   #54
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- Little pieces of Correction Tape that would place white powder over your typed mistake so you could type over it.
- Whiteout fluid to replace entire sentences.
- the 'half-space' lever so you could fit two-letters where only 1 fit before.
- Carbon paper.
- IBM Selectric typewriters where you could easily swap out the font style and size. Elite 12 versus Pica 10.
- IBM Memory Typewriter where you could save 100 letters and place 'stops' in the letter for variable information. The machine weighed a lot!
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Old 04-05-2015, 07:13 PM   #55
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The 'gold' key used in combination with other keys on the keyboard that gave you lots of options using the word processing program on the mainframe.
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Old 04-05-2015, 07:17 PM   #56
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I forget what it was called but it was a handheld device that was used to make labels on colored tape approximately one-quarter inch wide. You would turn the dial the the letter or number you wanted and then squeeze the handle to imprint the letter on the tape. Binders, file cabinets, sorting trays, calculators, pens, light switches, and staplers were covered with the labels.
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Old 04-05-2015, 07:21 PM   #57
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'Pencils' that had an eraser on one end and a brush on the other. Used to erase typed mistakes and then brush away the crumbs made by the eraser and paper.
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Old 04-05-2015, 07:27 PM   #58
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Final offering-- the wonderful smell of the solution used with mimeograph machines.
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Old 04-05-2015, 07:39 PM   #59
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I can't say anything about the 60's and 70's, but I started my first job at IBM in the summer of '84. I had a PC XT on my desk, but it had a 3270 emulation card in it and most of our work was actually done on the mainframes. We were doing statistical analysis of big data long before it was called that, so most of our programming was in SAS, PL/I or ISPF. We also lived by e-mail and instant messaging (also many years before anybody called them that). My work at that time was not 24x7, though the manufacturing plant ran 3 shifts and the people who actually kept the systems running did too.

I count myself lucky in that I got into technology at the right time and place. IBM had a good environment for women and continued to for the entire 10 years I was there. I always felt like I was working on valuable projects, making a contribution, and getting the same level of respect that my male colleagues did.
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Old 04-05-2015, 08:10 PM   #60
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My first job in 1969 was at a corporate HQ so we had access to an IBM 360/30. We would submit decks of punched cards to the computer operations office, the operators would run the program and return the output. Then it was back to desk checking the results.

I don't know who ordered that computer but it was the only one I have ever seen that was canary yellow. Almost all of them were either red or blue. We even had people from other companies in the building come in just to see the yellow IBM.
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