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Old 04-08-2015, 10:43 AM   #121
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Remember when "cc" actually, literally meant "Carbon Copy"? It often also implied that you were a sort of loser because you didn't deserve the actual copy.

In our office, "cc" on email brought down an entire internal power infrastructure (knowing more than the other guy was power).

An entire group of 'those in the know of semi-secret information' were neutralized when everyone knew the same info set. Completely changed the company for the better!

It wasn't really secret stuff, but before that, you only would get half the story with a lot of self aggrandizement to fill in the blanks ("well, the CEO called me at two AM to discuss this specific problem")...after "cc", these clowns lost their (false) power overnight.

I actually owe a good part of my career to "email cc" because it opened up a hole for me to run though!
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Old 04-08-2015, 10:52 AM   #122
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Well... I remember getting a pay envelope that was so heavy with silver coins (before the clad base metal coins where minted) that it ripped a hole in my suit pocket.
Just kidding.


I do remember having to go into the TSO room to update computer programs I was working on. That was a huge improvement over having to go into the card-punch room to punch new cards that had to be placed carefully ordered into the card deck. Thankfully, I started work after cards replaced paper tape.

Ultimately, the company was bought up, merged and the jobs eliminated. Had I stayed there (as advised by the old timers) I would have ended up another unemployed guy in his 50's trying to figure out how to hang until until 62.

At the same time, I had a fully paid company pension, a savings plan that matched my contributions dollar for dollar up to 6%, an ESOP plan that gave me company stock, and fully paid medical/dental/disability. Oh, they also flew us first class on trips over 2 hours.
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Old 04-08-2015, 11:01 AM   #123
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At the same time, I had a fully paid company pension, a savings plan that matched my contributions dollar for dollar up to 6%, an ESOP plan that gave me company stock, and fully paid medical/dental/disability. Oh, they also flew us first class on trips over 1 hours.
And TVs for everyone at the Christmas party (with take-home lobsters), annual summer cookouts and rooms at the Four Seasons/Ritz when travelling!
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Old 04-08-2015, 11:04 AM   #124
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And TVs for everyone at the Christmas party (with take-home lobsters), annual summer cookouts and rooms at the Four Seasons/Ritz when travelling!

Well, they did put us up at very nice hotels, if available. Of course, there was the week I spent what felt like a month in Pasadena Texas. The less said about that, the better.

In the long run the company was merged out of existence along with the jobs and good benefits. Had I stayed with them, I might have ended up as another 50 year old guy, wondering how to hang on until I reached 62. Or slaving away knowing I would have to work until 70 or beyond
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Old 04-08-2015, 11:05 AM   #125
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Old 04-08-2015, 11:06 AM   #126
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Another sea story and a peek at a dark side of that era.

My first trip we drove a ton and a half stake truck full or oceanographic gear from San Diego to Puget Sound, must have been around 1968, three of us, me, a first year graduate student (who later became a director) and a high school student under some study program, who never told anyone until we were well underway that he had never driven a stick shift, much less a ton and a half truck, loaded to the gills with heavy equipment.

My first oceanographic cruise, a young man of 20 living his dream. I think it was in the summer of 1968.

On the trip out of Puget Sound the captain and crew were telling jokes. While at that age I enjoyed the "farmers daughter" jokes, when it got around to the racist ones I spoke my mind no matter who I was talking to, as a foolish 20 year old often does. It got into quite a heated argument between me and the captain, raised voices, and the captains bulging blood vessels, and only me arguing my side.

Finally the chief scientist, who had graciously invited me to participate in the cruise, took me aside and told me there was a time and a place for everything, now was not the time or place to argue with the captain of the ship. He was the captain! He realized as I didn't, how important good relations with the captain were to a successful outcome. He agreed with my positions but not my hot headed techniques.

I remember one thing the captain said, "wait till you start paying taxes, then you will understand." I guess he thought somehow paying taxes would make me see the light and become racist like him and the crew. It is an example of how outwardly racist society was during that period. You were the odd ball if you were not racist.

As with computers, office equipment, women in the workplace and race, it was a time of change and transition from the old world, old ways of thinking, old ways of doing things, to more like the environment we have today.

It was an interesting time to be a part of.
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Old 04-08-2015, 11:12 AM   #127
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Finally the chief scientist, who had graciously invited me to participate in the cruise, took me aside and told me there was a time and a place for everything, now was not the time or place to argue with the captain of the ship. He was the captain! He realized as I didn't, how important good relations with the captain were to a successful outcome. He agreed with my positions but not my hot headed techniques.
.
Had a similar blessing from our kindly, older COO who took me aside when I was 24 and 'fighting the dragons'. He told me to: "Fight the battles you think you can win; don't take on every cause".

He didn't have to do that for me... I was just a young punk in my first supervisory role, but it did set me on a better course.

Bless him.
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Old 04-08-2015, 11:31 AM   #128
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Had a similar blessing from our kindly, older COO who took me aside when I was 24 and 'fighting the dragons'. He told me to: "Fight the battles you think you can win; don't take on every cause".

He didn't have to do that for me... I was just a young punk in my first supervisory role, but it did set me on a better course.

Bless him.
Yes, bless those that helped us along the way. I find myself having those same kind of talks with my mid-20s son that your COO had with you. Somehow that apple did not fall far from the tree.

I remember years later talking to the guy I had worked for, and who was chief scientist on that cruise and telling him that I had someone really good working for me but couldn't always get him to do what I told him to do. He said something like, "Well you never did what I told you to do either. Just hire the best people and let them do their work." It kind of floored me.
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Old 04-08-2015, 11:32 AM   #129
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Ah yes, the pink WYWO message pads. One place I worked got the newfangled voicemail but the PHB decided it was unprofessional to have a machine take a message except after hours. So phones continued to be forwarded to the Secretary who would take a message. Twice a day, at lunch and quitting time, she'd take the pile of slips and put them in the employees' mailboxes. So there was at least a half-day delay in receiving messages.

Wow! They still make those things.
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Old 04-08-2015, 11:49 AM   #130
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Ah yes, the pink WYWO message pads. One place I worked got the newfangled voicemail but the PHB decided it was unprofessional to have a machine take a message except after hours. So phones continued to be forwarded to the Secretary who would take a message. Twice a day, at lunch and quitting time, she'd take the pile of slips and put them in the employees' mailboxes. So there was at least a half-day delay in receiving messages.

Wow! They still make those things.

Office Supplies,Printer Ink,Toner,Computers,Printers&Office Furniture|Staples®
Our office still uses them.
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Old 04-08-2015, 12:01 PM   #131
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Thankfully during my w*rking days, I didn't spend too much time in an actual office setting. One thing I *hated* when I first joined the AF was the prolific smoking. When I was an aircraft maintenance guy, the techs were shuttled from plane to plane in a 'bread truck'. When it was cold outside, the doors would be closed and 10 of the 12 guys on the truck would chain smoke for the entire shift. It was a miserable experience but thankfully that only lasted about a year before smoking on the truck was banned.


Oh and who remembers this as a kid?
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Old 04-08-2015, 12:06 PM   #132
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Oh and who remembers this as a kid?
Sniffing the mimeograph paper ink?
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Old 04-08-2015, 12:16 PM   #133
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My job is more difficult than other folks jobs.
Nobody could do my job as well as I do my job.
I could do most other jobs better than those people do.

Three common beliefs about our jobs and other jobs.

I have observed a few jobs where the bell rings and the folks are out the door. Bargaining unit jobs, some government jobs, some lower jobs at the university. But those jobs are not stress free either.

For some reason, most jobs have to pay people to get them to show up.
+1

I was in IT 31 yrs. and looked a number of times at changing and never did.
Found that IT was not that bad after all compared to most other professions.
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Old 04-08-2015, 12:47 PM   #134
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Well... I remember getting a pay envelope that was so heavy with silver coins (before the clad base metal coins where minted) that it ripped a hole in my suit pocket.
Just kidding.
My Dad said that at the steel plant where he was a manager, there was a huge pushback when they switched from pay envelopes with cash, to paychecks. A lot of the guys kept their wives ignorant about what they made and just gave them grocery money. (Mom did the finances in our house so it wasn't a problem for Dad.)

I was never paid in cash and my first job out of college was at a very early adapter (1975) of direct deposit. The holding company also owned a bank and you had to open an account there so your check could be deposited. One coworker said it annoyed her husband that her name HAD to be on top since she was the one who worked there. If you were a chronic check-bouncer they'd cut you down to writing two checks a month (that's how often we were paid).

When I first joined Prudential in 1985 they were still paying weekly. They took a long time switching to biweekly.
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Old 04-08-2015, 01:47 PM   #135
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Sniffing the mimeograph paper ink?
Yep. I didn't say it was smartest thing to do.
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Old 04-08-2015, 01:51 PM   #136
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Ah, yes, the overhead projector... Replaced now by Powerpoint presentations, but still as painful...

"No job is finished until there's a Powerpoint presentation..."
I still slip up sometimes and call my PP slides "viewgraphs".
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Old 04-08-2015, 02:44 PM   #137
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As a young new supervisor, I put an Air Force enlisted guy in for an end-of-tour medal which he richly deserved, seeing that he was pulling the weight for the other 3 uniformed pikers on my little team. I got a senior NCO's advice on filling out the forms and did everything 100% according to Hoyle. The fellow never got his medal; the request was "lost" somewhere and nobody knew what happened. Later, I learned that my star employee had had to leave the military because he'd been outed as gay.

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A It is an example of how outwardly racist society was during that period. You were the odd ball if you were not racist.

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Old 04-08-2015, 02:49 PM   #138
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Yes, we had those still when I started. Occasionally we would use them for pranks.
We had the pink message pads too, and the pranks were many and often. I can't post what they were or I'd get moderated. Let your imagination run with it.
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Old 04-09-2015, 03:43 AM   #139
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In the 1980's I worked at an insurance company which had a big office in Chicago. It was an oppressive sort of place full of people who did not like their jobs. Totally open plan except for 3 offices in the corner, so the noise level was considerable, let alone the smoke. Three dumb terminals which linked into the Home Office system, and had a very crude e-mail message system but once a message was read and you logged off it was automatically deleted.

Also had a PC in the corner that was used to run one report every month.

You were not allowed to leave the floor except at lunch (strictly 45 minutes in length, and only could be taken at the pre-authorized time). The only exception was payday, when you got 20 minutes that morning to go off site to the bank to deposit your check. I always looked forward to that escape.

The cheapness factor was really extreme. Every employee was allowed 2 pens, 2 pencils, and 2 pads of paper. If you ran out of one of these items, you would go to the person in charge of supplies and they would require in the case of a new pencil the old one back first, which would have to have less than 2 inches remaining on it. Pens would have to be non functional or out of ink, and if you wanted a new legal pad of paper you had to return that cardboard backing in order to get a fresh pad.

If you lost or misplaced any of these office supplies you were out of luck!

Oh, yeah, post-it notes were not deemed necessary by the boss so were not tolerated!
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Old 04-09-2015, 06:25 AM   #140
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What a nightmare.
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