When Steve Jobs passed away last week I began thinking about my introduction to computers Way Back When. My first office job was in 1979 working for a small, family-owned plastics plant. My aunt worked in the Accounts Payable department and recommended me for a data entry position.
The behemoth below is similar to what I entered data into. Back in those days computers had to be housed in a cold room; so cold that I needed a sweater in the middle of summer. I loved that! And instead of an ENTER key there was an OCK key. To this very day whenever I press ENTER on a keyboard, I oftentimes think OCK instead.
I was fresh out of high school and still very immature. Several times my aunt was forced to leave her work space to come lecture me on office etiquette and using a quiet "office" voice. In those days I was a free spirit with my whole life ahead of me and not a care in the world. My objectives back then were having a good time and resist conforming to "the establishment". In my defense, this inappropriate eye chart which hung on the main wall of my department doesn't exactly scream puritan values. Actually, it encouraged a pro-sexual harassment environment which is a big no-no today.
|I can't believe I was able to find the same exact chart on Google images!|
So dedicated was I to this job, that I worked a few hours the day I got married.Not really. My boss offered to take photos of me in my wedding dress (actually my aunt's dress) for the local paper one Saturday afternoon. Afterwards, we decided to take some photos of me "working". He wanted to trick everyone into thinking that he was such a slave-driver that I was forced to work on my wedding day. No one, except a couple of clueless souls, believed him. Two years later he was fired. His replacement kept me late one evening, and as he helped me into my car, bent down to kiss me through the driver's window. Terrified, I fled as fast as I could in my pea green Pinto. Soon thereafter, he was fired for something else, and I was relieved.
My next job was working for a credit card processing firm. In 1987 I was promoted to Purchasing Clerk. My job was to come up with the artwork that banks embossed on their credit cards. It was mostly straight line type, but sometimes a logo was involved. For this I used a Macintosh like this one:
In 1988 I went to work for a promotional products company and I am still here. My boss sat me in front of this Radio Shack contraption where I tallied up Texas Sales Tax totals each month. All other paperwork was typed in triplicate form. Mistakes were corrected with colored white-out that matched the form color. Most times I was too impatient for the white-out to dry properly so I'd end up with gooey typewriter keys. For this reason and for my perfectionist tendencies, I tried my best to minimize mistakes.
|These 7-1/2" floppy disks only had 256kb of memory.|
Disk 1 had Texas cities A-G; disk 2 had cities H-M; disk 3 had cities N-Z.
Well, that's a brief history of how my love of technology began. The only thing I miss are the frigid rooms. Currently, my eye is on the Kindle Fire, but my logical side knows it would be best to wait for the 2nd generation. Oh, it's so exciting to think of all the cool gadgets down the pike that have yet to be born! Riding the technology train is thrilling, isn't it? So much for my anti-establishment views, huh? Ha!