Job Application: pre-Feminist Extremist Days

30 05 2020

A quick post about a job application I made in the days before feminism became so extreme. It was meant to be funny and was taken that way by all concerned!

When I was a Computer Operator, I rarely applied for other jobs. I did want to move up the technical ladder but, unfortunately, moving up meant coming off shifts. That wasn’t something I was ever prepared to do (right up to my retirement).

Our job was often fun and I always enjoyed it but it was either all on or all off. You were either frantically and stressfully busy or you were bored silly. There was no in between. Consequently, when we weren’t busy, I used to drift off to the other building to chat to my many buddies in the other IT departments.

One of my favourites was Data Base Admin. I was friends with literally everyone in the department including the manager. It helped the whole team were men as I’ve always got on best with men – I’ve certainly spent a lot of my working life being ‘one of the lads’.

When our department got busy again, one of the other Ops would ring the DBAs and ask if they’d send me back please. They’d unearth me from sitting atop someone’s desk (there were no spare chairs) and send me back to the dark datacentre…

Anyway, during one of my conversations, the DBA lads informed me there was shortly to be a job going. I asked if it was shifts – they said ‘sort of’. Apparently there were just two shifts – unfortunately no night shift. Still, it was a vastly more technical role – hmmm…

I asked what kind of thing Steve (the manager) would be looking for and my friend whose desk I was occupying the top of said “Well, he likes women with big boobs” (not that the poor guy probably did – it was just a joke).

I said okay and went back to my department. Not long after, we became quiet again so I prepared to drift off back to DBA. Before I left, I’d told the Ops about the job conversation and asked to borrow a few pairs of their socks. These I stuffed down my shirt front to make two humungous ‘knockers’.

I set off back round to Data Base Admin, my new huge bumps leading the way proudly. As I came through the department, everyone except Steve-the-Manager noticed me and realised what I was up to. The whole department disintegrated into laughter getting louder and louder.

Steve, however, remained mentally occupied with something on his desk. He was looking down reading and I was stood straight in front of his desk. Soon, he realised something was up and probably sensed my presence and looked up… eye to eye with a huge pair of falsies!

“I’ve come about the job” I said.

By now the department were hysterical but I managed to keep a straight face until Steve cracked up as well.

Great fun… however, I didn’t get the job unfortunately – he already had another bloke in mind…

Another favourite department of mine was the Systems Programmers (now Platform/Infrastructure) – another job I genuinely aspired to do but, again, wasn’t shifts. A shame as I knew my stuff when it came to infrastructure…

There was a really young (probably half my age) and very pretty young lad who I have to admit I fancied but realised he was way too young. Didn’t stop me winding him up all the time though.

One of the funniest things I did to him was, overnight, clipped all the caps off his keyboard (they were detachable in those days) – that meant the whole keyboard was blank. If you did that to me I wouldn’t notice as I never look at it as I can touch-type – I knew he couldn’t however! I left the key caps in a bag on his desk – a nice puzzle to start his day!

So, as I ‘persecuted’ him so much (just in fun), one day when I came up to the department for a long chat, he hid under his desk. I’d seen his feet under the desk and knew where he was so I made it an extra long chat. After about 10 minutes, I got up to leave and said;

“You can come out now Howard!”

He was really peeved (as well as probably very cramped up) 😉 If you ever read this Howard, don’t worry, you were safe – it was all just in fun!


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10 responses

18 06 2020
Alli Templeton

Brilliant anecdotes, Carol! Love them. I’ve always got on best with men as well, so I know what it’s like to be ‘one of the lads’. I was the only girl in the flying club so I was vastly outnumbered but we always had great fun. Love the wind-ups – wish I’d been there to see in person!

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18 06 2020
mountaincoward

From a staff point of view, that was the best job I ever had. We were all really social and went out all the time. We invaded the nearest pub so much that it was more like a branch of our IT department – we were there all the time we weren’t working! And we used to have a laugh all the time, especially on shift. Shift workers are lucky to not have management about much of the time so they can act how they want. We had a riot on many of our nightshifts – great fun! 🙂

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19 06 2020
Alli Templeton

Sounds absolutely wonderful – like a dream job – and it sounds just like my old flying club! I wondered why you wanted to work shifts, but now I can see exactly why! 😀

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31 05 2020
Blue Sky Scotland

Not many folk keen to do constant shift work unless that’s higher pay. I couldn’t really adjust to night shift years ago. Felt like a vampire- never seeing the sun much.;

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31 05 2020
mountaincoward

I’d say 7/8 of folk who do IT shifts don’t want to change the shifts, just sometimes the job as you get stuck at a fairly low grade – the pay is great though.

We did 3 fairly hard weeks at my last place and then every 4th week was a whole week off. You can’t beat terms like that. I also liked working over the weekends and getting on the hills in the week when everyone else was working.

In addition to that, I could never do dayshifts (although I had to). Just about none of us could. We had one week where we had to do 4 in a row – 0645 starts – by the afternoons, we were all zombies! When I briefly worked 9-5, I slept all weekend to try to catch up on my sleep loss as I can’t sleep before the ‘wee small hours’.

I’ve never been day-time way around – not even as a very young child.

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1 06 2020
Geoffrey Sturdy

Hi Carol – was that before or after my time at Skipton ?

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1 06 2020
mountaincoward

Hi Geoff – that was way back in the 1990s in the “good ol’ days” we had back then at Bradford & Bingley!

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31 05 2020
mountaincoward

You actually see the sun more on nights as, on days, you’re at work when it’s sunny apart from a short dinner hour. On nights you see the sun when you come home and again when you set off to work. As I walked to work both ways, I saw it plenty (as much as we get up here)…

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31 05 2020
Easymalc

Laughter is still the best medecine. Thanks for the Sunday morning lift 🙂

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31 05 2020
mountaincoward

It lifted my day looking back at the great times we had back then (1990s)

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