Taking the Red train to San Francisco and equipped with a map and directions, I made my way to the college to take the entrance examination. It was a long and difficult test, but a few weeks later I was notified that I had passed and was accepted as a student.
In the mean time, I had applied for a job at an Insurance Company as a clerk typist. They also gave me a test, and sad to say, the gentleman was very kind and told me that I took too much time to answer the questions as the test was timed.
He continued, “Why don’t you come back tomorrow when our office manager is here and take the test again?” He suggested: “This time when you take the test, hurry as fast as you can, and by now you are by now familiar with some of the questions so you should do well.”
I returned the next day and sure enough this time the test was sufficiently easier, and I passed with flying colors and was hired.
One of my duties was to take relief for the switchboard operator when she took her breaks and on her lunch hour. She was an excellent teacher, but the company wanted me to have professional training from the telephone company as well.
A day was scheduled and the entire time was spent learning all about the old fashioned switch board. Several phone lines were available and when a light turned on, you slipped one of two pegs into that slot and using the company name gave a short greeting. Depending on who they desired to speak to, you had names on holes up and down the board and when you made the connection with the second peg and pulled back on a lever their particular phone would ring.
The instructor told me to smile when I answered each call. She reasoned because your smile will travel to the customer. The first person your customers meet is the switchboard operator and your smile will encourage them to do business with your company.
There were other duties assigned to me besides typing insurance contracts, and additional clauses to policies. There was filing, and I also helped in the mail room using the postage meter for out going mail.
The insurance agents used an old fashioned Dictaphone to record memos and letters to clients. These were a cylinder black disk that could be reused. At the end of the day, I often would shave the old cylinders so they could be used again.
My job was exciting for a first real job, but the part I liked best was smiling over the switchboard telephone.
Smile and the world smiles with you!
This post was inspired by Ann Kroeker's Post at: http://annkroeker.com/2011/05/10/enchante/
You will enjoy her enchanting article!!