In reading the title of this post, you may have one of the following thoughts in your head:
- I don’t remember this date, but it must hold some importance to the writer.
- I remember exactly where I was on this date and can tell you the color of socks I wore.
- I don’t remember this date because I was probably lost in a purple haze.
- I wasn’t born yet. Gosh, the writer is old.
After a meeting in our office this morning, a smattering of attendees, including my boss, were standing around, talking about work-related subjects. I happened to walk through the smattering when this question was asked:
Do you remember your first interview with this agency?
One employee, at least a decade or two younger than me, couldn’t remember. He had no clue who interviewed him for his first job. A few others remembered the people who interviewed them, but didn’t provide much detail.
Then I spoke up.
“I clearly remember my interview and who interviewed me, even though it was many, many years ago.”
smart ass employee piped up, “Back in the 50’s?”
If only I had a shovel at the time…
Due to the lack of a blunt instrument, I continued the story. Following is a more detailed version of the event.
On that day, I was interview by two people, Darryl and Dan. I was four months shy of my 19th birthday and fairly naive. I remember the light blue dress I wore, but not the color of my shoes. Darryl started the interview in his office, Dan came in later. Compared to the process that candidates go through present day for an interview, this one was extremely informal and laid back. I’m unable to recall the questions that were asked of me, but apparently I answered to Darryl’s and Dan’s satisfaction.
Due to my young age, I viewed Darryl and Dan, who were probably in their early 30’s, as “old.” Darryl wore lightly tinted glasses and a man-necklace. Dan must have decided he was a Beach Boy with his white pants and striped shirt.
The interesting part of the interview came when Dan walked in the door. Introductions were made and then these two men began to have a casual, work-related conversation. Darryl and Dan were Agents for a correctional agency and were discussing a recent house search. Darryl opened up his desk drawer and produced a confiscated pot pipe. My eyes were a little wide at that point, but I didn’t say a word. Unaffected by the fact that they had an 18 year old sitting before them, they continued the conversation for a few minutes more.
I don’t remember much after that. Two weeks went by before I received the offer for this clerical position. Apparently, Darryl had gone on vacation after the interview, which lengthened the hiring process. While waiting for the call, mom thought that perhaps I was too young to be in a position with this agency. I found out later that my non-reaction to the pot pipe was one of the deciding factors of the hire. In hindsight, though, it was a very boring event compared to what I would come across over the next several years.
I would be in this position for almost 13 years. For the first two years, the office was housed on the second floor of Gruenhagen Hall on the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh campus. It seems like an odd location now, surrounded by University students who lived on the upper floors. Back then, I had a sneaking suspicion that Darryl and Dan enjoyed the view of female college co-eds from their office windows. It’s a suspicion, mind you, as they could have been merely contemplating the color of the grass below.
The date of June 1, 1976, is the anniversary date of when I started with the government agency. This year, on June 1st, I will be celebrating 40 years of labor with that same agency. In that time, I’ve assimilated quite a bit of knowledge (some of it now outdated) and perhaps much more than I really needed to know. As I whined in a previous post, I would prefer to be retired, but have a few years left to work. When I started, I typed on an IBM Selectric typewriter and used carbon and yellow onionskin paper to type a memo. Today, I’m on the computer using e-forms that print to a multi-functional device.
Yes, #4 people who don’t have a clue about carbon paper, I am old and don’t remember your name five minutes after we’ve been introduced.
But I will always remember Darryl, Dan and the pot pipe.
If you are interested in the memories of other bloggers and this week’s Discovery Challenge, CLICK HERE.