We worked from 9.00 am to 5.30 pm from Monday to Friday and From 9.00 am to 1.00 pm on Saturday...
Editor’s Note: A few weeks ago I was visiting with my mom and little bro’ in the UK. When I mentioned our “How it was…” series to my mom, she bounced into action with gusto and abandon to pen a couple of articles (Click Here to see her previous “Life in the typing pool” piece.) Just to set the scene – I was “born and bred” in Sheffield, Yorkshire, England, which is where my mother has lived all of her life…
The Typing Pool at the large engineering company in which I worked consisted of about twenty typists, each with a desk and Imperial typewriter, all facing to the front where Mrs X, the Supervisor, sat in stately control. The only people allowed personal secretaries were the Managing Director and the Company Secretary/Finance Director. Everyone else had to avail themselves of the services of Mrs X and her minions.
We worked from 9.00 am to 5.30 pm from Monday to Friday and From 9.00 am to 1.00 pm on Saturday. The shorthand typists were in demand as most bosses wanted to show that they were important enough to dictate letters. (You must remember that the Dictaphone had not yet been invented, so the Typists were either Shorthand Typists or Copy Typists – the former earning a few more pence per week than the latter).
This isn't a picture of my mom's typing pool;
it's just an example I found to give the idea...
When we were called, we had to sign out in Mrs X's book, signing back on return and stating how many pages of shorthand we had taken. This was particularly stupid as my shorthand was very neat and tidy and my neighbour's was all over the page, so I might have five pages comprising several documents to be typed, while she would have only one or two covering only a couple of letters.
All our work was collected by Mrs X, who checked it through and then submitted it back to the author, who would then sign it and send it to the Company Secretary, a fierce Scot who would wait until 4.45 pm and then send for anyone who had made a mistake, making them take it back and re-type it. Of course, they had to do it that evening, so this would make them late. Needless to say, this helped to make us very good typists.Click Here
to see other articles in this "How it was..."
series...Editor's Note: It would be great if you took the time to write down short stories of your own. I can help in the copy editing department, so you don’t need to worry about being “word perfect”. All you have to do is to email your offering to me at max@CliveMaxfield.com with
“How it was” in the subject line.I can post your article as “anonymous” if you wish. On the other hand, what would be really cool would be if you wanted to add a few words about yourself – and maybe even provide a couple of
“Then and Now” pictures showing yourself as a young engineer
("Then") and as the hero you've grown into
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