November 25, 2015

Today is the 30th anniversary of the start of my career at my employer, the big reference book company.

  • Reagan was president, Thatcher was UK Prime Minister, Mulroney was Canadian Prime Minister.
  • My first typewriter was a Selectric 1 — it didn’t even correct!
  • We had PR1ME computers, but only one of them, and it had 11 GB of storage — for an entire company.
  • My hair was short. I wore ties. Still had a beard, but there was no gray in it and it was short.
  • I had written songs, but almost nothing anyone knows now since those all came in the 1990s.
  • Internet? HA. There were no personal computers anywhere.
  • The number one song on Billboard’s Hot 100 was … “We Built This City” by Starship.

The start of my career went very easily. I started the Monday before Thanksgiving. I worked three days, then had two holidays. Then I worked maybe 3 1/2 weeks, and got about two weeks off for Christmas and New Years because the whole company closed down. (We do not do that now.)

I bounced around “editorial” for 20 1/2 years, being project manager for several directories, encyclopedias, and other references. For the last 9 1/2 years I’ve been a compositor, which you could’ve called “typesetter” if there was actual type to set. I’ve outlasted my first three managers, but the last three are still here (longtimers all).

It’s in my DNA, you know; my father worked at the same company for over four decades. Stability is nice, because it leaves you time to do other things. But, to be honest, I have no idea how this happened. Long ago, I had a coworker/friend who said if he was here in five years, someone should kill him (or something to that effect). I never said that, but I sure wasn’t thinking this far ahead.

So, anyway… here I am, still, and I’m happy to be here.


About songdogmi

I'm a longhaired almost-hippie stuck in the inner suburbs of a major rust-belt metropolis who's thoughtful, creative, and kind of geeky. In exchange for a paycheck I run around in a cubicle maze most days. When I escape, I play music, hang out in coffee houses, dink around on the computer, take naps, and think I should be off in the woods somewhere. Every once in a while I get in my car and drive far, far away, though I've always come back so far.
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