Out on My Own – Day 4

On the way home, Led Zeppelin was playing in the car – Stairway to Heaven. It was the perfect song to take me back to the era I am currently reflecting about. I had my secretarial training, high school was over (thank God!), I had no desire to ever step foot back into a classroom again, so I went out and found my first full-time job, got an apartment not too far away from home and off I went. I think I shopped for all of my apartments furnishings at garage sales!

What they don’t teach you in school, though, is how to manage your money, how to budget and how not to go into debt with that brand new, shiny credit card. They should make money management a required course in the senior year of high school. I was working for a company called Acceleration that sold insurance to cover your loans and expenses if something catastrophic should happen to you. I worked on a ‘computer’ of sorts, that was huge and I was responsible for inputting the data for the claimant and the machine would print out the checks. I look at the computer today and see the wonders of entrepreneurial efforts. Where would we be if not for ambitious, innovative and inventive people who were free to pursue their dreams. Do we really appreciate the freedoms and opportunities that are gradually eroding away. We take them for granted I fear.

My next job was downtown Columbus, Ohio, working for the Ohio State Department of Education. A large department store was within walking distance of my building, and having a nice new apartment and a nice new credit card, I started about officially decorating my place and getting rid of all of the garage sale items. The first department I worked in, I was assigned to 3 gentlemen who were responsible for various course curriculum throughout the schools in the state – Jerry Tollifson was in charge of the Art Department, Stephen P Meiring (can’t remember what area he was in charge of) and Pieush Swami, who was in charge of Science (he was always hitting on me)! I was put in the Steno pool and there were a few of us who were responsible for typing up documents that could have absolutely no corrections on them. No correction fluid, no backing up and using the IBM Selectric correction tape, nothing. I became very good with a typewriter eraser – it’s a dying talent! But while I was busy making money, I was busy spending money. I got myself into debt and had to get a consolidation loan to pay off the credit cards. But what did I do after I paid off the credit cards, but to go out and spend more money! My oldest son must have gotten my ‘bad habit genes’. I didn’t think those were inheritable. It was the 70’s – I made some mistakes along the way to true adulthood, but they were fun days. Days when you were young and didn’t really worry about what tomorrow held. Too bad we lose that when we grow older. Until tomorrow…good night.

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