No sleep, nightmares...yes, that was my night last night. The Hubby went to the cabin and I decided to stay in town. I watched TV in the living room till about 9 last night, then Clayton and I headed for bed. (By the way he is so much better!) The alarm was set, all the doors locked and I was nestled in bed watching TV when I think I drifted off to sleep about 10. The television was set to shut off about 11. Because Clayton is better but not all the way, every time he shifted in bed I woke up, worried he would walk off the bed yet again. Finally he settled down to a deep sleep around midnight and I could finally get into a rim sleep too. All of a sudden I could hear what I thought was a leaf blower, then knocking on the window and I realized the leaf blower was someone trying to mechanically break into the sliding glass door!!! Then I was screaming because of a black shadow over me...
Don't get scared...it was a NIGHTMARE!!! I was having a nightmare but having awakened from this nightmare I still wasn't sure if it was real or not. I sat up in bed, looked at the clock, 1:54 a.m., and listened. Nothing, absolutely nothing. I got up and looked down the hallway and it was all dark and quiet. I hit the button (we have automated lighting) and turned on the whole house lights in the front of the house then went back to bed to try and calm down. I turned the television on for an hour and tried to doze off again. When my mind starts up there is no telling which way it will go and I found myself remembering my first grown up job as an adult. Then I thought that maybe I had not told my girls about that job in a long time. I don't want them to ask themselves when I'm gone, "I didn't know anything about where Momma worked before," much like I questioned my mother's life before children. I wanted to know more and never really asked her.
This is me, age 19, the summer before I married The Hubby. We were dating and I was working at the Credit Bureau of Tulsa. I got the job through an employment agency and that job started me on how to handle an actual grown up job. (1975-1978)
The business was located in downtown Tulsa, one place I NEVER drove to, EVER, but I had to find my way there. With the help of my mother and grandmother we found it and I knew exactly how to get there and no where else. I was TERRIFIED of downtown Tulsa up until about 15 years ago. I am not an adventurer by any stretch of the imagination so exploring downtown was definitely out of my realm but I needed that job. I was still living at home, paying for my own telephone (not cell phone, one that plugged into a wall), car insurance and gas.
The Credit Bureau was in business to do just that, check your credit and report it to the various businesses. We also had a "mortgage" department that would check your credit for that ever important home loan. It was owned by the family Rayson (think that is how it was spelled). (Names of most of the people are slipping from me now.) Mr. Rayson was the president but all he did was sit in his office up front and sometimes walk through the building. I thought he might have a drinking issue but that was just my observation. He was a quiet and nice man. The front office had a secretary, a few ladies who talked to the public about their credit (more on that later) and a couple of other ladies that managed the whole place, employees and day to day operations. FYI, there were only two men employed at the Credit Bureau, Mr. Rayson and the computer guy, Russell, in the back. It's funny that I had the feeling that the women as a whole never crossed them because THEY WERE MEN! The men had superiority.
My first job there was in the phone department. I was in a room with about 10 ladies on phones. We called various businesses, credit card companies, department stores, anywhere payments were made and a record of how the payments were made. We were responsible on checking peoples credit and putting it down on slips of paper. The paperwork was filled out and put in a basket and someone from the computer room would come and pick up the piles of paperwork and take it to the CRT's. I my room there were two ladies (Sue and ?) who were in their 60's or mid 70's that had been working there all their adult life, never ever moving up. Oh and I forgot there was a little office room off of that room that was the office of Mrs. Rayson, his mother. She was probably in her late 70's or 80's. She was sweet sometimes but WEIRD! This was where I learned about OCD. OMG that woman, you never, ever, EVER touched her. She would walk through the room with her hands up like a doctor going in for surgery. If it looked like when you were going to pass her and maybe clip her she would shift her body into the wall so as not to touch you. She had it bad and I won't tell you about her bathroom time! Sheesh! She would bring groceries every morning to cook her dinner there and take it home. I saw her once take a whole chicken, put it in the sink and totally soap the thing down and wash it before she cooked it. That was not healthy! Our little room of ladies was a little boring but I learned a lot. We had to learn about some of the laws regarding credit too all through the building. There were WATTS lines to call long distance for credit ratings, that was a step-up job in that room. I was in that room about a year then one day I heard my name on the intercom.
I was moving up to the data entry room, the CRT's! That was my first introduction to computers. CRT's, cathode ray tube. Thank goodness I could type. In this room we would sit at a CRT and yet again had our headset that plugged in to the desk. We would take phone calls to report credit when the various entities would call to get a credit history. The front room sat our room manager, Lorraine. All she really did was sit at her desk and the paperwork from the call room was brought to her desk and put in a basket. She would disperse the paperwork throughout the CRT's to input the data into the computer system. Yes, I entered your credit history into the system. In that room was a section that only did the mortgage/loan gathering and reporting and there was another section of two women that checked what the CRT girls were imputing and a go-between the front office, mortgage department and the front office. At the back of the room was Russell, our head computer guy and a dot matrix CRT that did deaths, bankruptcies, and bad credit imputing and marriages. At the front was a lady that all she did was clip out of the newspaper, Guffey's Business Journal the deaths, marriages, divorces and bankruptcies and give them to the girl at the back CRT. Russell sat in the very back with our main frame computers that were directly tied to Dallas. If they went down that was his job to maintain that and connect with Dallas.
I did every single job in that building, including taking care of the main frame when Russell was on vacation, having to call Dallas one time (SCARY!) I moved up each and every time in the three years I was employed there. I even had my turn in the front office and that one didn't last. It scared this scaredy-cat girl like you would not believe. That front office job meant I had to dress up in dresses or very nice pant suits. It meant I had to verify credit reports of people who came in to discuss their credit because they may have been turned down. They had one free right to review their credit and dispute the reporting, that was our job. I was working with a lady, Linda, that had been their for years and she was a master of the craft. I was terrified to deal with the people because usually they came in very mad and yelling and cursing. The story goes that one time Linda was dealing with one irate man and he lunged across the desk and started choking her. I remember her wearing a neck brace for awhile after that, yet, she went back to the job. I had panic attacks, meltdowns...I requested to go back to the back where I was better and comfortable with not dealing with cursing, yelling and possibly chocking PEOPLE!!! I wasn't good with that kind of atmosphere, now I can handle.
I finally ended up at the most wanted job, one that the other employees looked up to, the death, bankruptcy, marriage CRT! I loved it! Back then, before there was a law, separation of your credit history, you, as a woman, had your credit history lumped into the husbands credit history. When there were marriages I had to combine the credit, separate if you divorced. If you filed for bankruptcy or had a bad debt, that is the only computer in the building that had the authorization to do that. It was a very important job and affected a lot of people if you didn't do it right, and I was very good at what I did. I did love that job but I could see that there would be an end to how that was all being done there. Not long after I left the business I think it got absorbed into a national group. Mrs. Rayson passed away as did her son.
It was a job that taught me so much about life, working with other people, working with other women...not doing that again...and computer skills that help me today. It was a great job to give me confidence in my life.