The short answer to how I got my first job is that I begged. The long answer follows:
Two days after Williams asked for a divorce and left, I knew it was crucial that I get a job. It was a scary time. I had never had a job.
Even though I had wanted to get a job after Lisa and Ro were both in school, I was not allowed.
W. would carefully explain to me that because I only had a 9th grade education, I was too dumb for anyone to hire me; that if I got a job it would pay so little that after taxes and expenses, it would actually end up costing us.
I knew I was not dumb, but I was certainly naive.
I was 31 years old, no education, no work experience and I was desperate when I told my attorney, J. King, that it was imperative that I get a job. He gave me the name of a friend who worked in the Oklahoma State Employment Office in downtown Tulsa. I was too embarrassed to tell him that I didn’t know how to get downtown.
I asked a friend, Joy Ellis, if she knew how to get downtown.
So I asked her if she would go with me.
Our first stop was the employment office where I got a referral to Mid-Continent Map Company. I was applying for a job to make Xerox copies of maps. Mr. Frank, owner of the company, had all applicants take a Wonderlic test. After the test he explained why he was not going to hire me.
Seems I had scored so highly on the test he was certain I would be bored out of my mind in a few days, quit and he would have to start the hiring process again.
That’s when I started begging.
I begged until he finally hired me.
Instead of making Xerox copies, Mr Frank hired me as a draftsman. I felt in all fairness that I should tell Mr Frank that I didn’t know how to draft. That’s when he explained on-the-job training to me. After 10 months at Mid-Continent Maps, Mr Frank called the last 5 employees hired into his office. He explained that because of a downturn in business and trouble meeting the payroll, he was forced to let us go.
The others said very nice things to Mr Frank; “Enjoyed working here,” “Hope business gets better,” “Sorry to leave,”etc.
I grabbed the arms of the chair I was sitting in and when the others had left I said, “I’m not leaving Mr. Frank,“ “You’re making a big mistake, Mr. Frank,” “You know I work harder than anyone else, Mr. Frank,” and threw in some begging, too.
Didn’t work. I left devastated.
I went home with 2 weeks severance pay but no job. Again.
I don’t remember if Lisa and Ro knew I lost my job or not.
Every morning I got up, got dressed, left the house and spent the next 8 hours applying for jobs and filling out applications.
I figured out that I could only go one week without a paycheck and decided that whatever company called by Friday would be my new job.
Hugh Breeding Truck Lines called.
I worked for Hugh Breeding only 6 weeks when Shell Oil Company called. Shell was one of the many places I had left an application. Shell said they had an opening if I was still interested.
I worked for Shell for 23 years.
You never know. What looks like terrible luck can turn out to be good luck after all.