Wednesday, November 9, 2011
On being an office girl
For ten years I worked inside sales for two different newspapers. I wore a head set and took classified ads over the phone. I can type as fast as you can talk. (This talent comes in handy when taking notes for meetings.) At one of the newspapers, the atmosphere was just like the t.v. show The Office. And at times, the atmosphere was something like Mad Men. The first newspaper I worked for was in my home town. The second newspaper, located a little further north, was in a slightly larger town. The town was still made up of blue collar, factory working people, but also home to a university. Therefore, the second newspaper fancied itself a little more cosmopolitan than the first. In advertising there were sometimes lunches which included alcohol. You never knew who was involved with whom. While I dressed professionally at the first newspaper, when working at the second newspaper, I had a closet filled with suits. I wore suits, stockings and pumps nearly every day. In those years, Kasper was my favorite suit brand. I had one that was pink and navy. Another Kasper suit was a soft pink. I had matching pink pumps and wore white stockings. Another suit had a red riding jacket with black velvet collar which I wore with a white sheer blouse and pants and skirt in hound's tooth. My dry cleaning bill rivaled my children's day care bill.
Then I went to work for Ball State University. Working on my BS degree, I had paid out of pocket for two years. Financially, this was killing me. I wanted to work for the university for many reasons, but one was that they paid tuition for employees. I took a chance and started working temp for the university. At my second position, they made me an offer. My boss there was the greatest guy. It was a small office and although we had contact with everyone on campus, the dress code was much less stuffy than that of advertising.
And now I work for Indiana University. At my first post here at IU, we worked with a man who greatly favored Roger Sterling. My second post here at this university is with the law school. College co-eds are wearing more than jeans and work-out clothing to class these days. If you don't believe me, consult with Indiana University Alumna, Amy Levin's blog. Here at the law school, it is quite common to see law students in suits. The faculty and staff here dress professionally for meetings and presentations. During breaks, (spring, summer, fall and Christmas) we dress down. During summer break, about anything goes. Today is a meeting day and I am wearing black pumps and stockings, (I'm old school enough that it is difficult to do the bare legged thing) black pants and shell with a short leopard print jacket and vintage Trifari jewelry. (Originally mine, now considered vintage- a.k.a. "old." Vintage is a much nicer word than old.) I picked up the jacket at my favorite second-hand shop. I prefer to purchase standard slacks in brown, black, navy and grey and go from there. I rarely purchase anything that has to be dry-cleaned. Because I am a Jackie fan, I believe pearls go with every thing.
I enjoy being on campus, observing what the students wear, seeing the cute male professors and noting what the female professors wear. It keeps me in the game. I enjoy dressing up and making a fashion statement. I'm certain some days that statement is "ouch."
Overall, there are worse jobs than that of office girl.
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