Saturday, January 31, 2015

Queens County Revisited: The 1970s (6)

I remember very little about what happened during my workdays as a temp-typist in the skyscraper corporate office of Playtex during the 1970s, although the temp assignment there must have lasted about three or four weeks. What I mainly recall is that the supervisor of the department for which I was assigned to do some typing was an easy-going, white guy who had a goatee and was in his late 20s or early 30s.

This particular Playtex supervisor didn't seem to expect much from his job in the corporate office or his work life other than being able to pick up a regular paycheck which enabled him to live an economically secure, apolitical, consumer-oriented life and raise a family in the white suburbs during the 1970s; while, at the same time, being able to also supervise younger permanent white women in their mid-twenties who were considered physically attractive by most men--like the blonde woman who was his assistant that he had delegated to explain to me what the work was that Playtex needed me to type.

His blonde female assistant was also easy-going and non-authoritarian; and she also seemed as satisfied with her job at Playtex as did the department supervisor. But--like her immediate boss--she didn't seem to possess much radical feminist consciousness or interest in current events or current history or politics in the 1970s, although she definitely liked the fact that it was becoming more socially acceptable by the 1970s for working-class women like herself to work outside the home and bring home paychecks, regardless of whether or not they were married.

I can't recall speaking to any of the other perms who worked on the skyscraper office floor near or far from the desk behind which I sat typing for 7 hours each day while at Playtex. But what I do recall is that I would generally spend  my 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. lunch hour quickly eating a bag lunch that I brought in my pack each day--usually a cream cheese and jelly sandwich--on some outdoor bench or ledge near some skyscraper or while walking on the Manhattan street; before going into the Donnell Library on W. 53rd Street, between 5th Avenue and 6th Avenue, to either browse around the book shelves or check out and return some library books prior to then heading back to the Playtex office for my 2 to 5 p.m. period of daily wage enslavement.