Saturday, October 24, 2015

Queens County Revisited: The 1970's (48)

In the Council on International Educational Exchange [C.I.E.E.] office, the ratio of male to female office employees was about equal in the 1970's. But the white women in their late 20's or early 30's who had obtained some of the middle-class professional jobs the C.I.E.E. needed to fill seemed more interested in their careers than in becoming romantically involved with any of the men who worked at C.I.E.E.--especially, given the classist way they generally viewed men who did not have middle-class professional jobs like they now had.

Yet a few of the white women in their 20's, who were hired a few months after me for the summer clerical work that was needed during the busiest July and August months of the student travel season, were friendlier and seemed more open to becoming romantically involved with their male clerical working-cass office colleagues than were the women who held the "professional" jobs at C.I.E.E..

For a few weeks, one of these female co-workers who sat at the desk right across from me seemed eager to flirt with me at work, when the telephone wasn't ringing. But after she got the hint from hearing the political conversations that Marvin and I were having in the office and the humorous freak left counter-cultural critique I was articulating of how the unhip executives at C.I.E.E. and all U.S. social institutions were involved in exploiting working-class people and needed to be replaced by a 1970's freak/hip youth revolution that created a more leisure-oriented economic system and society (which used technology and computers to free people from having to work 9-to-5, rather than to eventually create a new type of "techie billionaires" or to eventually eliminate millions of clerical and secretarial office jobs that, at least, provided many working-class people with the money they needed to pay rent to their landlords or repay their mortgage loans to their banks), she became less interested in flirting with me.

Perhaps she felt that her family's class interest/privileges would be threatened by the kind of societal changes Marvin and I were discussing, since the reason she had been hired for her C.I.E.E. summer job was because, coincidentally, her father was then one of the top executives at the C.I.E.E. office? Also, she may have felt embarrassed, after she heard Marvin and me joke about how nepotism was prevalent in the U.S. capitalist economic system when it came to which people were hired for the softest and most high-paying jobs (and even for summer jobs), by the fact that she, herself, seemed to provide an example of the nepotism that Marvin and I were joking about.