It’s funny how something will trigger a memory.
Yesterday as I was making my way through the battleground of WalMart I made a complete impulse buy of these~
I was on my way to the checkout and on a Saturday which means that there are at least three cashiers who showed up for work to take care of the whole town doing their shopping for the week, when I remembered the first time I ever had these oatmeal snacks.
It was in the early 80’s and I worked for a mean little Hungarian woman, named Ilona, at a law firm on 6th Street in Los Angeles. My salary was just enough to pay the rent, my phone and electric bill, and buy my bus pass so I could get to work.
I had gotten the job at the law firm on sheer luck and the help of a man in an employment agency who coached me through a lot of things before the interview. He had to explain the terms used instead of the common names like bank reconciliation, 10 key, etc.
My job consisted of running totals on the lawyer’s time sheets that their secretary would type up every week, bring them to me. I would run the totals, batch them and submit them to the data processing department, which in turn, inputs them into the computer so the clients could be billed.
I learned to run totals on the 10 key with the decimal point as my home key because every fraction of a minute was recorded and charged. There were stacks and stacks of documents to run and, at first, I was not very good at it. I didn’t know you should run it twice to catch any errors until one day I was called into Ilona’s office where there were stacks and stacks of files that I had submitted to data processing and the batch totals were all wrong.
She was as nice as someone of her stature and personality could be and told me that this would never happen again.
And it didn’t. I made sure I was accurate every single time.
So that meant Ilona had to find something else to torture me with.
When she walked into the room everyone fell silent. At the turn of the doorknob to the office, everyone fell silent. If you were talking when she came in she would reprimand you for it and not in a professional manner, more of a snide, sarcastic manner.
Being as young as I was and unfamiliar with working under a bitch regime, I found it difficult to keep my mouth shut.
She would walk in the room, and clearly heard us talking some while she was out, and ask, ‘What’s going on?’ to which I would reply on occasion, ‘Well, nothing really, now that you’re back in the room.’
She would then pick something concerning my appearance or attitude to show us all that she was in charge.
This didn’t always work out in her favor.
“Tall women have no business wearing high heels.’ she would tell me.
‘Short women have no business wearing green eye shadow.’ I would reply and continue on with my work.
Most times she would walk into her office and plop into her chair and glare at me. I was, of course, the only one she could see through her office door.
There was one, and only one, time that she showed a little compassion for me.
One day she noticed something hanging out from under my blouse and called me into her office. I wasn’t eating too much in these poor days and my clothes were all too big. I actually had to use a piece of twine to hold up my pants as I did not have a belt. She spotted the twine and just had to ask. When I explained my financial situation and told her that food was not really a high priority before rent and expenses, she pretty much just dismissed me.
I didn’t think any more about it until the next day when she walked into the office and dropped a Little Debbie Oatmeal Snack on my desk and continued into her office without saying a word.
It wasn’t long before she was picking on me for something, but it was something, I guess.