I worked for a couple of years at a small manufacturing company. I was secretary to a vice president for a while, then moved out to the front reception area where I typed invoices and answered all the phones, as well as the previous secretarial duties. All that occurred because there was an ownership battle going on, but way down the line we just did our job and got our paycheck.
It was the job where I met my best friend, Carol. She was a temp, so concerned about arriving on time that she arrived an hour early the first day. She walked around the building, wound up at the shop door and the foreman brought her through to wait in the lobby, where I found her when I unlocked the front door. The shop foreman was so impressed by Carol’s work ethic he went to the president (it was a small company and a long time ago) and said Carol was the kind of person the company needed; she should be hired. And, she was.
Working in the reception area in the front lobby I got to know Betty the woman who handled personnel and was the purchasing agent. Her office opened onto the lobby. She was much older than I; a motherly kind of woman. I always was up for fun at a job, and Betty was plenty of that. One time all the men had gone out for lunch, the president driving. They weren’t gone long when a bad storm threatened. In those days most cars weren’t air conditioned, and all windows in the parking lot were down, against the hot summer day.
Betty came into the lobby hollering for those of us left to help her roll up car windows, which we did, moments before the big storm broke and poured cats and dogs. When it passed Betty took us all out again to wind down the men’s windows. When they returned from lunch and checked their car interiors, they were puzzled. They asked. We all denied closing their windows against the storm. That was fun. But it was Betty at her mildest.
One day one of the men came down the hall, whistling. He had a hand full of papers and stuck his head in Betty’s door to tell her something. Popped his head back out and asked me “Where’s Betty?”
“I don’t know. I didn’t see her leave.”
“Well, tell her I’m looking for her.” He went back to his office.
Half an hour later, Betty called to me from her office to come in for something. I went in and was curious; I hadn’t seen her return. “Oh, I was here all along. I didn’t want to talk to him so I hid under the desk.”