Monday, June 04, 2007

Glass Ceiling for a Brash Young Female Adult

My Brash Young Adult story published here June 1st, provided an account of my introduction into the full time working world.

This is a continuation of that story which includes a dispelling of some youthful ideals. I was a bit reckless following my own standards, but then I learned the older adults were, too, in the interest, I suppose, of what they believed to be justifiably good business practices.

I could not quell my restlessness that resurfaced not too long after that frustrated employment change effort I first wrote about. Once again I sought to satisfy this need for more challenge in my work by seeking employment at a different business, but locally. They said they wanted to hire me, but had to resolve some issues beyond my control.

Little did I know, there was an unwritten understanding among the major employers in town, national companies, banks and other establishments that they would not hire employees from each other. If they did hire another's employee, I expect they wanted to be certain that competitive salaries didn't enter into the mix. This was the matter my prospective employer had to resolve with my then employer.

Because of the efforts of my previously described employer-guardians, as I now thought of them, (one was the son of the company president, the other my immediate supervisor,) they prevailed upon the president of the company to act in a manner I would want. I could not believe it when I heard, that this top national company official, of the second largest corporation in the country in their line of business, had met with the president of the local bank, where I had applied for a job. I was told they had to discuss my situation, agree they would let me change jobs, then establish there would be no hard feelings between them. I began later to wonder, just how far such business management networks extended.

I was allowed to change employers, but unfortunately, once I mastered that bank position, I immediately wanted something new. I inquired about the opportunities for my advancement now, considering I had been one of the two first women they had ever selected to attend special banking classes. I was among the top performers completing that class that was now no longer gender limited to just males. The question to my bank vice president employer was, what other positions did they have for me, coupled with increased salary? I indicated a willingness to pursue additional education and training they might require.

Imagine my disappointment when I learned just how low "the glass ceiling" for a woman was at the bank. Any move would be, at best, basically lateral, or would consist of a title and little more. Even that wouldn't happen until someone then in that position retired. Plus, that would be as far as I could go there. I was already frustrated to know I was making considerably less than my male, married with children, co-worker, who was employed after I was hired. This clearly illustrated my gender as a college educated woman (he didn't have any post high school education) and my single marital status with financial obligations of my own, were hardly assets deserving of a higher pay range. They were, possibly even liabilities for me.

About that time, a change in my personal life resulted in ending an "affair of the heart," as certain relationships are sometimes described. This added momentum to "my restless nature" surfacing once more. I became very discontented, making successive arrangements over a period of time for several employment changes that I later cancelled each time, a couple of weeks before I was to start work. One was a position I had accepted at a college some miles away to which I had planned to commute, together with a younger acquaintance who had simultaneously been hired at that same institution.

After accepting my position, on a first meeting with her parents, I was told how pleased they were that she would be with me, with words to the effect I was being viewed as being responsible for her well-being. This was a responsibility I did not want. I had enough of my own. So, for that reason and other second thoughts, I withdrew from that employment position, assuring her she would do quite well without my presence.

I stressed the opportunities she would have to meet new and interesting young people her age with wider interests than those she knew in our town. Additionally, she could begin to pursue a college education. That wasn't enough motivation for her, I guess, as I learned later she withdrew from her position, too. I know the high level university administrator for whom I was to work was more than a little unhappy with my decision. I was angrily told that if I ever applied for employment there again, I would not be looked upon favorably, to put it mildly.

I could have conducted myself better in these employment pursuits, and resolving my various personal issues. I certainly did subject myself and others to considerable drama. I blithely proceeded ahead during this early period as a young adult, but I was not yet finished creating complexities in the manner with which I was directing my life.

Then, an opportunity for me arose at the local radio station owned by the same family who published the local newspaper, but I'll save the portion of this story for later.


  1. Like Paul Harvey, I look forward to the rest of the story!

  2. Companies, corporations,and other institutions fundamentally want to control. Control people and things. Some want to control more than others but they want to control.

    For example, the corporation I worked for hired a retired FBI agent with a law degree. He soon became V.P. of Marketing. Was he qualified for a key marketing positon? Of course not. But when the FBI wanted background information on an employee guess who got the information for them? Do I need to say? My point is corporations are as unfair as they want as long as it's in their self interest. What about being fair to the employee? Well they will be fair as long as they are satisfied first.

    That goes for what ever color or gender of the employee.

  3. Where will you be going from here? This will be interesting to see...The ups and downs in the Job World! I don't think I could ever have done what you had to do...and what so very many other people---particularly women, had to do...

    BTW: I believe that is the Leonard Feather book...I know I have a few by him....And no, I did not know him...I just liked that he was so very knowledgable, and loved Jazz so much...

  4. I too can't wait for the next installment. I'm sure most of us have got our own brash young adult stories. It's all part of growing up.

  5. Having left a MAJOR corporaton two years ago and watching the cold and calculated way they treat employees, I'm happy to be gone. I could never work for one again. It's just not for me. Since I've been's just gotten worse for those who were left.

    I'll be watching for your next installment Joared...