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Old 07-18-2019, 04:36 AM
 
20,821 posts, read 13,813,460 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ddm2k View Post
Thank goodness for the unions that made even operators' jobs pay a living wage.

I had a coworkers whose mother worked directory assistance at AT&T for 27 years. Their average handle time was 12 seconds from answer to releasing the call. That's over a million calls in a lifetime.
What many do not know is that Ma Bell, and other telephone companies preferred women for certain jobs because they tended to go along with the near "convent" like work rules and so forth that were used to control any pack of women. Nurses, secretaries, factory workers, the lot; anywhere you had a dominant female work place there was usually a hierarchy of supervisors and a litany of rules/regulations .

Telephone operators were monitored, watched and otherwise not totally on their own. Going to the bathroom required asking "permission", which couldn't be abused. Unions made a huge difference in telephone operators at least those working for large telcos.

People also don't realize just how difficult a job telephone operator was right up until modern times.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aw7xFtgGbPE



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tcppRFK-Fwc

You notice by the 1960's into 1970's you started to see more guys as telephone operators.
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Old 07-18-2019, 04:46 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by See If This Works View Post
Probably the same logic for "stewardesses".

Actually first airline hostesses were nurses whose main job besides serving food and beverages was to deal with the number of passengers who got air sick. That and of course providing safety and assistance in case of an emergency, which happened often in early days of flying.

Idea of airline hostesses/stewardesses morphed from nurses to the idea of cabin crew that catered to passengers comforts along with their primary role of safety.

In early days of flying males (businessmen) made up a majority of passengers. So who better to entice a guy to fly this or that particular airline than pretty young girls.

Remember until deregulation air travel rates were set by government, so airlines had to find other ways to compete; that usually was service. Part of that were stewardesses who became sort of advertising/marketing for any particular airline.

Pan Am's stewardesses/cabin crew like the airline itself was famous and never equaled.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O0uyIWOU024
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Old 07-18-2019, 05:04 AM
 
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It is important to remember one crucial thing; all these "pink ghetto" jobs, careers or whatever (nursing, secretary, factory worker, etc...) existed to exploit a demographic that largely accepted the (then) conditions on ground.

As the industrial revolution picked up steam hundreds if not thousands of young girls/women who wanted and or needed to work found there were alternatives to domestic service.

Education for girls began to increase if only mandatory through high school. That gave employers at least access to somewhat educated workforce. Various schools and training could take care of the rest.

Due to the prevailing thought that young girls were only going to work until they married and began having babies, places paid females far less than men. Heck until anti-discrimination and equal rights laws were passed in the 1970's many places didn't hire married women, and if a woman (married) did become in a family way she was expected to leave before began showing. Single women with children (unwed mothers) had a very difficult time finding work.

Sexual harassment was rampant and there was little a female employee could do. If a supervisor or boss had hand problems, or flat out demanded quid pro quo, choices came down to accepting or getting fired/quitting.

Females put up with these things and more because they needed the money, and many genuinely liked working.

It is telling that after the 1970's and various anti-discrimination laws began to kick in plenty of once female occupations became decimated. Women could now get other jobs besides nurse, secretary, etc... and many did. Employers had to either adapt (change conditions on the ground), or they couldn't get nor retain employees.

Nursing is a case in point. By the 1980's this country had a severe shortage, and schools were closing due to low enrollment numbers. Women weren't interested in nursing, and more importantly those driven into the profession instead of becoming doctors, or other once male dominated professions/careers now had options.

Things wouldn't change really until around middle of 1990's when a supposed shortage of nurses not only drove up wages, but lead to improving work conditions. Now everyone and their mother wants to be a nurse to point in many areas of country hospitals are beating them back with sticks.
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Old 07-18-2019, 05:54 AM
 
Location: Arizona
5,973 posts, read 5,319,572 times
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Many women only worked until they had their first child and only went back to work when that child went to college. You couldn't really blame an employer for not putting a young woman in a position of responsibility when they weren't going to be there long. In my life everyone's mom went back to work about the same time from about 1965 to 1968.

There were some benefits to "women's jobs." The overwhelming percentage of women that went to college became a teacher. Many nurses at that time went to nursing school. They were RNs but did not have a BSN. So the best and brightest women were teaching the kids. But in later years that junior high science teacher could now be a physicist and that math teacher could be a CPA. Again, in my life this change started about 1977. Everything is location, not just real estate.

I knew several women that got an operator job in the early 70's. But for them it was until they found something better. It wasn't a lifetime job like earlier generations.
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Old 07-18-2019, 06:23 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by See If This Works View Post
Probably the same logic for "stewardesses".
This was a natural transition for waitresses
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Old 07-18-2019, 09:21 AM
 
Location: Iowa
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Well, I think the Harvey Girls, hired by Fred Harvey to work as waitresses in his restaurants along the Santa Fe rail line, was one the earliest women jobs advertised, starting in the 1880's.

Telephone operator was a natural for women, they loved talking on the phone all day, and the job was not all that physical, yank a cord and plug one in. Would have been a whole lot better than working at a garment factory with no fire codes, or painting radium on watch dials.

Speaking of garment workers and that dexterity thing, women played an important role in our space program, not as astronauts, although there was the Mercury 13 women whom were not used, women did play a very important role in the Apollo moon missions. They needed space suits for the astronauts, ones that fit right and made to the highest standards. To that task, they employed a team of women from the playtex girdle company, to sew the space suits, and it was not an easy thing to do. How do you make a suit of fabric airtight? It had to be flexible, comfortable, tough, and if one failed, think of how those poor gals would have felt. I guess one of them left a pin in one of the suits, and they found it, pulled it out and stuck her with it to teach her a lesson, but otherwise, they did an excellent job. You can't walk on the moon without a good space suit, thank you ladies for your contribution, happy 50th to the playtex women !
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Old 07-18-2019, 09:34 AM
 
6,335 posts, read 3,590,603 times
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https://youtu.be/RT4__Nz5HWY

In our town my Aunt was our only telephone operator. Our phone number was 64J.

I know she kept track of messages for people besides connecting them. I'd come home from school and pick up the phone and ask Aunt Alice where my mom was and she'd tell me.

DH tells of one time when the guys in his dorm were singing "Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer" and couldn't remember the next line. They dialed the operator and she sang it for them. That's personal service the likes of which we will not see from human workers again.
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Old 07-18-2019, 09:41 AM
 
Location: San Diego CA
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Right up to the 1960’s the were men’s jobs and women’s jobs. Switchboard operator was one of those jobs. I have my old 60’s high school year book. In the very back there are ads from local businesses. One is from our phone company asking for females grads looking for work to apply to the women’s hiring department. Nowadays of course women are fully integrated into the work place but how different it was 50 years ago.
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Old 07-18-2019, 10:34 AM
 
7,611 posts, read 9,465,582 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BugsyPal View Post
It is important to remember one crucial thing; all these "pink ghetto" jobs, careers or whatever (nursing, secretary, factory worker, etc...) existed to exploit a demographic that largely accepted the (then) conditions on ground.

As the industrial revolution picked up steam hundreds if not thousands of young girls/women who wanted and or needed to work found there were alternatives to domestic service.

Education for girls began to increase if only mandatory through high school. That gave employers at least access to somewhat educated workforce. Various schools and training could take care of the rest.

Due to the prevailing thought that young girls were only going to work until they married and began having babies, places paid females far less than men. Heck until anti-discrimination and equal rights laws were passed in the 1970's many places didn't hire married women, and if a woman (married) did become in a family way she was expected to leave before began showing. Single women with children (unwed mothers) had a very difficult time finding work.

Sexual harassment was rampant and there was little a female employee could do. If a supervisor or boss had hand problems, or flat out demanded quid pro quo, choices came down to accepting or getting fired/quitting.

Females put up with these things and more because they needed the money, and many genuinely liked working.

It is telling that after the 1970's and various anti-discrimination laws began to kick in plenty of once female occupations became decimated. Women could now get other jobs besides nurse, secretary, etc... and many did. Employers had to either adapt (change conditions on the ground), or they couldn't get nor retain employees.

Nursing is a case in point. By the 1980's this country had a severe shortage, and schools were closing due to low enrollment numbers. Women weren't interested in nursing, and more importantly those driven into the profession instead of becoming doctors, or other once male dominated professions/careers now had options.

Things wouldn't change really until around middle of 1990's when a supposed shortage of nurses not only drove up wages, but lead to improving work conditions. Now everyone and their mother wants to be a nurse to point in many areas of country hospitals are beating them back with sticks.
Excellent post--covers a lot of territory..
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Old 07-18-2019, 11:38 AM
 
20,821 posts, read 13,813,460 times
Reputation: 14495
Quote:
Originally Posted by msgsing View Post
Right up to the 1960ís the were menís jobs and womenís jobs. Switchboard operator was one of those jobs. I have my old 60ís high school year book. In the very back there are ads from local businesses. One is from our phone company asking for females grads looking for work to apply to the womenís hiring department. Nowadays of course women are fully integrated into the work place but how different it was 50 years ago.
It would not be until well into or even after the 1970's that want ads stopped being segregated into situations wanted male and female.
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