I love the television show Mad Men. I love the look of it and I particularly enjoy the way they deal with the time period.
I talk with young women these days and I think they really don't understand how it used to be for us in the workplace.
In truth, I had forgotten a lot of this, till I started watching Mad Men. Seeing the way they portray how women were treated and regarded in the workplace brought it all back in a flash.
I started work at the Post Office when I was just 20 years old. There had been a hiring freeze for several years and when they finally started hiring again, myself and two other women were the first to be placed. After that, there was at least one new person coming in every day and sometimes three or four a day for the next couple of months. It meant that there was a large influx of young people who were in their first real jobs, myself included. And a large number of us were women.
My job was sorting mail, working on "the floor" and it was dirty, heavy work. Even under those circumstances, the women who had been working there before the freeze would come to work in dresses, hose, street shoes and full makeup. This was 1968.
Due to the times, those of us that were new were a different breed. We came to work in Levis and tee shirts, and this wasn't appreciated by many of the old timers (both men and women). I remember several men commenting that I had no business taking a job away from a man who might have to support a family. I also remember a lot of employees who felt that many of us young folks had "loose morals" and those of us who might be "living in sin" had no business holding good jobs (and at that time, it was a good job).
It's been a long time since those days, but I have to believe that things are better now, at least for those young folks who manage to find a good job.
I hope we've made some progress in that department, and I really believe that television shows like Mad Men are a great way to remind us oldsters of how it used to be. And maybe, it will serve as a reminder to young people of how far we've come.