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Daily Breakthrough, November 20, 1977
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Daily Breakthrough, November 20, 1977 - Page 30. November 20 1977. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. November 23, 2020. https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/663/show/659.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

(November 20 1977). Daily Breakthrough, November 20, 1977 - Page 30. Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/663/show/659

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Daily Breakthrough, November 20, 1977 - Page 30, November 20 1977, Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters, Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries, accessed November 23, 2020, https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/663/show/659.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Title Daily Breakthrough, November 20, 1977
Publisher Breakthrough Publishing Co.
Date November 20 1977
Subject.Topical (LCSH)
  • Women--Texas--Periodicals
  • Feminism--United States--Periodicals
  • Newsletters
Subject.Geographic (TGN)
  • Houston, Texas
Genre (AAT)
  • periodicals
Language English
Type (DCMI)
  • Text
  • Image
Original Item Location HQ1101 .B74
Original Item URL http://library.uh.edu/record=b2332726~S11
Digital Collection Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters
Digital Collection URL http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist
Repository Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries
Repository URL http://info.lib.uh.edu/about/campus-libraries-collections/special-collections
Use and Reproduction Educational use only, no other permissions given. Copyright to this resource is held by the content creator, author, artist or other entity, and is provided here for educational purposes only. It may not be reproduced or distributed in any format without written permission of the copyright owner. For more information please see UH Digital Library Fair Use policy on the UH Digital Library About page.
File Name index.cpd
Item Description
Title Page 30
Format (IMT)
  • image/jpeg
File Name femin_201109_535bc.jpg
Transcript male secretary The Day of the Forms taught me that I already knew my job better than Louis. It is the rare secretary who doesn't know the job much more thoroughly than the boss, but the boss will never accept that, and the boss assigns the work. Not only assigns the work, but most often gives detailed instructions on how to do it. But the boss doesn't know your job, and the boss's instructions nearly always get in the way. Well, the answer is simple: ignore the instructions. Louis was busy, far too busy to remember all the details of his previous instructions for, say, three days. I would plead being loaded down with work I knew was essential (I would let essential work back up if I had to, to make my case) and would put off the project as long as I could. Three days, say, or five. Then I would figure a less complicated way to do the project, do it, and present it to him. If he'd remember and say, "But didn't I say such-and-such," I'd outright lie: "Uh-uh, Louis, you said . . ." or squirm out of it in some less brazen way. It didn't always work, and you had to stay quick on your feet, but it worked enough to cut my junk- work in half, and so gave me more time to do essential work more thoroughly. Which made everyone much more lenient when I got caught cutting my junk-work; which let me get away with cutting more junk-work, which gave me more time ... I almost never worked overtime. Until the last six months I was there, when I had a special drawer cleaned out in my desk. When I got a piece of junk- work, I dated it, put it in the drawer. If it were mentioned three times in the next three weeks, I'd do it. But often it wasn't mentioned. Often it was forgotten. And at the end of three weeks, I'd simply throw the assignment out. Anne and Lynn knew what 1 was doing and saw it work. But they couldn't get away with it, simply because they were women. It was assumed that they needed instruction, so they got much more of it than I did, and it was harder to ignore. So they were hounded and badgered for not being efficient, and they were not efficient because they had no choice but to do what they were told. Lickinq Iheir w tamps After a month at the office, you knew how everyone would greet you every morning. You felt the same greetings form in your own mouth so automatically that you felt it wasn't you who spoke them. Every Friday you got tense or silly and said the same words about Friday. But you measured the pain of every day by all the words you said to yourself and never came right out with. Until the lives of all of us seemed made of what we couldn't bring ourselves to say. Me at my desk, Anne and Lynn at theirs, our fingers busy all day filing, typing, handling memos and cigarettes, coffee-cups and paper-clips and dialing phones. "Mike, willya dial so-and-so and ring me when you get him." Bosses would never know the disdain we felt for men who wouldn't dial a call to their own wives. Or Anne passing my desk every morning with a handful of Mr. John's private correspondence, the envelopes not yet sealed, the stamps not yet affixed. American business is run by men who would rather other people lick their stamps. And who would especially rather; that women lick those stamps. Anne was nearly 40 and the mother of five children. Lynn was working her husband's way through college. Anne was bright-eyed, good-humored and good looking and tried not to talk too badly about her boss, who, not-very-far-underneath-it- all, she hated. "I've got to keep a positive attitude or I'll go crazy." "If you can keep a positive attitude, you are crazy!" Lynn would say, nearly half Anne's age, conscious of her overweight, sarcastic always, morose usually. "I'm an intelligent woman and I can prove it! I need ax psychiatrist to keep me sane enough to go on working as though I were stupid." For months we spent more time with each other than with the people we supposedly lived with. "I get up at seven and go to work, and a lotta times I don't get home till eight," Lynn said once. "I go to (c) 1977 Michael Ventura Excerpted from "Breakthrough," August 1977. bed at 12. Do I work to live or do I live to work?" "Or think of it this way," I chimed in. "We get two weeks vacation a year. So, if I take a year off, I get as much time to myself as Louis'd give me in twenty-six vears!" "Will you two shut up?" Anne had tears in her eyes. "I have five children and I'll probably work like this for the rest of my life." And I watched time and time again, hour after hour, while the intelligent and valued and all-too-human people at the next desks put aside their natural demeanors and became nervous, quipping, smiling automatons when speaking to a boss. As the bosses turned from being responsible, energetic businessmen when speaking to each other to the condescending, bullying, hypocritical ignoramuses they became when they talked to us. We smile when we talk among ourselves, but our faces are set to a grim mask when we work. Grim, blank, expecting nothing. That is the face you wear on the street and in the traffic home. When you go through your own door, you take some of that look in with you, you watch television with that look and often you have that look when you're listening to someone you love but you don't want to be listening to because of the day you had. When the look never wholly leaves you, even in your sleep, your life has stopped being your life. if you can keep a positive attitude.you are crazy! ^■■■■■■■■N VALUADLE FOOD COUPON ■■■■■■■■■■^ ' FREE MEDIUM SOFT DRINK ■ WITH THE PURCHASE OF ANY SANDWICH L GOOD AT ANY JACK IN THE BOX* FAMILY RESTAURANT ONE COUPON PER CUSTOMER. COUPON NOT VALID IN COMBINATION WITH ANY OTHER OFFER. , COUPON EXPIRES NOV. 30, 1977 J WELCOME NATIONAL WOMEN'S CONFERENCE TO HOUSTON from KXYZ 1320 AM & KAUM 96.5 FM Owned by American Broadcasting Companies, Inc. flw DAILY BREAKTHROUGH NOVEMBER 20, 1977 PAGE 29