If you have been following my blog, I am telling a story about myself and my marriage to my husband, the father of my son J.O. If you want to start from the beginning please read my post called Another story begins . . . and Hard times: a need to relocate . . . or to learn a little bit more about my son, read: And then it begins . .
The drive to Texas was miserable. It was hot, it was long, and my car did not have air conditioning. Driving straight through, took little over 18 hours to get to Dallas. Over the next ten years my husband and I made that trip twice a year, once in the summer and once at Christmas time. Luckily, we had cars with air conditioning. Unfortunately, the trip was still long.
As soon as we got to Dallas we started searching for jobs. At first I got a job with a temp agency. Having typing skills was a big advantage in those days. I was still a little apprehensive about putting my masters degree on a job application. In fact I didn’t want to admit I had a bachelor’s degree. I guess I had a little shell shock from trying to get a job in my home state.
Soon I got a permanent job at a stock brokerage company. I was an administrative assistant to a group of stock brokers. One of my most important duties each day was to heat up a can of clam chowder soup precisely at 10:30 for the most prominent broker of the office.
I had been working there for a week and I had no money to buy gas so I could get to work. It would be another week before I would get a pay check. We had moved to Texas with only $300 to our name and it was all gone. I was really desperate. So I called the Salvation Army and told my story to a man. He asked me to meet him at an area near where I was staying. He gave me $25 of his personal money so I could get to work. I was so happy and surprised. He proved there were really good people in the world.
Eventually, the brokerage trained me to run the telex for buying and selling stocks. This task was so stressful, especially on busy market days. The telex was a texting device without a visual screen. Along with the telex was a printer which would print the confirmed stock transaction, or inform you of an error on the order by ringing a bell along with the printed error message. So when there was dramatic shifts in the market, my desk, which was like a fishbowl, was surrounded by the brokers. They would stand there and chant “go, go, go.” I typed as fast as I could and I would pray I wouldn’t hear a bell, which indicated an error was made in one of the transactions. I think everyone prayed. There was no stopping to fix an error. I had to just keep typing one transaction after another. Oddly enough, when I did make an error, the brokers took it pretty well. I guess the risk of my typing skills was considered as part of the equation of the buying and selling process.
As I said, we had a friend we stayed with when we first got to Dallas. Well that didn’t last very long. So we slept in the car for about two weeks until we had enough money to get a studio apartment.
We stayed at our first apartment for about six months. When we moved all we had was our clothes, some kitchen stuff, toiletries, and a mattress. The only reason I had a mattress is one of the brokers arranged for me to get $300 of credit from Joskes Department Store, which was enough to get a mattress. Once again, I was fortunate to meet a good person.