How Kitty Lou Got the Job at Shepard AFB--And How She Let It Go

"Remember when" stories of the family

When you got your job at the base, did you just kinda go into an appointment office and apply, or did you know someone, or . . . ? No, I think there was a thing in the paper about them going to be giving tests for civil service, and so I made application for it. . I found out at 2:30 in the morning . . . so I was in great shape . . . I went to where I was supposed to take the test, and there were a bunch of typewriters, and the lady said, “Check them out and see which one you like”, so I picked one, and I was practicing on it, and the Shift key would fall off.

She came by and she said, “How are you doing with your typewriter?” . . . But one lady had told me, when you start typing, she said start slow and gradually increase your speed, which is what I did, and the Shift key did not fall off during the test. And I thought I did okay on that, and you had a written test, then I took the shorthand test, which was stupid ‘cause I hadn’t had shorthand in twenty-five years, and you know you forget it. Twenty-five years you can’t keep up with anybody! I failed the shorthand, which I expected. That was in March, and I started work in May.

And of course you’re temporary. You were provisional for about two years. I had temporary jobs the first year I was there. When I wasn’t busy, I’d practice on the typewriter, ‘cause the job I had did not require typing from me, and I thought, “I want to keep my typing up ‘cause I want a typing job”, and . . . ID sizes and security sizes just across the hall in the same room, and after I had been typing badly, the sergeant from the other side came over and said, “Would you like to work in security?”, and I said, “Oh, yes”.

So I went over to Security and got a job and in two years—either two or three—you’re career-permanent. I worked there 22 years. One time we were having a—what in the hell do they call them—where they give awards out in the squad room, and I got a letter of commendation or something for something, and the sergeant . . . says to Senior Master Sergeant Karl. I was a general service (GS).

Well, they had to cut a position but it wasn’t going to be mine. I was 73 and the other girl was in her forties, she had a daughter, and I thought, I’m gonna quit. I was gonna quit anyway. We had a printout of all the base employees, date of birth, and social security, and you know all that kind of stuff. And I checked, and I was the oldest one on the base. I felt it was time to go.

How did you get to work? I always paid someone to pick me up. I lived on 9th St to start out with, and I rode with several people. I rode with one man for a long time ‘til he retired, and then I rode with a lady who worked in the same office that I did.

Posted by elizabeth at December 21, 2002 02:48 AM | Printable Version