Friday, October 24, 2008


One of my first jobs was answering the telephone at my dad's company.

The phones were like the one in the image to the left. I found this image on Old Telephones web site. There were 6 buttons of which one was for HOLD and the others were phone numbers. I still remember the main number. It was JA (Jackson) 4-8401. That was back when we had rather quaint prefix names rather than just numbers. Well, they were numbers of course, but we referred to them as names. I liked that better I think.

Our first home number was in the NEWTON exchange but I don't remember the prefix. One of my friend's phone number was in the SHADY SIDE 5 exchange. I thought that was a really cool name for some reason.

My first job was during a hail storm and Dad's company was a roofing company. It was called Standard Roofing and Material Company and went by SRAMCO. They ran some billboard, radio and TV commercials where there was this little dog standing by his dog house. On the billboard there was a little cloud above the dog's head with the words "Roof, Roof for SRAMCO!" On the radio and TV commercials the dog actually barked the same words but kind of like a dog barking. I loved those commercials but the other guys at the company hated them. I remember them talking about how customers would see them at various places and they would say "roof, roof" to our guys.

Roofing companies are rather busy places after big hail storms in Oklahoma at least. So the phone was ringing constantly. And my job was to answer every call and do something with it. Either I transferred it to someone else or I took a message. If the caller was wanting someone to come estimate how much it would cost to replace his roof then I took the information down on a special pad.

At first I was terrified. It was the year I turned 14 after all and that birthday was after I began working there so I was 13. I got in trouble the first day because people kept calling the boss (not my dad) and I kept giving him the calls and he was really busy. Finally he took me aside and told me how to politely tell people that he couldn't talk right then and if they would give me a number I'd have him call them back. Scared the daylights out of me but I learned how to do it.

I found out I was really good at it. No one called it multitasking then though. I don't remember when I first heard that term but not too long ago I think.

Now I don't multitask as efficiently as I did when I was 13. Maybe it is because I don't want to multitask. Sometimes I don't even want to single task.

The other day I remember to change my voter registration to my new address. I wanted to be able to vote after all. I did this at the tag agency which is also where you get your driver's license here.

I was pretty proud of myself until my wife asked me if I had also changed my address on my driver's license. Strange that I didn't think of it.

So today I went to the tag agency to change my address. I guess I will do one document at a time.

I completed the form and paid my money and the lady told me to sit down. There was another fellow on the bench and I sat by him. The lady called his name and he acknowledged. Then she said "young man come over here for your photo."

I thought to myself that usually no one ever calls you "young man" if you are a young man. It's only when you get to be an old man that someone calls you "young man."

I guess my bench mate didn't know that because he said "Young man! I'm not a young man. I'm 54. I'm older than you are." That was while he was making his way over to the photograph machine. He wasn't in very good shape and was kind of crippled. I thought to myself "wow, he's 6 years younger than I am."

Eventually it was my turn and I now have a new driver's license with correct address to match my voter registration card.

When I returned to the office I started working on credit cards - one by one of course.

1 comment:

Lori1955 said...

Oh, I think Roof Roof is so very cute.
I'm not much for mutitasking either. It's hard enough for me to get one thing accomplished at a time. I guess I just figure when I do something that it deserves my full attention.