Saturday, March 17, 2007

Confessions of a Farm girls' past (Pt.3)

I left Mr. Miller's office in a daze....what to do now?  I found the first pay phone I could (remember this is LONG before cell phones!) and called the headhunter.  I am sure she rarely received a call like this one, "I got the job" (moaning loudly)! "Great" she replied.  "Noooooo, I don't WANT the job - he's a grumpy bear and I don't really understand what I'll be doing...and he is talking about evenings...weekends....entertaining....what kind of job did you send me to?".  And then, she broke into hysterical laughing.

This just made me mad....really mad.  Once she calmed down, and convinced me that I would not be required to do anything illegal or immoral, she asked me to give the job 30 days...then she promised me that if I didn't absolutely LOVE it - she would find me a better one at a higher salary.   Hhmmmm, 30 days......I agreed, I figured I could put up with anything for 30 days.

I spent the weekend looking through my closet trying to find some things that would match the plush carpet, mahogany walls and elegant wasn't as hopeless I thought.  Although I hated the dress code at the Washington School for Secretaries while there, (hey, I am a jeans and cotton top kinda gal!) it left me in good standing as far as business outfits go (gee....perhaps that was the whole point!).  I wouldn't "match" my surroundings, but I certainly wouldn't look like I fell off the "turnip truck" as Grandma used to say!

I reported bright and early Monday morning.  The first thing Mr. Miller did was take me through the offices introducing me to the others (as his new Administrative Assistant?!) I was tempted to ask what happened to the old one but didn't think it appropriate at the time. He explained what their jobs were as we went along.   I met Charles, whose job was to read the Federal Register every day and highlight anything that might affect THE COMPANY or THE DOCTOR (this was always said in a very reverent tone!). Have you ever seen the Federal Register? Let's just say I wouldn't want it to fall on my foot - it would surely break it ...and the contents...BORING for the most part. It comes out every day and it contains, word for word, everything that happened on The Hill (Capitol Hill) the day before...every House Resolution and every Senate Bill.   He was also required to read all the "important" papers, New York, L.A., D.C., Miami, and the Wall Street Journal. I was also informed that I might have to help Charles from time to time or fill in if he was gone.  I began to hope that Charles was a healthy man with little personal life.

I met Nick, who  was one of the chef's at the White House during Nixon's administration.  I had a quick tour of the kitchen and was told that when "THE DOCTOR" was flying in I might have to run to the grocery store for Nick or help in the kitchen. The phrase "THE DOCTOR" was said in a reverent, hushed, awestruck tone of voice.....and I am thinking WHO/WHAT is the doctor? (Oh, to be so naive again :)).

 I met Sylvester who was wearing a snazzy uniform, and was informed that he was the chauffeur and at my disposal when not needed by anyone "more important" or when THE DOCTOR was not in town.  At my disposal....a, oh my! I met Ann, the errand girl.  Her job was to run and fetch for everyone in the office.  It might be lunch, groceries, legislative papers from The Hill.

I met Ginny, an older lady, with a huge and messy beehive hairdo and a makeup job that had to have been applied with a trowel.  She dressed in a manner that my Grandma would have referred to as "a floozy".  In all the years I worked there, I fully expected her bust to come tumbling out of her blouse one never happened and I am not sure how she was able to prevent it since there didn't appear to be much holding things in....perhaps duct tape?  Ginny and I would be sharing an office.  I met the Elegant Lady at the reception desk (to this day I can't think of her name...she is just the Elegant Lady) who turned out to be very nice and never looked down her nose at me again.  In fact, everyone was very nice.

Then I met "the suits".  And what beautiful suits they were wearing....I would hate to guess what these clothes cost.  I met the President and Vice President of Occidental International.  I met the assistant to the President....who I always thought of as "The Shadow" matter where the President was...the shadow was right behind him.  I always wondered if the President was allowed to visit the restroom without "The Shadow". I learned that Mr. Miller was the head of lobbying efforts for a division of Occidental International called Hooker Chemical Company....ring any bells?  It meant nothing to me at the time.

Mr. Miller then took me to his office and began to explain my duties.  He informed me that I would be visiting the State Department every month to determine all import and export statistics for a long list of chemicals - and compiling this data into a report that would be sent to every division of "THE COMPANY".

I would be sitting in on sessions on Capitol Hill and making notes on anything that might affect "THE COMPANY" or "THE DOCTOR".  I would, occasionally, be required to attend social functions after hours, at various places around Washington.  I might, perhaps, be required to attend a luncheon with Congressmen or Senators  and would need to be able to intelligently discuss an important piece of legislation and convince inform them of why it might/ or might not be good for "THE COMPANY" or "THE DOCTOR". 

At this point I could contain myself no longer....I had to ask...."Who is "THE DOCTOR?"   There was an audible gasp and it is probably the first time I saw someone's jaw drop in shock, outside of the movies,...I am sure that at this point Mr. Miller was quickly re-thinking his decision to hire he gathered his wits about him and began to explain to this young, naive girl....who evidently DID just fall off of the turnip truck!


  1. oooh, you can't leave us hanging!

    fascinating Cheri, who knew a farmgirl could have such a glamorous past?

    can't wait for part 4.

  2. My goodness, what a great story! So far I can't imagine how this gal ends up TN Farmgirl, but I'll anxiously await the next chapter...

  3. Cheri, you need to write a book!

  4. I'm still on the turnip truck and no bells are audible for me yet. I am, I'm afraid to say, need MORE explanation!

  5. Oh Great, you ask the "BIG" question and then log off until next time. That is cruel and mean. I just want you to know that!!! =)

  6. OK, maybe I'm just an idiot, but...who IS the doctor??

  7. I agree with Marci: "cruel and mean." And the next time you post will be about some herb! :-) Although, I'm enjoying those as well. :-) Keep it up!

  8. Sorry children seem to have the same complaints when I read to them....but you ARE supposed to always leave them hanging :)

  9. Can't wait for the rest of the story! I'm with Ellen, I don't hear any bells ringing yet :)

  10. Cheri, this is so exciting....your life story is keeping me on the edge of my seat, waiting for the next installment! I have my suspicions, but I am keeping them to myself.
    Please don't make us wait until Monday for Part 4.


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