Saturday, February 11, 2006

Mom’s Remembrances of My Old Office

Earlier in the week I wrote about having mixed emotions at seeing the original office building that we started Agracel in torn down to make way for a court house in our downtown area. My mother sent me an email about her experiences in the same office with the infamous attorney who originally occupied the same space at an earlier time.

Here is a portion of the email that she sent to me. George Bauer was the attorney and Mr. Griffin was her high school business teacher. Mom had previously worked at a department store for 10 cents an hour, so this opportunity looked very promising. Here is her story:

“Someone told me that George Bauer was looking for a secretary and was paying twenty five cents per hour-he was in dire need as his last secretary had quit-cold turkey on him. (That should have given me a clue!). George asked me my name and could I type. He didn't ask about my shorthand. I probably would have lied and told him I was good at it although I knew I had faked some of the dictation Mr. Griffin had given us in class.

So the first day came and I typed up the three letters he had dictated. Evidently, I wasn't as great at faking it or Mr. Bauer was smarter than Mr. Griffin. He stormed into the room where I was sitting at my typewriter and threw the three letters I had typed from his dictations. Foul curse words flew out of his mouth - he was beet-red in anger. I took the letters and made the proper corrections. He had calmed down by the next time but thru the course of the next two days, I heard him use his "out-house" vocabulary to bawl out the other two secretaries.

The next day when he started on me again I just said, "Mr. Bauer, I am not accustomed to being talked to with such a vile mouth as yours. I will come to work until you can find a replacement but I will not stay in this office and be subjected to your foul mouth".......or words to that effect.

He immediately became very complacent, put his arm around my shoulder and tried to convince me to stay. But I was adamant and refused to stay. In January I left for Terre Haute to begin my nursing career.

There were times in nursing when studies were hard. We had to put in 8 hours of floor-duty each day plus carrying 6 or 7 subjects in nursing. I thought about quitting several times, especially that one moment that stays in my memories even 65 years later.....I was walking down the hallway with a smelly bedpan in each hand on a Sunday afternoon and looking down at those awful bedpans. I said to myself, "I think I'll just quit and go home". Then I looked at those two ugly bedpans and of returning to Mr. Bauer. I said to myself, "Well, it's either Mr. Bauer or these bedpans for the next few years". Somehow the bedpans didn't seem too bad after all.

That day I opted for bedpans and a future in nursing that opened many doors for me.

And that’s what I thought about when I saw the picture and noticed the upstairs windows of the deceased Mr. Bauer! Thanks for the memories Jack!


She never missed a ball game. Doesn’t miss a blog. Tells people, “You can’t own enough copies of his book.” And, continues to share her wisdom with me.

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