The Temp

After graduating high school in the late 1960’s in Toronto, jobs were easy to get. You could get a job and look around for a better job which might give you leverage to get a raise.  For a year or so I worked for the Ontario government as a temporary file clerk in any of their Toronto offices that needed extra help.

One of those jobs was at the Ministry of Transportation/ Aviation. Someone had three months maternity leave and I was filling in for her. It was good money, $3.65 an hour, way above minimum wage which was around $1.15 in those days. I remember my fancy hot-pants (with a tasteful open dress) outfit I paid a lot for; around $80 I think.

It was a gigantic long room filled with rows and rows of filing cabinets which held files of all the pilots in Ontario. My job was to get the files from the in-coming request forms and put away a stack of files that were finished being looked at.

Two more women worked at my station but I can’t remember what they did other than give me the numbers and the files. I would have kept that cushy job if I could have but whoever-she-was came back.

There were some dismal filing jobs after that. One was for the Ministry of Correctional Services.  There were stacks and stack of files that were being reduced in size to the bare bones of information. We were to keep certain forms and pages and throw out the rest. As fate would have it, I came across a file of a friend of mine who was busted in a boat, fishing and smoking marijuana. I threw out the whole file.

Another job (can’t remember what ministry) was a small room full of files that had been filed away so badly they had to get two people in to put them back in alphabetical order.

Can you see how many people were employed before the computer? The gigantic rooms of files and people is now all on computer. File clerks? I wonder if there still is such a thing.

When I was ten years old my Dad was transferred from Sarnia to a new Imperial Oil office in Don Mills (Toronto). He was one of hundreds of accountants that handled all the money of Imperial Oil. All this would be done by a hand-full of people now.

With the advances in robot technology people are becoming obsolete. They are too expensive, too needy. The whole human race may be just temporary.

2 thoughts on “The Temp

  1. And robot technology may not throw out whole files! Lol! What a good friend you were…. You are right about how the human race may be temporary though! ~Elle

  2. I also smiled about you throwing out the whole file. 🙂 And yes, we’re becoming obsolete. Right now our department is “blessed” (sarcasm font) with a kind of efficiency expert. On the one hand, I understand wanting your staff to be productive and to make sure we get the money we are owed (I work for a small, regional hospital in the billing dept.). On the other hand, it is obvious that she’s trying to reduce us all to non-thinking, keyboard punching, data-entry, how-many-claims-can-you-process-in-an-hour little robots. It is quite stressful when not too long ago it was a good job (even though I work with b****es).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s