My very first office job was in Houston at the tail-end of the Oil and Gas industry boom. The company was great, the money was flowing, and the work-environment was much different than it is today. No one had ever heard of political correctness, when you left the office you left the office (no PC or cell phones), there was always a bottle of bourbon under the kitchen sink, and everyone smoked at their desks (and in the elevator and the kitchen and in the bathroom and at the copier).
All in all, it was really a great place to start for a 17 year old, just graduated from high school. While I was more self-involved than career-minded, I did, and still do appreciate all the great people who surrounded me.
During my initial interview, I remember being asked if I was a good typist; this was important as we all still used carbon paper and Selectric typewriters. I replied that I was not fast, but I was accurate – I had to hunt and peck for each letter. A year after I was hired, my manager gave this bookmark, which I still have to this day. It still makes me smile every time I see it.
Please feel free to share your first “real” job experiences.