“I used to counsel young women never to do two things, or not to do them in conjunction:
1. learn to type; 2. buy pantyhose. …”
Could we talk to you about pantyhose? Or rather–could our editorial director, Susann Cokal, talk about them? Below, you’ll find the link to an essay about their storied past, their relationship to typewriters, and just how thoroughly they shaped a young woman’s work life in the 1980s … and how one plucky young woman struggled against them.
Cokal bares some NASTY SECRETS about the hose, the clothes, the bosses (scrupulously unidentifiable). Thanks to Thomas E. Kennedy and Walter Cummins for inviting her to be part of “Writers on the Job”! The site features many amusing tales of degradation and existential ennui, and it’s highly recommended. As is the new word “wotj,” which Urban Dictionary defines as a job you don’t want to do but must in order to pay the bills.
“Being secretarial in the 1980s, when I started my work life, meant having to appear constantly cheerful (which I was not) and receptive to lewd comments by unsavory older men (which I was not) and forced to accept makeovers from one’s female bosses, which usually meant wearing their cast-off foot-warping heels and pussy-bow blouses and even makeup in colors they had rejected, in general feeling as full of self-esteem as on the days in junior high when the cheerleaders took one aside and launched into a long list of impossible beauty tips.”