Monday, March 23, 2015

1975 Roberta's Letter -Mar.23

March 23, 1975

Dear Family,

Hi!  Can't believe that one week of my vacation is over – I've been sitting here trying to remember how I spent it!  I did work 4 days & 1 night shift.

Also I got my job at UPS which I feel is quite an accomplishment.  I had 2 interviews, an aptitude test (is that the word?) plus a physical to go through!

I was sorry that I missed your call – I had planned to call you that night & fill you in on all the news but I imagine that Grandma & Uncle Bill did a pretty good job.

At UPS I'm what they call a pre-loader.  They used to have the truck drivers doing this – but somebody figured out it would be cheaper to hire us (I'm not sure how many – but about 20 – all college students) to do the job – and then let the drivers be out on the road those extra hours.

About 68,000 packages come into W.P.B every day!  Those packages are run down a conveyor belt.  We are to stand by the belt and each one of us will have at least 1 truck – maybe more if you are near the end of the line.

Each one of will be assigned a truck – thus a certain area we must learn.  You know the packages have to be put in in a sequence order – as they will be delivered.

It is good money – I start out at $4.25 an hour [*see below] – after 30 days we get a 25¢ raise on the hour.  Also paid holidays & other benefits.  One of the big disadvantages (?) is that we have to join the union after 30 days – $10.00 to join – and about that much a month after that!  It's a Teamsters union out of Miami.

They told me that probably the summer they could use me full time but time will tell about that!

I did get a C on my last test in statistics – which I imagine mans I'll get a C out of the class – since I had a C on the 1st test and a B on the 2nd.  It's such a good feeling to have it behind me.  Last quarter I kind of let everything slide by so I could get through it.  I'm afraid I even got a C out of a criminal justice course I had – just because I didn't have the time to spend on it properly.

Also gave up alot of working hour (making $) and some socializing hours (so was able to save $ there).

About 2 weeks ago I had a short letter from Jackie Phelan.  She apologized for not showing up as expected at the bus station – just said that an emergency came up!  She also asked me for my address (Kinda crazy huh?) so she could send me some things she got for me in Africa. About a week later I had an air mail package from her w/ a billfold, change purse, & ID card holder – all from Dakar.

Yesterday Grandma, Aunt Mary and I went to the Breakers for the luncheon & stage show for the benefit of the American Cancer Society.  It was quite an affair!  I'm glad I had the opportunity to eat there  I won the center piece at our table – it's a pretty Easter arrangement.

I'm sending you all a package.  The calculator is for John or Dad – or whoever wants it.  The red & white "thing" is for Mary V – you may have to shorten it!

I signed up for field experience for next quarter – I'm to be at Sabal [?] Palm School – which is about 2 miles away for UPS – which will work out well.  As it is now – I'm planning on going there 2 half days – after work.  Sabal Palm is where all the delinquent kids go to school – there are kids there from 8 years old – up to 17.  About 80 in all.  The 1st day I was there 3 girls ran off.  It should be very interesting.  For awhile I thought of dropping it and taking criminal law instead – but after buying the book (for $18.50 – it can be returned & I'll get my $ back) I've decided to put up w/those kids at Sabal Palm.

Aunt Mary is really getting ready for the Kintners – she has bought a big box of disposable diapers, plastic bags to put them in, bunches of baby food, has the bed, etc. ready.  Of course G'ma thinks half of all that is happening to be unnecessary!  Uncle Bill is all excited – he's made plans to take little Robert to work w/ him one day & I don't know what all else.

OH! by the way – I don't think I even told you but the calculator I'm sending you all is only about 2 weeks old. The Saturday before my final the 2's & 9's started "shorting" out on me.  They weren't all lighted up.  So I called Sears up – and they said they would send it to Atlanta & have it fixed for free – but that it would take about 6 weeks.  I gave them my sad sob story & they said if I would bring in my receipt & old one they would give me a brand new in exchange.  So I hunted high & low for the receipt – luckily I found it – under-neath by bed!  It's a good thing I don't clean up that often! (Ho-Hum!)

Rob got the catalog form Tri-County.  Did you know they also offer courses at the vocational school in Wilmington?  That would be much better for him.  He jokingly said he wanted to take "farm equipment" – I told him he could get an A out of the course if Oscar Johnson helped him.

Oh!  When I had my physical the doctor told me I was _3_ pounds over weight.  I'm no longer _15_ pounds under weight – sorry to say.

I'm enclosing an article in the Miami Herald (a poor subject after the paragraph before) I found it to be quite interesting – thought Dad would enjoy looking at it.

Last night I went to talk to a Mrs. Foreshay [?].  Grandma knows her – she came to Florida in 1913!  A real pioneer!  You know, I was suppose to talk to Mr Garnett for my science class on how Florida has changed – but I messed around & now he is on a 2 week cruise.

It was really interesting talking to Mrs. Forshay.  She told me about when there was a 1 room school house here in L.W. – and how for 3 years – every year they would add another room.  Then they built a 12 room school house & everyone thought that was really a crazy idea – because they would never be able to fill it up!  She said how they sold the land down here for $1.50 an acre because everyone knew it wasn't useful land.

She also talked about when the railroad came through in 1926.  She told me about going to Miami (by car) how it was such a long trip – especially one time when they had to stop & patch a tire - 6 times!  At that time she said Miami was about the size of Lantana!!!

Mrs. Foreshay drives a 1955 Packard.  Where they lived from 1913 to 1973 – had to be torn down – for I-95.  But she says that is progress!!

I hope everyone is enjoying their vacations – those of you on vacation.

John – I appreciate you doing my income tax.

Serena – what have you been up to?

I've got to go – once I sit down & start writing – I have no trouble writing – HA!

Love, Berta

P.S.  I'm to be measured April 1 for cap & gown!

  1. *The minimum wage increased to $2.00 an hour in 1974, $2.10 in 1975, and $2.30 in 1976 for all except farm workers, whose minimum initially rose to $1.60. Parity with nonfarm workers was reached at $2.30 with the 1977 amendments.
  2. History of Minimum Wage - US Department of Labor
    United States Department of Labor

1 comment:

Mary Crowson said...

I remember thinking that I hit the BIG TIME working at Wells as a 16 yr. old for $3.35/hr. min. wage in 1980!

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