October 29, 1976
Hi! If you have been wondering what has happened to me . . . . I've just been putting off writing until I had something to really get excited about writing!!! Actually things have been up in the air or changing for the last week and it has been kind of day by day living.
After three days of Hungry Years, working harder than a man, a thumb that bothered me, and being told that I was desperate for work so they knew I wouldn't quit . . . . . I quit. Its a nice place to eat . . . . . but not to work. I can say they treat their help with no respect, such as scheduling a girl to work, then when she comes in they tell her she isn't needed and too bad if she has no way home and lives eight miles from work. I can't put up with such ways. The second day there I worked till eleven thirty at night (now this is in Escondido -- hope you look it up on the map) I'm told to be there by 7:30 the next morning. I'm there . . . . . . I work from 7:30 till 5:30 ----- just having something to drink, and eating a piece of turkey standing up. At 5:30 -- the considerate man tells me to sit down for fifteen minutes before the supper rush comes in. In his words he says to take a break, well I told him I was getting ready to take a break, except I would take it at home. I left and that night decided that Hungry Years could find someone else that as I was told -- I was desperate and wouldn't quit -- well -- on Saturday I made sure I told the man that told me that that I had quit.
So Monday I went out again knocking on doors and filling out the applications. This time I tried jobs where I knew they were desperate -- and sure enough I landed two jobs . . . . . so the last few days I have been working two part-time jobs. One I really enjoy and am good at, the other I hate, and can't wait to quit it (but I think I'll probably be fired unless I start getting appointments . . . . . now for the details . . . .
Tell you about the awful one first . . . . . its for Trane company, its on the NY stock exchange . . . . so they told me. The central heating and air-conditioning people. I am a canvassar, go around knocking on doors, saying "Hello, my name is Roberta, I'm with the Trane Company, then give a little bit about Trane, tell them we are doing a survey of the homeowners in this area, and want to know what kind of heat they now have, forced air, wall furnace, etc. Then (and this is the catch) try to get them to agree on seeing one of our direct factory representative for a free courtesy estimate -- no obligation no cost to you . . . . . its just our way of advertising. Believe me, its a terrible way to make a living. They take six of us out in the back of a van, dump us off, give us our streets to cover, and pick us up four hours later. In two days, I have not been able to set up one appointment . . . . . which is sad because we are paid $2.50 an hour -- but if we get an appointment set up then we get $5 bonus but if people buy we get $10 more bonus. I doubt if I wait for them to fire me, its the worst thing I've ever done. People just don't sit around in their house waiting for the chance to get a free estimate on central heating. I do this job from 9:00 to 1:30 every day. My other job . . . . . just decided I better start a new paragraph.
Its for Two for one dinners . . . . . are you familiar with anything like it, another club similar to it is "Let's Dine Out" I work there from 5:00 to 9:00 every night. I'm good at it, except for Wednesday night I am the leader in sales. The first night I sold 9 memberships -- which is really good, because in order to keep them happy, after one week they expect you to do 3 a night. Last night I did 5. Here you make $2.50 (minimum wage in Cal.) an hour plus after 21 memberships sold in a week, you make $2.00 commission, and after 32 sold in one week you get $5 commission for each one sold. So you know what I'm trying for. Really its a good deal, I believe in it . . . . . so I can sell it good. I almost went crazy the first night though . . . . . can you imagine 14 people in a small room all using the telephone trying to sell 2-4-1 memberships. It didn't take me long to learn just to block everybody else out -- and just worry about what I was saying.
I've met alot of nice people there, mostly my age . . . . alot new to California, doing the job until they can find something better. I still have my afternoons more or less free -- so I'm available for appointments -- when and if a good job is advertised . . . . .
I called up -- and spoke to the answering service --Jack Bozung -- I figure I'd rather seek assistance than canvass the town trying to get someone to get a free estimate on central heating.
Enough about all my jobs --- I could write a book . . . . .
Mary Virginia I got your letter yesterday, thanks alot, and you have discouraged me all the more from returning home . . . . . don't care for cats . . . . so I'll just have to stay in Southern California and enjoy the good weather and be free from the furry little things. I'm glad you got it though, if that is what you like . . . . . just that our tastes are different. As far as Hudson Guild goes, I'll probably be back unless I just get these jobs out here, that can't even provide me enough to live on, let alone thinking of travelling to the East to work.
I don't get to see the Morgans as much since I've become working class. I do go over there sometimes during the day -- make some phone calls, etc. Alot of times use the washing machine in her building, etc. Gerry is super nice . . . . though not the conversationist. He impresses me to be very sincere, treats Catherine like there is none finer.
My finger is healing ok. I took the splint off, washed it up good . . . . can't go out looking for work looking like someone that is accident prone. I'm trying to use it, but its sore, and I think it will just take some time.
Got my absentee ballot in yesterdays mail -- didn't have time to fill it out -- between jobs -- so did it last night. Walked it over to the post office this morning. My what a kit they sent me just to fill it out. A puncher, a book on how to fill it out . . . . . put my college education to use!!!
Also got Louise's letter . . . . . did you read the letter she wrote to you all. Poor Louise does have her problems. Mary Virginia, Marion teaches at a high school in Scottsdale it is -- I think -- an Indian name -- I'm not so good with spelling -- as if that is anything new. It is a super big school -- bigger than Wilmington College. I'll never forget how surprised she was when Mary and I went walking into the teachers lounge that day. I wish Phoenix was closer -- so could get together with her.
You all know you are welcome to come here at Christmas. I realize with the wedding and all you will be busy following but then California would be a nice place to spend Christmas!