Susan Dennis (susandennis) wrote,
Susan Dennis


I really did love my new job. I threw myself into it in part to counteract the feelings I got at home from the marriage I was ignoring but part of it was just because there was something new and cool nearly every day.

One day not terribly long after I started at the job, I was having lunch with a group from my team and one of the managers said 'oh we finally got those home terminals in, anybody interested?'

I had not one single clue what he was talking about but did that stop me from shooting my hand up in the air?? Heck no! 'I sure am!!' Turns out the IT people were trying out remote access to the plant's mainframes and they were particularly interested in non-engineering types. And that's how I got first did home computing.

They gave me a 3101 ASCII Display Station and a 300 baud coupler modem. Just like the ones pictured here.

I had a phone extension installed in our spare bedroom which became My Room. I would go in there and close the door and spend hours at that terminal. I could access the PROFs system so I could do work but mainly I just explored. There was a kind of IM called Tell and using it, I would 'chat' with sys admins around the world. Anyone who had some free time was delighted to talk to a chick. I also just entered commands to see what they would do. Mainly I learned that I could mostly try whatever I wanted and not bring the system down so I tried everything.

It was just fun and way funner than my marriage.

The other thing I discovered at work was speech writing. We had a speech writer on staff and he went on vacation one time. The head of the plant needed to address the employees at a special all hands meeting about some corporate something or another. The speech writer had written the speech but it needed some last minute tweaking.

My boss's boss asked me if I would take a stab at it. I said 'sure!' I'd never even seen a written speech script before but how hard could it be? Turns out it was hard BUT, turns out it was fun. And the head of the plant was impressed with what I did. Before the speech writer got back from vacation, he asked me to write him some remarks for a lunchtime speech he had to give.

He told me what he wanted to say and then sent me to talk to some other people who could explain stuff and add ideas. So off I went. It was really fun and he liked the speech a lot and I found a new niche for me. LOTS of very excellent corporate writers hate speech writing. It can be kind of thankless. And if the speaker scores a win with your speech, the speaker gets the credit. If the speaker bombs, he/she and everyone else blames the speech writer. But I loved it.

To Be Continued
Tags: tbc
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