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Evening star. [volume] (Washington, D.C.) 1854-1972, March 18, 1962, Image 135

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room and woke Donna up. I shook her.
"I’m getting out of the box busi
ness,” I told her. "It’s not for me. I
want to work with my hands. I want to
fix cars. We’ll have to take a big cut in
income. We can’t keep this house.
But I promise I’ll take care of you and
the kids. Is it okay?”
I knew it was like saying, "I want
all of us to hold hands and jump off the
Empire State Building. Do you mind?”
Donna blinked a couple of times
and then burst into tears.
"I knew something was wrong!”
she sobbed. "But I thought it was
another woman!”
The owner of a small, neighbor
hood garage hired me. Most people
didn’t believe I had left my job volun
tarily. They suspected I had been
fired. I was accused by rumor of every
thing from drug addiction to padding
expense accounts.
My mother wept. "Your dead father
worked hard to send you to college,”
she cried. "I’m glad he doesn’t have to
see you in dirty overalls.”
Selling the house
We sold our house and moved into
a small, rented cottage. The neighbor
hood was quiet, clean and comfortable,
but no one else on that block had been
to college.
"Can you find friends here,
Donna?” I asked anxiously.
"Os course I can!” she said. "The
competition’s a little different, that’s
all. Instead of worrying about my bridge
score and my flower arrangements, 1
think about how white my wash is.”
Roger X’s” change of jobs was an unusually dramatic
one. The decision to accept a major change in his social
environment as well as a reduced income produced many
anxious and unhappy moments before he and his wife said,
"We’re glad we did it.”
Many a man, however, can profit from Roger X’s
experience by taking a new analytical look at his job.
"Not every job shift means a reduction in status or an
escape from pressure,” Dr. Arthur A. Hitchcock, executive
Director of the American Personnel and Guidance Associa
tion, told us. "Lots of men are anxious to accept more
responsibility, shoulder more risks and assume more leader
ship. It requires just as much nerve to step up as to step
down.” Dr. Hitchcock’s test at right will help you make
a decision and perhaps avoid a bump.
Midnight crisis for a white-collar man
My new job was no pushover. I
made mistakes. Once I forgot to put
oil in a car I had just overhauled. The
customer drove it 40 miles and the
engine burned up. He threatened to
sue the garage. I fixed it free on my
own time and paid for the engine parts.
It takes time to become a really
good mechanic. I think I’m a good
one now. I went to night school and
took a course at one of the major auto
assembly plants. During that time,
Donna got a job clerking at a depart
ment store to make Christmas money.
She had to work until 10 p.m.
Christmas Eve. We had always deco
rated our tree and wrapped packages
together. When she walked in the
living room and saw that I had finished
the job, she burst into tears.
But my wife has rarely nagged me
about my job switch. It has paid off for
her, too. Since I like myself better, I
somehow’ love her more. We’re having
more good laughs and real companion
ship than we ever had before. We
i Av
I | "My new job
-*■ ■- T woi no pulhover"
/. .Money aside, do I find my work boring? Is there still
enough challenge? Am I yawning, watching the clock?
2. It my prospect for advancement poor? What’s the
seniority situation? Do higher jobs often open up? How*
well qualified am I for them?
3. Has my job lost importance? Has automation or reor
ganization caused a shift in my job status?
4. Is it really the Job that’s making me dissatisfied? Or is
trouble elsewhere at home, for instance?
5. Most important —is this the work I really want to
spend my life doing? Even though I’m using my skills and
education, and making a good salary, is it consistent with the
pattern of living to which I want to commit myself?
spend more time together. We go
camping at a state park instead of a
private vacation resort.
When my term on the school
board was ended, they didn’t ask me to
run again. Donna heard one woman
tell another in the supermarket, "Who
wants a grease monkey deciding what
our children should learn?”
What's ahead now?
But on the other hand, I have time
to serve as a Little League coach and
I’ve joined the volunteer fire depart
ment. We play pinochle and drink beer.
I don’t think I’ll spend the rest of
my life full-time in a grease pit. Our
garage is opening a sports-car division.
I think I’ll be made manager. But I
always want a job where I can get my
hands on an engine.
My wife and I aren’t sorry I made
the change, but we’re still learning how
to live with it. Yesterday our older
daughter, Ellen, who is 15, had a date
with a boy she’d never gone out with
before. I’d seen him around. He owns
a rebuilt Jag. He drives it well. I
wanted to meet him. He eased the car
into the station. 1 went out to handle
the pumps. He didn’t know’ who I was.
He said, "Fill it, please.”
I said, "Hi, Ellen.”
She said, "Hi.” She didn’t intro
duce me.
One man I used to work with tells
me l'ie betrayed the American dream,
which is to move onward and upward.
But I think I've defended it. Isn't one
of our greatest freedoms the right to do
the kind of uvrk we want to?
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