OCR Interpretation

The San Francisco call. [volume] (San Francisco [Calif.]) 1895-1913, October 13, 1907, Image 1

Image and text provided by University of California, Riverside; Riverside, CA

Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85066387/1907-10-13/ed-1/seq-1/

What is OCR?

Thumbnail for 1

The San Francisco Sunday Call.
Part I.
T3CXT xccoli mooted ooestta^ wiMflisr or not a
yotmy girl In a straare cKy, wtthoot friends or
Influence, stand* a chaao* o* eemtng an honorable
Btrtuc we believe, haa found an answer -worthy
of consldcre>t2oa ta the etory prlsted on tils page. Ids*
Resnd la • reams; woman, 20 years of age, recently
straaded here tmder unusual circumstances. Within
three week* after her arrival in California she was
oSered.csd accepted a potttton of trust, in remunera
tion tor wfclsh che recetxec a salary generously tde- j
cutte to her needs. . I
That the mCk of haman klndcen Is still to bs found' 1
:» cgreeably apparent In the responses made. to her
appeal by persons of promlnenoe in this city.
By Wanda Renaud . ' i ,
f am witting 1 this account of my late experience In
•e«lc£n«; employment— l may - say, ayes ye| isolated
ezpertenoe— ender pressure, pressure of the' press, bo to
speak, To me, Z admit. It was an Interesting 'experience.
1 ftflfl rapposed. Interesting to me alone, but I have been
finally Induced to write of It publicly. If, as It Is
argneS. recounting the experiment I made; will be of
benefit to other girls In a like position I -am 'glad 'of
th!s opportunity.
X had never before found It' necessary to seek work
as a means of supporting . myself. , Therefore at in»
tervals, broofllng upon my friendless state, I felt some
trepidation about the Immediate future, but on the
whole I was brave for -whatever was before me.*
My position was one In which many a girl before me
has foend herself, and In which no girl may be abso
lutely sure that she never will find herself. \u25a0 I was
entirely alone and among strangers. I was almost out
of money, and, worcc, without knowledge of the vraj-s or
means for making It. \u25a0 . , - \u25a0
One hears a great deal about large cities and their
pltllecsness toward those most' ln need, -women In par
ticular. I had listened skeptically to such talk. I had
been told repeatedly that when, girls, were permitted-—
or, more snrely co, when they permitted .themselves—^-to
%o out Into the world unprotected, seeking their way,
they might expect hard knocks and a plethora of Insult.
That was In Illinois. And I was here In California, a
state of which I had heard much, much that- was, not
encouraging In that regard, but of which I knew.noth
lng. I had left home .very suddenly and had come to
the western edge of the continent, expecting 'to\ be
allowed to make my home with my mother's. sister, who
lived on a ranch In. Alameda. county. My. mother 'and.
father had died — the latter recently — leaving me to the
tender mercies of a stepmother, .whose son, the third
rneinber of our household, I heartily detested. . -",.
Arriving, however, at the town . near . which .my
B.unfs farm was situated. I was. lnformed that she had
died within the month. That wai^the turning point for
me, the end of my sheltered life, the beginning ' of my
struggle for subsistence. . "\ ';,*.;'
Such, then, my prelude, my defense, for my-unpro-j
tected position. If you like. ' .1
The Mecca of My Hopes • . . :
\u25a0 ..-.\u25a0 1 \u25a0 < \u25a0
' My thoughts turned naturally toward. San Francisco,
It TPSJi Impossible to . return to Chicago. A But In San
Prcndsco Z had not one friend.: Taking a room, at the
©ne hotel /of the little town I had ; arrived at. : 1 1 read
ejsslduoualy during the next few days all tho San Fran-/
dsoo papers X could obtain. Then I made a list of 15
names of people, both men and women, 1 who appeared.
us far as Z could Judge, to be of. prominence and
respected In the oommunJty. ;':,"^V':
r There happening; to be a San Franciscan" at the hotel,'
2 ehowed him the list and asked him If he. thought. those
people might be willing to use their '\u25a0 influence In my
behalf. As he looked 'over the ., list* I noticed that "he
emlled at some of the names.: However, 'he' advised me .
to write to all of them, end as he refused! to. tell' me
Which names had elicited his ..mirth, I addressed, the
following letter to each one on ] the list indhidually:!',;
'[• Dear Sir (or Madam)-— I am writing 'toybu'-becausefl:
have been told that' you are kind' and^resourcefuL^ All.'
I wish Is your advice. \u25a0 / : .. ...?«: \u0084< " •
til came here to live* with jny .aunt;on*her,*farm;ia;
r- - / \u25a0,••.-. , \u25a0 v •-•- > \u25a0-.! -,-.v- \u25a0--\u25a0.- \u25a0•-.. "
.few miles out of the- ? town.^but -find 1 that/eaejdlsd:a (
jncnlh ago* and tie farm'has^een'U^enVby'.strrnseTs?;
aayle4!bl* for zr.t t A ro '"\u25a0 ?" * . F^anc^MJo^jK^^tWlft^wryy
- - -v- , - - "*"?e%#rf
earn; a "KTtaf. honorably in San. Fran cUcoJ. :~*3imm
'V- c Thaakl&g: you in": advance for. any advice 3: rnay^liej
soidai'to^if^me.'l remain, etc., '
\u25a0 ; Amon^^th^.namesiof.'per.«onsitb>wnoni I ;addresseai
these were Hudo*^^Sp'reckels t '- Dr. Grant Self?*
ridge, Mrs. John F.i Merrill.. Mrs. ."William. H. Crocker,
Isaac Upham, Richard M. Ilotallng,* L. R. - Jleafl;- Dr. .
Arnold Genthe, Mrs. Loyell White. Mrs. GcorgVl^vistori,
William. Greer liar risor, t There are othcrsj.wliossrinameai
now escape m«. I ( am not yet <jult« sure at -.vhlch-names"
the San Franciscan to : .whbm.l'appftal»d at thb; country
hotel was'arnuse'd. Aim6st*wltho«t"-esceptlo"n. these men
and women liave. been kind to me. .:
. Having: .writ Jen the letters, I,tbok a flying, trip to San
Francisco to.obtaln y addresses. With, the mailiiigof the
letters my part', was done and I awaited7replies,° 'curious
as. to what the resultmight be. , f [\u25a0.'\u25a0 t . ' -- ;'-*; \u0084 " j
, /ICne answers cams In all, and Very! promptly. , The .
first one I opened, read: , - , \;\' , \ >:;
"I am glad to be able instead of proffering, you good
advice-^— which is not likely to make you rich-r-to offer
yon.a position in -my office a, position which' I am con
vinced from what your letter tells me you /vrril, be able
to .fill satisfactorily. If so,.you\will receive a*salar'y^of -
JSO a month to. start with,' increasing thereafter/in "pro
portion to 'your '^usefulness/; The position 'A ls ;clerlcal,
but. needs no preparation on. the part of, the Incumbent
except an active mind. and. common sense"; \u25a0•' Please c caH
on me without delay, lf you this proposition.".' ,'-.
Imagine , my, surprise! r , Herej was one^ of the. busiest
men. in all San. Francisco' willing* to give;me a ."chance
because of my predicament, even .though quite ignorant
of my s capabilities, .that 'many a bright pirl Veil recom
mended would have been glad r to accept. ' . .\u25a0 _ ; '../ , .
San^Francisco Luck \) '. \u25a0\u25a0'\u25a0 *- \u25a0\u25a0-\u25a0 \u25a0 ' •" r - "-'"-*'
4 It soiindcd too good to be true,' but I found It not only,
true, but^ very. good. It was v far -beyond my -greatest"
'expectations to "be dealt with, so'generously/, I sbme
tJmes think of my. experience as being not typical,' but
extraordinary, "a thing that niight- happen^ once In -a
'thousand times, and yet I have no";.goodi reason^ for
thinking- so. .*At"least,' f It seems to nic that -any other
giri'*placcdas:l : w"as"at that :time\wbuld" have as good
a thance'as I had of being helped. Assistance would
dd'ub'tless-iCome-ln some other guise,' andrmaybe not; as
speedily, • but there-is, no reason "for ' thinking that -it
would "fail t0c0mc.,,... t> , -.\u25a0.*,-!,»;. ,j^ -• «.?. • .--. .C, '. ; \.,.. ,;<,
'^Although'l found It advantageous. to accept this offer,
I believe' that-had it not' come I should still have found:
something to do by. following. the advice of those others
who 'extended- their help to 'tn«~. k For instance, this reply,
came from one of \u25a0 thel city's ! professional I men, : whom I ' :
learn is foremost In his profession: . - \
"Ibeg to acknowledge: receipt of Your letter..- I know
nothing of your qualifications. for a position, and if you
willletme'know^what you can-do, possibly I * can advise'
you. 'At'the present, time" San Francisco' Is a! hard' place"
In wh'lch.toflnd anything to.do, and I ; doubt if it would
be the^ best place ; to come 'to.^.; However, let me knb w :
what you can do and I will see. what canbe'found.'Vverjv
truly.^ •\u25a0 v ..:-\u25a0 : ;v; v ; ,';.r"V ; . -,'>-^ "•'-'\u25a0 ;-';v^ \u25a0"-"..' '"7 "''..'^-~"*y-
There was v kindllness,-surely, as also in. the .following:'
"Your letter, addressed .to my father _ is : Just received, i
As lie is away from.' San Francisco -at {present I tako :
tlie liberty of answering. ... \u25a0\u25a0_.- \u25a0\u25a0\u25a0'.",: >v. ..." \u25a0 .-. : ; ,.; :•_.-. "•\u25a0 ~~:*l --i
• "Knowing nothlng/o'f'?your;. qualifications '\u25a0, or:<per
sonalitj'," I cannot advise very satisfactorily. present •
we hayeapositlonopcn^ for an operator for'dur private',
exchange telephone. ; Do r you think ;the work would-be
too-difficult for you? .It, is not hard and- ought?, to ibe"'
learned'<ln;a day-'or'two^by. one'of your evident: educa-.
tion.' The' salaryis |35 per-montb. : Fam not familiar
with the '"living*^expenses "f necessary; for ? a*-gIrlTo"f ; your,
age and; requirements., -.Very 'truly 1 ;: yours, /--~~ — — ~." -
In: reply '', to ' this , letter,^ l V expressed ' gratitude '^'arid
stated that I had' already; ;' accepted a; position, ibutUook
occasion tp say ' that the ' $50 ; I was /then receiving /.w'aa ' ;
barely '.tot?, my 1 ' needs. .>Thir_ty^n,v«^/dollars : a
month la too small a^ salary fdr-aglrlftoday.^ ! :: \u25a0'\u25a0'\u25a0'? : -y \u25a0
. The;, secretary^of '{& "popular, clubman - to ' whom . Z ; had
written'eent" this reply:- .''.,- \u25a0:.-''':•;\u25a0" ! ''.'-: c 'v '\u25a0' - -
. "Mr. ; _—-^~ acknowledges receipt T of _a
from you, tvhereln'you'ask his advice as to employment^
In . San Francisco', i He) has tO| answer 'that hie"; expert^;
ence' leads t Wm^to^observethat allUhose^who have] good
health and'wlllingi hands need ".never; to fear^any" harsh-'
ness'. of fate." *.i' '^'-l --vv H-^.i^v;-,^v^-»-.;:''*H -^. i^v;-,^ v^-»-. ;: ''* ' 'l : ~ *£-'i~*ij£> \u25a0' 'II
.; J^ob'serve'; the . lintracticahility \u0084' of i basin* * addressed
jnyself to a philosopher. ; '.;\u25a0 '•,";.''\u25a0 '-;-'•>.,- : "^'- -'• : i.;-.>\>
. s&e . l?U?r« -' tollowlnir. j lUwlll \ b'ejf'cin;; are '; a imJiax^la 1 •
their rcontents.rbjjjiFdtfCer.;. with-'^^the personality, of -thf
\u25a0writers:.. *' *•'•\u0084'''* J<^.»>^* .
*j 1. "3lr. wishes me .to tell you that he Is unable
ftbjadvlse you ln^regard' 'to} coming to San> Francisco, a*
he isoiit of- touch'.wlth'buslness affairs hereC not having
been.in i business for, over, a', year. .:.:. ; v "'\u25a0.'\u25a0 \u25a0\u25a0\, '• ,•
<\u25a0 -"If you decided' tooome. to, the^cityr*-Why, not' write to
the Young .Women' s^.Chrlstlan /association forVadvlceT
.Tlicy^ make' it' theirjprinclpalt work ' to 'look j after girls
situated as \ you are, "and you would then. be quite safe. . •
.'."Hoping, you are ~ not ' disappointed ' at* nbt\ receiving
further ?hejp, I ani7 yours truly,'' V;^v:r ' - ; -"— \u25a0— — — ." '
• 2.; VYour letter arrived- during my T absence from
honie.i I hope'l -am 1 not' too" late in answering.' - "
; '\u25a0' -I am very sure - you can' earn an ; honorable living. In
San • Francisco. ; X - you will ; wrlte : me what' you can \u25a0do
I will book you in our own employment bureau, also In
'the Young "."Women's .Christian association.' V Our office. Is
first floor, 1597 JacksonstreeVMlas Cook manager. The
street7Mrs.,Young superintendent. 1 • .... \u0084: :\..- v /'* •
; i "IX I can be - further* ienrlbe,\ please command \u25a0 me.
V ery r truly youra. ' •';\u25a0\u25a0"; i -.\-v \u25a0'" '.'. /• -
i. "Your letter of the' Blst reached me and X scarcely
• know ; how ;; ito : reply. ); Af irfrt fof dstermlnatloc i ,can icef -'
tal nly , earn .; an : ' honest ; ; llvin* "(In I Ban »• Pranolsco, but;; I
"cannot ; speak ~- of ,a ' sltuatlbn!' of \which-I ; know,.so r llttle.
!\u25a0 have spoken r to,' Mrs.'il*j AiiTbung.'ißuperlntendenViof
the Young lWomen'aJChrlsJtlan^
\u25a0 re|rstr«et,;of;'thi»Vclty,;whoW
woman^andi would siiggestthat you communl^te'.with
Jieri either^ personally J or,* by jletter,= and ; state / y#ur , case
fairly and ! seek :;herj&dyice.~jjileg^
once give "you some comforting, words as to your future
, action;' and hoping that Mrs.' Young may solve the prob
. leni; for., y o %} I r am'.very^' s lnceVely . yours; .i-.^W. '.""\u25a0.'\u25a0"l" < V-%'i^--
\u25a0"': ThU \u25a0 letter j came}' at^te'rViieveral .^ weekj ." f rom"; » Tman
greatly pressed tor. time; . \
•\u25a0^jDw^c r t»Ta;pYcifp^^^^^
make an eartler.'a.clcnowjeffgTOent of-your valued note of
:;the*Blst'ult.\- *'\u25a0' . : *\u0084 1- '/'.' f' '.\u25a0- ~^^' s " : : *-'\u25a0 .\u25a0 ' ' \u25a0,\ \u25a0
j i"lsflnd*lt;difQcult\tb answer, your, well; meant
'for'JthV reason n chiefly that ybuf fall; _ to: state j Just- what
jsort of work you , would-be j wliftng^; to) engage In: If
you have; no knowledge^fytjfe'mmmerclal'branchesV!.to
.^lioteiyour own expression, ttfat is say/ If "you are 'not
able ; to;'d_9 ' stenographic 7 oV typewriting "work! ; or \ keep
: books of ; account/^youiwill • probably *flnd \u25a0 It -difficult to
"earn a satisfactory living,' in. a genteel way^ in this city.
There" Is undoubtedly ra' great ;=dem^ndyfor\house "sefv
rants-^cobks," waltresses,^ladleVimalds : an d . maids o f "nil
lwork~andf;thesei -positions' bring .very good - remunera
\u25a0ltion,;j.The b usln ess : ln the*s tares Is, very. duir*and wage s
are not high.. Toii might : be v ablejtcrflrid a position as a
companion Uo ;a .lady/of J means7* f whlch,"fperb*aps,' 1 might
your liking.-; '. .. • .' .v - T "u. ''•\u25a0 •'**"j»iv "-'iN' ;! ' \u25a0- "i
should fcr6» only too \u25a0 glad •; to « give'; you ariyl suitable
• advice, : and • lt'Jjrlil i>e; no trouble : f or. : nie .to', address • you"
; further, If, l{caii;be' ! of; any. service.'; It is well for, you to
5 k^pTlh*[mind^that v a*y ( ounff^"oman^with"out : friends;'i'n-a
[ large^clty- may^be' placed- at a' serious disadvantage^ I On \u25a0
;th^ btheFhand.'you mlght^be able'to 'earn' an honorable
; living? \^it^*' -J - :'.: '\u25a0- ], j;- \u25a0*:i' : **-:£c*f~ J ---^-r^ i l 'V~^~:';
v "•'l-havt:the : honor;to' remain^y'ours faithfully, '1: ' .
Y^.:_:.i. v . '\K : : : 'V ; "\u25a0' :-.-\u25a0:\u25a0'':'' \ ' ' : • .'» " '. „ .
yf^All.these'ieUers were written by. members 'of clubdom,
? wo^
\u25a0frbni' their tenor. vii^don't' know why ; iV;dld'not >ccur \u25a0 to*
Jme s to T ippj^totiyTo*lwr^^^
'\u25a0\u25a0 Biitx^t? couwi- vftat^ a^ETßtlatloOi
efficient : In : as " »? m ithoie _, ta 'iharf *;«•""' efllcl«nt/ «afl
ther of ote has * 'slightly different character to" ire ry city,
•in '»wblch : r ltils v established.'-; However ,;.!• naYe*learned
that. the San Francisco organization stands hlsh In tho
United. i States- and > would -doubtlese T hav» proved Ha
efficiency Jn. my case had s l made application.-. r A :.,.',,
\u0084 O n® of, the j two ;o ther $1 c t tw?s -2 ; received : o ffered ( no
available suggestion., was,- In "! fact", dlscourasiny, .bus
kindly and sympathetic \u25a0\u25a0 - v - „- . '-.- ..\_~ . \ . ,• j \u0084 .
Only One of These " ;*• -'-\u25a0"•* "
: ; The : other waa w qultej different .from v all, : the "rest- - 1
have not left It to the last '.for 'any; particular .'reason/. I
see no reason ; In /including .it, but \u25a0 It ' Is "rather amusing
and : , went , to 'make ,up the entirety of -the -experience. I
am. somewhat of the "opinion that the" na.me~of.th9. writer
iwas^one.of those'over' which the, San Franciscan smiled.
Here Ujs:' : ...-. ,. : ',:.' '. .;•'.*>*/ ';'/|. '."','.. "-'.."\u25a0 \ ' -.-•\u25a0 ' 7 t '. r t
4 IJttJe'Glrl— I should say your age Is Just right.
Twenty is A-jtry^ good.^ Trouble |3. yoa didn't fsend"*your
picture*" Tou'know'San' Francisco's full of women.- But
. there" are ; not , eno ugli jprc tiy , ones. , and ; they are~not
; pretty 7en*^"h^ 'rdjiketo say, •Come/ but how canl?
> How'do 1 kww but, what you're a slight? ..If you axe, we
djoii't^want^yottJiere.V Don't '-'go. much .on Chicago glriles.
anyhow. ,Hate to turn you down, .my dear. - But send
your picture and ril*glve you ray r honest opinion and tell
you what to^do. (until later), .
• * "•"\u25a0\u25a0,' ?:/i \u25a0i v *•\u25a0•£\u25a0.-\u25a0 • ~i.i -.'.-. " • \u25a0\u25a0 \u25a0,* " i v ' \u25a0 * \u25a0\u25a0 \ \u25a0\u25a0\u25a0-.» w. "\u25a0 ;.'.»;
"t" t This, eff usion >"as produced by, typwrlter. ; I am ,curt-^
ous to know*wh*etlieir,by, stenpsraphe^- or by the gentle
man whose name was signed. ; In any^event/the type
writer' was a good' medium, quite too . elegant. ] It*
articulation too. clear, to be authentic. _ 'v
\u25a0•V : ji>uC^otlwaltins t t6 ;have^njy,face y passed*upon by this
: connoisseur, -) here Xam 'Jn San . Francisco, s a strange^'glrl
ilni ln , a strange^clty,. earning , an honorable • living* by \ the
• weat [of "mjj txo W % andj toftilnr ? th.«': Kj^^P£OD\«rojrßaa |

xml | txt