When Mother and Dad moved to Dallas in 1948, Dad had a job lined up at one of the defense contractors (Texas Engineering and Manufacturing Company, “Temco”, which was bought by Jimmy Ling; Jimmy Ling then merged it with Chance Vought to form Ling-Temco-Vought, or LTV, which went on to own Braniff Airways, Wilson Sporting Goods, and a whole raft of American companies, but that’s another post). Dad went to work at the newly-formed TemCo, but Mother had no job. After 3 days of lying on the bed crying, she got up, put on her best (only) outfit, fixed her hair and makeup, and took the streetcar to downtown Dallas to find a job.
She wandered into a cafe’ in downtown Dallas—the old Cotton Exchange Cafe’, and I ate there many times when I myself worked in downtown Dallas---and sat down to drink coffee and have whatever breakfast she could buy with a fifty cent piece. She asked the waitress if they were hiring; the waitress said no, but that she had heard that they were hiring down at Southwestern Bell for operators.
Mother went to work for the phone company, and I’ve already told that story here. One of the friends she made (and her best friend over the years) was a lovely young lady named Joy McLendon, from Gilmer, Texas. We called her “Aunt Joy” growing up (still do…), and she visits Mother about once a week in the nursing home.
In any event, Aunt Joy, Mother, and several other ladies became BFF’s and remain so today. Every one of them has a totally fascinating story.
Aunt Joy saw my blog post below this one, and commented favourably on it in a wonderful email to me. She expanded on what I had posted. I asked her if I could post her email, and she said, “Oh, sure, hon, if you want to”.
So here it is. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do. I find it fascinating.
Joy McLendon Morgan, Southwestern Bell Telephone Company, Retired:
Being in the Routing Office allowed us to get involved in routes, rates, area codes and central office codes (Diamond 2) or what we called NNX codes. With growth, that office grew from about 4 people to 30. That's when I first went into Management, as Routing Supervisor, along with our good friend, Jewel Dalton. In my group were Martha, Joydean, Margie and others.
I was heavily involved in the creation of area codes for Texas, and NNX codes, when we had to open up a new one, or split the area and move some to a new area code, due to growth. That involved so many departments. Once, it came that far, we had to coordinate with the directory publications, also to provide new routing instructions to the operators for Texas. Those were published in the Operator Handbook, which we maintained, printed and shipped to the various towns, precisely by the effective date. We were a major client of a printing company that would come several times a day to bring us printing orders. Due dates were very critical and proofreading was critical.
After leaving the Routing Office, I went to the Planning Dept, a job I loved. I was given the title of Engineering Asst. We planned years ahead for office growth, when to add new equipment, lines and numbers. Then we coordinated with the Engineers who designed and engineered the office, arrange for construction monies, etc. By the time we could finish the job, down to the installation and implementation,. it might be 2-5 years, depending on size, construction budget, etc.
Next, I started assisting the engineers, engineering the smaller, less complicated office. I was given another title, which I have forgotten. After a few years, the real Engineers, who had degrees, rebelled about giving us any title that had the word Engineer in it, unless you were a licensed engineer. (Titles can be very deceiving). So, they eventually changed titles, and mostly used Manager, or Asst. Managers. Same work, same pay, different title.
Next, I went into the Circuit Forecasting and Provisioning group, where I spent about 15 years of hard, hard work. Our goal was to have the right number of circuits between all entities and towns at the right time. It was at the tail end of that job that I had the privilege of working on the Divestiture job, splitting up the Bell System, identifying new ownership of all properties - buildings, equipment and people - a monumental task. We were to develop capitol structures and boundaries. I l loved the challenge. I really think it was the experience and contacts from this job that landed me my dream job in Public Relations 3 years before I retired, when I went into the Public Relations Group, as the Telephone Pioneer. That was a Manager level liaison job.
The Telephone Pioneer Organization was made up of employees with 21 yrs of service, later 18 yrs, now I understand, any and all employees. It was a huge organization, where we were encouraged to do community service work in our community. It had its own staffs and officers from President down to the secretaries. I coordinated those efforts with Southwestern Bell, other Bell Companies, AT&T, Western Electric (all associated entities). It was a gravy job, I did nothing but travel, but a very serious job, with our own Practices, etc. and we were expected to perform just like any other job, and compete with all Bell Companies, and Areas within our own company, Southwestern Bell, in getting our employees to play a major role in our community.
Written on July 29, 2009
Joy McLendon Morgan
She wrote me a whole monograph on her life and her career, which I truly cherish. Joydean Adams (Aunt Joydean) also wrote me a few paragraphs outlining the her life and career.
I know they are reading this, and I would love to have some old pictures of all of them.
I retain a lively curiosity about other people. I always want to know: How did you come to be HERE?
What’s YOUR story?