Friday, September 2, 2022

The first word processor v. coffee

 One of my jobs as I worked my way through college was as a typist in the engineering department. Nice people, mostly. However, most if not all the professors were male with us typists all being females. One day I was ordered by the head of the department to make the morning coffee. I tried to explain that I didn't drink coffee and didn't know how, but he cut me off. So I tried. They never asked me to make coffee again. In fact, I think they might have figured out that I wasn't simply a high school grad, but was actually in grad school there, so they moved me from being a simple typist into a separate room with the very first MT/ST machine that had just been invented. (The IBM MT/ST was a model of the IBM Selectric typewriter, built into its own desk, integrated with magnetic tape recording and playback facilities) In other words -- the first word processor.  

Now, Imagine the shock of those professors - and businessmen all over -- when their companies dropped a desktop computer on their desk and fired all the female typists. What? Type their own reports? That's women's work. 

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