Tuesday, September 24, 2013
I paid my dues at my first wage-earning job at age 20; past is prologue
Fifty years ago, I had been working at my first wage-earning job for about a month. In August 1963, I started working for the National Bureau of Standards of the U.S. Department of Commerce, on a campus of the old Federal City College at Connecticut Ave. and Van Ness. I worked as a GS-4 laboratory assistant to a chemist, measuring the viscosity of oil samples. All recording of data was done by hand in a notebook. I would dread those cart trips to the “oil shed”. I was a GS-4 and made about $4500 a year then.
NBS would soon move to Gaithersburg, MD. The University of the District of Columbia would be built on the former NBS campus, which had a fascinating network of underground pedestrian tunnels.
I went to college at night, but had no social life. This was not an easy time for me at twenty. I was “paying my dues”.
My most recent wage-paying job was, ironically, with the Department of Commerce, the Census Bureua, with the 2010 diennial census and then the CPS in 2011.