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One Baby Boomer's Life in the Work Force

Updated on January 21, 2017

Baby Boomers Join the Work Force

How is a baby boomer defined? First, they may have grown up and lived in the United States or another westernized nation of the world. Second, time frame is essential. 1946-1964 is the baby boom window with 4 million births each year in the U.S. alone.

However, if the boom years are looked at ideologically the Boomers are 1946-1953 and the Generation Jones is 1954-1965. Many in the Jones window do not consider themselves "baby boomers."

I am in the older group and solidly entrenched as a "baby boomer". No wavering in this camp. I had the extra advantage of being female, for in the U.S. the able bodied male had life changing events looking at him, head on, at the age of eighteen. It was called The Vietnam War.

If you were looking for a job, all persons graduating high school could go into the work force without a resume. Ask for an application, maybe take a high school equivalency test and simple doctor's check up, and you are an 8 to 5er. In a few months you have your own car and the dozens of major events and trends of the day, sweeping you along and obviously, there's no time to reflect. No thoughts of starting over, just build onto what you didn't have. So I joined the work force and stayed and stayed and stayed.

Here is a little scrapbook I put together during my last days at the office. Stuff from my desk. I hope you take a look, enjoy it and have a peek into this baby boomer's lifetime career.

ID from Pacific Telephone and Telegraph. 1966.
ID from Pacific Telephone and Telegraph. 1966. | Source

The Early Years at Pacific Bell Were Papers


I spent so much time at my job, I thought I wasn't anything else but an employee of the phone company. My survival instinct had kick in and this was my ticket to independence, however in the end, I felt so happy and released when I retired.

Maybe you worked at a big mindless company a long time, raised a family, bought a house, paid your taxes before you even felt the money in your pocket. Oh, I did fun things too, at work and outside of work.

Most of you are a different generation. Be amazed at how technology has advanced. Most everything was battery and ground in the baby boomer's early years.

ID photo upon hiring at Pacific Telephone and Telegraph Company, August 1966,

Compton CA.

Boomers joined the work force at such companies by the troves. These companies wanted us badly. Ironically, now they are doing everything to get rid of us. My union job allowed me to retire with 18 months free pay! Finally, some joy.

Graduated high school June 1966. Dominguez High School, Compton, CA.

Pages From My Scrapbook

Working at the Phone Company

My early years at the phone company were paper pushing duties and answering 611 repair calls. No computers then. The repair clerk's job was take the trouble from the subscriber (sub) such as no dial tone NDT), bell doesn't ring (BDR), static and can't call out (CCO). Later in the 21st century I was still dealing with phone repairs, but it was billing errors, Caller ID doesn't work, primary interfaces, direct inward dial trunks and video conferencing, to name a few more technical duties.

Here are some pages directly photographed from the scrapbook.

Wage records
Wage records

Beginning wage in 1966 was $78.00. I thought I was going to be rich. Above is my wage in 1969 and when I retired in April 2008. I also earned 10% extra for 25 years because I worked the evening shift, thanks to the foresight and work of the Communications Workers of America (CWA).

Telephone services: image by paperfacets
Telephone services: image by paperfacets

Directory of new services as of the 20th century.

I spent many hours explaining how Caller ID worked and did not work.

Below is some humor by an ex Pacific Telephone employee. Scott Adams' look into office humor was experienced at PT&T in the early seventies.

cartoon dated Aug 9, 2004
cartoon dated Aug 9, 2004

I thought I was going to be rich with this advancement.

From 1978-1988 worked in the X-bar switching equipment. Glendale, CA

Also learned 1A, 5ESS and DMS switching software.

Above is a work schedule. For all my years at the phone company I was on a weekend and holiday work schedule with my co-workers. I also worked for 13 months on the night shift. During those months I felt like a zombie.

Beating my drum. I saved some of my accommodations.

My Related Lens About Pasadena, CA

This lens is about Route 66 and about my late years at the "phone company". Take a short cruise and explore Colorado Blvd. route of the Rose Parade on New's Year's Day. I Worked at the Steps of Route 66.

My last ID

I started smiling and ended smiling. That is a good thing, but finally The End.

Who Worked for Ma Bell?

I Can Not Hear you now. Give me tip and ring back! image by paperfacets
I Can Not Hear you now. Give me tip and ring back! image by paperfacets

If you worked for Ma Bell or Verizon (General Telephone) or any telephone company let me know.

Did you work for a phone company?

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The baby boomers will not be called senior citizens. They will be called the Baby Boomers. Haha, you are stuck with us for awhile.

© 2009 Sherry Venegas

Thank you for visiting this baby boomer's look into the past.

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    • capriliz lm profile image

      capriliz lm 6 years ago

      I am a baby boomer, but our area still had lots of factories. So, I listened to my father's advice and got a factory job. Then I tried a second factory. I quickly realized that was not my thing and went on to other ventures. ~blessed~

    • Ann Hinds profile image

      Ann Hinds 7 years ago from So Cal

      Didn't work for a phone company but did work for a mindless corporation and was downsized in 2006. Miss the money, not the job, happy to be extremely poor and not driving 120 miles a day for the commute. Great lens. Angel blessed.

    • profile image

      RinchenChodron 7 years ago

      Great lens. Yes, I worked at Lincoln Telephone and Telegraph. They used to call and say "hello central?" I was a long distance operator with the old plug in cords! Now that's antique for you.

    • PNWtravels profile image

      Vicki Green 7 years ago from Wandering the Pacific Northwest USA

      Wow, I never worked for a phone company, but my aunt did. Your lens brought back lots of memories of my early working years, too. Great lens.

    • profile image

      charity7 7 years ago

      This was a very unique lens. I too am a boomer. I'm glad there are some of us on Squidoo. I too had one of those AT&T badges. Worked their for 18 years.

    • profile image

      julieannbrady 7 years ago

      Oh wow! I surely do love that old black and white picture of you ... thanks for sharing that ... I am now smiling at the thought of baby boomers! Rah.

    • puzzlerpaige profile image

      puzzlerpaige 8 years ago

      I am the child of a baby boomer. My baby boomer mom also worked at a phone company. She talks about it sometimes, but I don't think she worked there long. Wow how things have changed. I love the desk art of Kermit.

    • profile image

      poutine 8 years ago

      What a great job you did at laying out everything so neat.

      I'm also a "baby boomer" but a french-canadian one.


    • mbgphoto profile image

      Mary Beth Granger 8 years ago from O'Fallon, Missouri, USA

      From one baby boomer to another...Great Lens!! 5*

    • Kiwisoutback profile image

      Kiwisoutback 8 years ago from Massachusetts

      Nice work! I like the scrapbook element of the photos. I think I'm somewhere between Gen X and Y, but probably X. Squid Angel blessed!

    • profile image

      editionh 8 years ago

      Great lens :). I wish I had such documentation !

    • paperfacets profile image

      Sherry Venegas 8 years ago from La Verne, CA

      [in reply to papawu]

      Lol I was able to buy contact lenses by my fourth pay check. First thing I saved for.


    • papawu profile image

      papawu 8 years ago

      It became Pac Bell later on didn't it? Iam a memeber of the infamous Generation X, but don't ask me what years we were supposed to be born between. I am also familiar with Compton. I went to Taft in the Woodland Hills and grew up in Tarzana. Yes honey, I am a "Valley Boy." Great story though and I enjoyed it enough to give 5 stars. Heck, I would have given 5 stars just on that photo with those cat woman glasses alone! :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Awesome, Sherry!