Wendy Fell

Before I started at Evode in July 1972 I had never heard of the place despite having lived in and around Stafford all my life.

I lived on a farm in Derrington with my grandmother as my parents were divorced. Up until I started work at Evode I wanted to work on a farm, but my father who was not from a farming family wanted me to get a job in an office.

When I left school aged sixteen after taking six C.S.E. Exams my father told me to apply for three jobs advertised in the local paper for office juniors. One was at Burgess’s and one was at the BRC (which I found a very snooty place) and one was at Evode, I didn’t get the first two.

On the day of my interview at Evode I caught a bus from Derrington to Stafford and walked from the town centre, after being given directions. It seemed like miles in my high heeled shoes and suit, when I finally arrived I was hot and sweaty and a little late, but despite this I got the job as an office junior in the filing room. I was to be paid £8 per week.

I worked in the filing room for Mrs Harriott who appeared to have been there forever and was a motherly figure to the juniors and could be strict. The filing room consisted of just that filing! Plus we had to take round the post and microfilm all the old files so they could be stored away. Microfilming was very boring, and consisted of unpicking the staples out of worked documents and orders and feeding them one by one into the microfilm machine which had a tendency to “snatch” the paper and crumple it or turn it sideways both of which Mrs Harriott blamed the juniors for.

The normal way out of the filing room was to go to college and get shorthand and typing qualifications and to aspire to be “somebody's” secretary. I went to college I liked typing but hated shorthand with a passion, the tutor was very old fashioned I kept telling her I was feeling unwell and going home early she would say “Is it the curse” a term I had read about but I didn’t think anybody actually said it anymore. I gave up college as a bad job, which delayed escape from the filing room for a little while.

Eventually I did escape into “Sales Administration” where I worked on the stock cards. All customer orders were then typed and stock was taken off the stock cards by hand. As maths had never been my strong point I did make some mistakes.

Sales Admin. Was a large office probably about thirty people mostly women but we had some fun apart from doing our work. I stayed in Sales Admin. Doing various jobs including post room, reception and customer service on the telephone until I left Evode in December 1984. I was pregnant with my daughter Nichola so I took voluntary redundancy which was being offered at the time as I did not want to return to full time employment after having the baby. So I left.

Only to return five years later but that is another story.

27 April 2001