• Annmarie Throckmorton, M.A.

Men Gone Crazy

When I graduated high school I was very conscious that I needed to secure proper employment in order to be financially safe in life, and I also wanted honorable work with a product that I approved of. So I considered what things were most useful and good in life, and my young mind realized that stationary was what I admired most. At that time there were small stationary stores that sold elegant paper for handwriting letters, fine typing paper by the ream, pens and pencils one-by-one, and old-fashioned office desk equipment such letter openers and desk clocks. I cannot explain how delightful it was to wander over the hardwood floors of a small stationary store, and consider which fine pen or distinctively branded pencil, or what elegant paper I might buy. So I when I saw an ad in the newspaper for secretarial help at a distributor of stationary supplies I was quick to apply. For the interview I wore my best dress of the five dresses that I owned and I polished my shoes.

The interview was going slowly, the owner of that stationary distribution company was not asking me very many questions and I wondered what might be wrong. Or was this how interviews were conducted? I was too young and inexperienced to know, so I waited quietly. Finally, he looked me over again with a not unsympathetic eye. He sighed and said, "If I hire you, my, my (sigh), my salesmen will go crazy." Was this a territorial problem, like a no-girls-allowed tree house? Was I was too pretty, too sexual, !?! I tried very hard not to be. Anyway, the owner swiveled his finely upholstered office chair away from me with finality, and I left the building in humiliation and confusion. I went on to do the only work that I could find, in a factory peeling stinking potatoes where such niceties as sheltering women were neither observed nor respected. In that dark and unwholesome factory I was promptly sexually propositioned and I just as promptly quit.

Men Gone Crazy

by Annmarie Throckmorton 2021

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