“Leave the Driving to Us”


I graduated from college and returned to Portland, Oregon where I had grown up. I had a bachelor’s degree from an Ivy League college, and I assumed I would be able to land a good job. In fact, I had been promised at job at a local TV station–not opening mail! Unfortunately, the woman vacating that job decided to stay at the last minute. So I had to start a job search from scratch.

At the Oregon State Employment Office, the worker told me bluntly that I would have had an easier time getting a job if I had not gone to college. Remember this was 1969, and there were no guarantees that a woman could get any job she wanted. I looked all over for work and was either “overqualified” or couldn’t type fast enough. “Overqualified” was always vague, but seemed to support the employment officer’s statement.

I finally asked the father of an old grade school friend who ran the local Trailways Bus travel agency if he had any work I could do. He kindly offered me a job selling bus tours. I worked upstairs from the very dirty bus depot answering phones, promoting various tour options, and filling out reservation slips. It was deadening work in a dismal setting, but it was a job, and it enabled me to move out of my parents’ home and into my own apartment. I remain grateful to Mr. Kneisel for the job offer at a time that I was utterly unable to find work. But I knew I couldn’t last long, and another opportunity came in along in a couple of months.

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