I would check out a company car, and a camera,
and visit housing developments, under construction,
to see what kind of growth was happening, where.
It was a good way to learn the county of my birth
after I had been away.
all the way out to Pahokee,
I looked at new businesses, too. Factories. Distribution centers.
Communications facilities. I’d drive to the library at Florida Atlantic
University and check out books. I’d go to the Area Planning Board
I was a consumer of their work-product. Graphs and tables.
I wasn’t a part of any old-boy network. This was all shoe-leather
leg-work. I went and saw for myself, reported back want I found.
In memos I wrote, at work, on my electric typewriter.
This was all job-related, I felt. I heard about a Canadian company,
Mitel, that was opening a new manufacturing plant in the
of Commerce (APOC).
manufacturing but marketing, sales, and training. Also engineering.
They made telephone switchboards. PABXs. Private automatic branch exchange.
Ma Bell had recently been broken up and entrepreneurial former employees
were starting up interconnects and selling Mitel switches to red-dot motels.
I thought it might be a good place for Brenda to apply for a job. I typed her up
a smashing resume. She bought her own smashing job-applying outfit.
They had an existing operation in
The receptionist told her to leave it but the plant manager saw her,
asked to see her resume, and interviewed her. He asked her if
she’d start out in the tool room learning the names of the parts.
She said she’d taught herself zooarcheology working as a secretary.
She wasn’t afraid to get her hands dirty. “You can wear blue jeans and
work boots and a work shirt,” he said. “Can you start tomorrow?
Do you have a hardhat?” “No, but I can get one,” she said. “What color?”
“We’ll have one for you,” he said. “Just show up.”
She was in on the ground floor of
the telecommunications revolution.