I found this old photo of me at the wedding of a work colleague in 1961. It reminded me of the work I was doing then.
After finishing school in 1959, I desperately wanted to enter Teachers College but I was unsuccessful so I entered the work force as a Laboratory Assistant. The first job was at Sydney University in the Animal Husbandry Dept, where my boss was inventing a method of making sheep lamb more often. My job was to collate all his results and draw pretty graphs but I still wanted to be a teacher so I applied for college and again failed to be selected.
|Elizabeth (the head girl) invited us to her wedding. I am far right.|
One of these delightful tasks was to check customer returns for faults and establish what caused the fault. For example was it a knitting machine fault, a sewing fault or elastic fault etc. There was nothing more exciting than scrutinising returned worn undies. Some had been worn and washed so often that they were just plain worn out but others had been worn and not washed and that was disgusting. We weren't given protective gloves in those days but we did use tweezers to try and negotiate between skid marks and pubic hairs.
I was glad when I was no longer the junior and I was given more interesting and responsible tests. The most rewarding task I was given was to do a whole battery of tests on a brand new textile that had been invented called "Bri-Nylon".
One day a junior was given the charming job of customer returns investigation and she didn't appreciate us sniggering at her. In revenge she picked up some pubic hairs in her tweezers and promptly chased us around the lab. Luckily the chemist wasn't in and he didn't witness this squealing and misdemeanour in his lab but the head girl brought us under control with threats of more dirty work.