Friday, November 12, 2010

JANET MAKES HER OWN WAY; part 4; by Mabel Hester Green, 1929

Dear Mart:

Father answered my special at last.

But, my dear, he never sent me a penny. Just explained how matters stood at home financially and suggested some different kinds of work I might find to do.

Then he wrote, "You must learn, Janet, not to consider the opinion of those people who look down on honest work. I'm sure you will find friends who will admire you for any plucky endeavor. If you find, though, that college life as a working girl is unendurable Father and Mother will welcome you back to the farm. But they expect their little daughter to make good."

After that I simply can't go home. But, oh, I do mind, Mart. Miss Elizabeth Pentree will sniff and her roommate cut me dead. And I won't be popular and get to go places any more. The fellows won't have any use for a poor girl who hasn't any nice clothes.

I'm convinced now that Father simply cannot help me any and I've given up all hope of that. Mart, could you--would you help your little sister in this emergency? You never had to worry about money when you were here, did you?

I'll study hard and amount to something and I'll pay your money back. Don't you think you could loan me enough for this year or at least, enough to finish this semester on?--Anxiously, Janet.

October 18, 1928

My Dear Unselfish Sister:

You don't know what a blow your letter was to me.

So you have been saving your money to help at home, and going without things yourself to do it, I'll venture. You poor girl!

And here I've been having a lovely time and begging for more money. I've spent $100 in less than a month.

Sis, I'm going to turn over a new leaf. I'll start out this very afternoon looking for work. Your repentant, Janet.

October 25, 1928

Dear Sis:

I'm at my wit's end.

I have applied for all kinds of jobs but I guess I'm a failure. I can't find any--that is, any decent ones. I just can't do housework or waiting tables.

For the life of me I don't see why I can't work in the registrar's office, but when I applied I was told that they took only experienced upperclassmen.

Then I went to about twenty offices trying to get secretarial positions but it seems that work requires training and experience, too.

At one place I got a tryout as a stenographer but after the snort that man gave when he saw the letter I typed for him, I resolved never to apply to anyone else for such a position. Still I couldn't blame him. I haven't any speed yet and I make the most queer mistakes.

Sarah says we will need a new waitress at the Hall at the end of the week. But, Sis, I never can do that. It would just ruin me socially.

The positions in the bookstore, library, and stores downtown are filled.

Do you have any ideas? I'm about to give up in despair and pack my trunk for home.--Janet.