THURSDAY MORNING at the Office of Organization and Management Analysis, Management Analysis Division, known also simply as "OOMS" or "Management Analysis." That's what I say when I answer the phone: Management Analysis. They are an easy two words to slur, so I try to say them slow-ly and de-lib-er-ate-ly. Even so, they often come out, "Man'gment 'nal'sis."
This morning, however, my pronunciation is not terribly important, as there aren't many calls. This is vacation season, and it is very quiet here. The two top people in the office, the director of OOMS and the chief of management analysis, are both on vacation; Bessie, the secretary whom I was hired to help, has the flu. Of the management analysts, Ernie is out at NOAA, Dallas is home sick, Gerry is at a meeting . . . so I enjoy my free time and read the morning paper.
With this job, I have a lot of free time to enjoy: the major part of most days. And I do enjoy it -- until it is late afternoon and I've finished reading the paper and I'm not really interested in the novel I brought and my boyfriend Chuck isn't home when I call him and my friend Susan is at the pool . . . that's when the free time starts to get boring.
The day continues uneventfully. Teddy, the secretary with whom I work, takes a longer lunch than usual, so I eat especially late -- around 2. After lunch, I turn on Bessie's TV-band radio and listen to "General Hospial" and then WAVA's commercial-free hour of Jackson Browne and Bruce Springsteen. Friday
What a dreary day. The only good things about it are that it is a Friday and that Bessie is back. She finally got over her flu, but still doesn't feel too good, so I try to do most of the work. There isn't much to do, however; once again, Steve and Sandra are the only ones here.
I eat lunch with Casey today. She's a girl I met back in June when all the new employes reported for their first day of work to the Personnel Office. Some 20 or 25 of us summer employes were waiting in that office for about three hours for personnel to find us positions. During that time we gave our fingerprints, took an oath of allegiance to the United States and filled out umpteen forms. t
It was in between forms that Casey and I started talking to each other. Since then, we've been eating together every Friday. Today, we eat on the Mall, talking about traveling, about college. She loves Virginia Tech, where this fall she'll be a sophomore, and I wonder out loud about Princeton, where I'll be a freshman.
In the afternoon, I make plans. It is the "quiet hour," when things are slow and boring, but "planning" is a good way to stay awake and alert. So I plan what clothes I need to buy, when, where and how much they will cost; I plan what I will do this weekend, and how much of my annual leave I will use. (For working three months, I earn 2 1/2 days.) So much for planning -- it's 5 o'clock. Saturday
Oh, what a beautiful morning! If I could sing, I'd be singing that song.
Today is gorgeous. The kind of day when you wake up a little too late and still a little too tired and open your eyes just a crack to see exactly how late it is and then you see that it is bright and brilliantly sunny outside and there is literally not a cloud in the sky and you simply bounce out of bed. Truly inspiring weather.
I spend the day outside, of course. Chuck and I decide the best way to take advantage of a day like this is to spend all of it at his pool. So we laze about, swimming, reading, laying on the rafts. Chuck's father leaves around lunchtime for La Plata, Md.; he's going to pick up a bushel of crabs. The rest of the afternoon, we soak up more sun and work up an appetite. By the time the crabs are cooked, we are starving -- and sunburned.
The crabs don't do much to soothe a sunburn -- they're hot and spicy -- but delicious. I love crabs, and have a great time pulling them out of the shells and hunting for the tender meat, but am full after I've eaten four of them. Chuck also loves crabs -- and he's not full until he's eaten 24.
To complete our pig-out (crab-out?), we go to Gifford's for ice cream sundaes. Ah, the pleasures of lazy summer Saturdays! Sunday
Another lovely day. First I swim my laps at the pool, then Chuck and I decide to continue our holiday-like laziness of yesterday by going to Annapolis. We get there late, and the downtown is bustling. First on our list of activities is lunch; we head for the waterfront market.
After fried chicken for Chuck and a soft-shelled crab sandwich for me, we mosey around the harbor, up and down the quaint streets, in and out of the little stores. But by early evening, it has gotten cloudy, and we leave for home. Monday
Today is the opposite of Saturday: a rainy Monday. It is not just drizzling, but really raining, as in "cats and dogs." The perfect day to sleep late, eat a big hot breakfast and read or do needlepoint. But of course, I, like the rest of the world, have to go to work.
Again, there is not much to do. I deliver a memo to an office on the third floor, where behind a desk sits a girl about my age writing on government paper. I read upside down: "Dear Sally . . . ."
It clears up by lunch time. I walk over to the park between the Commerce building and the White House. It is a pleasant park, with tall trees, a monument (don't all Washington parks have monuments?) and some flowers. I eat here often. This is the first day, however, that I've seen Cheryl here. She is the girl who worked at my job last summer. Now she's up in accounting, and tells me that though she had hoped to be doing some actual accounting work -- she's majoring in accounting at the University of Virginia -- she hasn't really done much of anything. Sounds familiar.
I know only one person who actually keeps busy all the time at his summer government job. Every other person I know tells me that they read The New York Times every day, and they have written quite a few letters and are reading all the books they didn't get a chance to read during the rest of the year.
After lunch, I call Susan, write a short letter to the Princeton financial aid office, finish reading "The Selling of the President" and call Chuck to make plans for the evening. We decide to go shopping at White Flint for school clothes. Tuesday
Today is payday -- always a highlight of the week. I figure out how much I need to put in the bank for college, how much to leave out for gas, for Metro fares, for spending money. Then there is some typing to do. It is Ernie's report on space resources. Takes a while to finish, but luckily it is only a draft, so mistakes are allowed. The way I type, I make many.
After the typing for Ernie, there is a chart to draw up and type for Gerry. Nothing complicated, though. I finish that and start a new book, "This Side of Paradise" by F. Scott Fitzgerald. The slow afternoon passes with Fitzgerald's smooth writing and a call from Chuck.
When 5 o'clock comes, I decide to walk to Metro Center instead of taking the blue line from Federal Triangle and transferring. The way the Metro runs, I figure the less I ride it, the better my ride will be. w Wednesday
Wake up late today. Have to rush my shower, rush getting dressed, rush my breakfast -- which means a three-minute breakfast rather than the usual six. Luckily, I get to the bus stop on time. As soon as I get to work, I have something really tough to do: Xeroxing. A package of some 30 pages. I'm an experienced Xeroxer now, though, and can get through 30 pages in about 10 minutes.
After my Xeroxing, the morning stretches quietly along. I write a couple of letters, read the paper, read Fitzgerald some more. Lunch is on the lawn of the Smithsonian. A nice place to eat because it is green and shady, but mostly because it is near the Smithsonian bookstore. I've been spending many of my lunch hours there simply browsing through the different sections and haven't begun to see them all. I also haven't bought anything -- I'm working this job to save money, not spend it. But I thank the store for providing a seating area where browsers can read without buying -- quite a nice idea.
After lunch, more Xeroxing and a trip to the GSA store to pick up some messenger envelopes. Then back to my desk to read again. And to make more plans. I think I'll take this Friday off . . . .