This is a list of my first adult jobs. Which one doesn’t belong?
United Press International
Bank of America
Computer Systems News
Yes, that’s correct, Bank of America. I dealt with my BofA job two years ago, but will put it in some perspective.
I quit my job at UPI Hartford to go to San Francisco to write my book, Aspirin Therapy, and to follow my girlfriend who had moved there.
(Bureau Manager James V. Healion, who told me, “Your head and your heart can’t be in two different places,” nevertheless marked my personnel file “recommend not rehire” when I left to put my head where my heart was.)
Our apartment cost $450 a month (2887 Green St., Cow Hollow, San Francisco, near the Presidio.). Inflate that with the CPI and the rent today would be $2,000, but the actual rent for similar flats is $4,500.
I worked on the book for three months, paying my share of the rent out of my advance. That money ran out about when I finished. I needed a job. UPI San Francisco was full up, as was AP.
I swallowed hard and took a job in PR.
I was the Public Information Officer for Northern California branches and the computer and credit card departments. I had some wonderful experiences, including frequent lunches with the Chronicle’s Peter Greenberg at the rooftop Bankers’ Club in what was then BofA world headquarters, 555 California Street in San Francisco. I also enjoyed a trip to the American Bankers’ Association Technology Conference in New Orleans.
The PR department was on the 20th floor; my view of North Beach was so distracting I had to turn my desk around to face the door.
Things were going fine, and I got a big raise from $18k to $22k in early November. Two weeks later, my relationship ended and I quit to take a paycut at the Oregon Journal, which would have been a pay hike a month earlier.