Old Red Jacket Talker

Just an old RCMP dispatcher’s ramblings . . .

How The Times Have Changed This weekend we decide…

How The Times Have Changed

This weekend we decided to change the dining room around. As it turned out, I needed a stand for ‘my cookbooks’. That meant I lost a stand in the bedroom that I was using for my clock radio and other sundry junk.

Well I found a new stand to use, but it did not have a drawer attached, so I had to rearrange my allocated 3 drawers out of 15 available in the bedroom. Guess who gets the rest?

Needless to say, I had to go through one of my drawers and reallocate the space available. While doing this I came upon a cheque book register from 1972 with some interesting details inside. Of course in 1972, Sandra and I were residing in Bermuda. Now just in case anyone can’t remember back this far. Our Canadian dollar was worth a way more than a USA dollar. I of course got paid my salary while in Bermuda in US dollars.

A few entries in the cheque book registry jumped right out at me. My mid month pay for June 1972 was $310.00 US. Now, you have to remember I was also getting ‘Foreign Service Allowance’ at the time to allow that I was living outside of Canada. Then taking the exchange on our CDN dollar to the US dollar, I figure I was getting paid about $200.00 for about 15 days of work or about $100.00 a week. Taking that $100 per week at a 40 hour work week (how I wish), that would work out to be about $2.50 an hour.

Now you have to remember in the military you don’t have such a thing as a normal 40 hour week. You work until the work is done. So of course you end up working more than 40 hours a week. You had your normal ‘office’ work and then you had your fire picket, guard duty, etc to add to your hours. The pay didn’t increase and there was no such thing as overtime.

I then reflected that 5 years later I resigned from the military to take a job with the RCMP at a salary that was less than I was making in the military in 1972. I think the starting salary for my RCMP employment was $2.25 an hour. As well, Sandra and I had made the choice that one of us would not work until the children were old enough to look after themselves. That left Sandra as the stay at home mom and I was the one ‘on the job’.

On $2.25 an hour, we managed to buy our first house in North Battleford, buy a brand new car (1977 Plymouth Colt) and generally got along just fine. Now a day, the young folks need at least $8.00 an hour to even look at a job. Preferably the new workers want at least $15 to $18 per hour before they even look at the job before they’ll commit to working. 40 hours a week of actually working are just not in the realm of reality nowadays. Some folks will probably be at the work location for 40 hours a week, but there are coffee breaks, meal breaks, bathroom breaks, smoke breaks, etc to dwindle away the actual hours of work.

The cost of living certainly have increased.

Yup, the times have changed and I can certainly reflect on getting older…


March 31, 2007 - Posted by | Family

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