Barb Hoynoski - An Office Career

I began my accounting career at Sweeney Ford Sales at 1 Main Street, Greenfield, MA  as an after school job.  My neighbor was the accountant for Mr. Sweeney and got me a job after school filing in a small closet filing service orders by numbers.   There were four empty filing cabinets and for stacks about 5 feet tall of service orders.  I was told to wear old clothes, now I know why with all the carbon from the service orders.  The head accountant for Mr. Sweeney was an old friend Mr. Powers and he was and accountant for the State of Massachusetts.


Barb Hoynoski in the Booster Queen Court 1964

My father wanted me to go to college after graduation, so I attended GCC on Federal Street for only one semester.  I told my father I would pay for the classes myself and if I didn't like college I wouldn't stay.  Well, it only took my one semester and I knew I could learn more on the job than at college.  The professor who taught accounting was so drab I couldn't take it anymore.  So, I began working full time at Sweeney's where Mr. Powers taught me all the accounting I needed. 
I also checked in all the new vehicles and one day, one parked the truck with the new cars on the hill by the lot.  He came in to check the invoices for the vehicles and the truck began rolling down the hill, which I noticed immediately.  He ran out of the front door, jumped into the truck and put on the brakes.  He wanted to take me out for saving all the vehicles, but I wasn't about to date a stranger and also he was going to pick me up in the truck, with all the rest of the vehicles on the back.  NO WAY!       

I spent six years at Sweeney's and then headed to the First National Bank of Franklin County on Bank Row.  I worked in the mortgage department collecting payments and checking that everyone had enough stocks to cover their mortgages.  During that time, the stock market was going crazy. Starting on Friday, we were in the vault checking the collateral on all the mortgages. The President said it would go faster if we used a slide rule, so during my lunch hour I purchased one, because that weekend we were going to Wakefield, MA to visit friends.  The husband happen to be an engineer for GE, so I asked him to show me how to use the slide rule.  On Monday, I headed back into the vault to begin my work, when the President appeared and said, " I thought you didn't know how to use a slide rule". I explained about being taught on the weekend and he was very pleased. 

Several adventures happened while working at the bank after 3:00 PM when the banks locked their doors.  Sometimes we got government auditors at the door, sometimes the police.  When the auditors came, the first thing they did was count your cash drawer.  Well, they forgot to count ours and it was not up to us to tell anyone.  A few days went by and the head supervisor of the auditors appeared at our area asking if anyone counted our drawer, of course we all said "NO". He was very upset that we hadn't said anything and we all said "It's not our job". 

The other time I was swinging my feet, ready to close for the day and all of a sudden the police were at the door.  They said the silent alarm went off and needed to know what happened.  They first checked the tellers area then came to ours. Well on the floor was a small hook over a round pin.  While I was swinging my legs I accidentally kicked off the hook, which set off the silent alarm, but no one told me what that thing on the floor was for, so it really wasn't my fault.

Also, one evening I was down in the cellar where they had machines that ran all the deposits and checks for the day.  While sorting, everyone heard an eerie sound. We all stopped what we were doing and heard it again.  We finally figured that it was someone playing the organ like the Phantom of the Opera in the Garden theater next door.  The wall of the bank was right next to the theater.

When the bank moved across the street to where the Greenfield Saving Bank is located now.  They changed the name to "Pioneer Bank".  Since I knew so many jobs at the bank, they wanted me to work my job in the mortgage department during the day. Then, after the day shift, someone would drive me to Sunderland where they had their proof department and work nights, with no overtime pay. So, because I wouldn't do the two jobs and was willing to just work nights, the President told me to pack my things and because I was so well liked to take two week vacation.  When I tried to apply later for unemployment the President of the bank wrote that I was not willing to do the job, so I couldn't collect unemployment, which today would be illegal.

My next job was at Minott Printing Company as the assistant to the President.  I learned quite a bit about paper and printing through that position.  They were closing up shop so I had to find another job.

Next came "Pioneer Steel Company" where they sold re-bars.  I was the secretary to the President and found out quickly that we weren't plumbers, but sold the re-bars that stuck out of all bridges and other construction projects.  I really loved working there and was taught how to play cribbage with the guys. I also learned how to read blueprints and figure out how many re-bars were needed for a job.  Playing cribbage with the guys, I always won and once they said "You know you should let men win once in awhile".  I took out the rule book and stated "There is nothing in the rule book that says that".

While working at "Pioneer Steel Company" as the secretary I received a suicide call.  I waved my boss over and wrote down that I was talking to someone who wanted to commit suicide, he said to keep the person on the line and he called the police explaining the situation.  I kept the person on the telephone line, until the police got on the telephone of the person and told me to hang up the telephone.  Come to find out because it was a new business, our number used to be the hotline suicide number and an operator gave it out to someone.  My boss really screamed at the operator and told them not to do it again.  Which they didn't, "Thank God".

After 6 years at Pioneer Steel, I needed a change, and my sister was working in Brattleboro, Vermont at the time and really wanted someone to drive with.  Remember I don't and still don't have a drivers license.  So, off I went to work at the operation center at Vermont National Bank, Putney Road, Brattleboro, Vermont for 22 1/2 years. I worked in the Controllers department.  I began at Vermont National with 5 people in the department to 12 people.  I began doing all bank transfer through New York and other major cities.  Then I began to learn all the jobs in the department as back up for vacations.  When they began a "Compliance Department", I spent one year writing up samples of all the jobs in the department.  After that I became a supervisor of 4 people, all men, and doing all the reports which were transmitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission.  They hired another supervisor and I became the Administrative Assistant to the two controllers.  I must tell you the banking industry is where I learned how to use a computer. 

We used to do all of the certificates of deposit by hand with the monthly interest figured and booked by hand.  When it was fully automated we were 1 cent off.  I'm talking when certificates rates were at 21 %.  Once I asked my boss if they gave hookers with each certificate, because they were all in the name of men and we had hundreds when the rates went through the roof.

I worked at Vermont National Bank's operation financial department for 22 1/2 years in Brattleboro, Vermont until they decided to merge with Chittenden bank.

I went back to Greenfield and worked as a receptionist and accountant for four lawyers.  I took all telephone calls, made appointments, used Quick book to prove all checking accounts, posted all lawyers notes for clients billing, prepared the billing, deposited all checks.  We were located above the Greenfield Savings Bank, where the Trust department was located when I worked for Pioneer Bank, so it was like coming home again.  I worked in the office for 5 years until they only had one lawyer left, so they let me go.  (Which was a big mistake, because the person they rehired for the position, embezzled over $500,000.00).  I heard from other sources that he knew he made a big mistake by letting me go.

From there I took a year off, just to rejuvenate and rest.  I prayed that my next job would have windows, because all the years I've been working out of a cubical with no windows.


Barb Hoynoski at our Class 60th Birthday Party

I went to Harmon Personnel Services and took a position a few days filing for a firm.  They sent me to the Greenfield Recorder and they first needed their checking accounts proved for 6 months worth.  I not only proved all the accounts, but put them on computer which made proving them easier.  Then I proved all other types of accounts.  They decided after three days to hire me full time.  It was great, because the office had large windows that looked out at the Greenfield Library and all the flowers.   I learned many things at the Recorder: accounts receivable, payables, circulation and because I didn't have a license (Yes, never got my license) I worked out front as the receptionist doing all my normal work.  I did this because the office moved down to Northampton. 

I retired at 65, having worked there for 8 years.  Now enjoying retirement.

During all those years, I took trips to the following and stayed at least 10 days at each place:  Majorca Spain (fought a bull); Switzerland (toured the Matterhorn); Sicily (visited and biked around the area); Germany (saw the Goodyear blimp pass by the windows on our hotel floor); Ireland (during St. Patrick's Day lots of scotch); England (London met with friends who gave us a great no tourist tour), and Puerto Rico (made a nude model in the sand, while everyone was watching and went to a dance on the Naval base.)