A Girl’s First Job

Recently I was asked to accompany a woman I know on her visit to see her father
and other family in Trofaiach, Austria. I’d lived near there as a 19 year old LDS
missionary 50 years ago. Many things have really changed there but some things
have not. The hospitality of the people is much the same as it was then.
This woman and I had time to talk at the meal tables and on walks and outside
on the stairs or on the patio. The following is some of what she told me about
her first job in Sankt Gallen, Austria. A distance of 57.6 klicks from Trofaiach.
About an hour by car. The road goes through Eisenerz. Back then there was
a passenger service by train between Sankt Gallen and Trofaiach.
This is some of what she told me happened to her during the two years on her
first job. 8/11/2019
Jay Beacham

Meet Ilse Kubik, a pretty 17 year old girl from Trofaiach, Austria.

Auatria trip photos 1 072
In the early 1970s she was out of school and wanted to become a nurse.
Because it would take 3 years study, followed by 3 years nursing service in
an underdeveloped country, her mother suggested another kind of a job in the
mean time so she could earn money right away instead of spending so many
years spending money before she could start earning.
She looked in the want ads for jobs, saw one she liked, applied for it and within
a day or two was hired.
She would be the personal secretary to a court judge in Sankt Gallen, a town
about an hour north of Trofaiach. She’d go on Monday, stay in an apartment for
the week, then return home on the weekends.
What an adventure this would be without straying to far from home.
She got on the train the first day and rode to Sankt Gallen. From the train station
it required a walk of some distance to get to where she would work.
She acquired housing on the second story of a store. It was the whole floor with
glass windows all around it.
Her boss was a judge from Klagenfurt. He’d drive her home on Fridays on the
way to his home. On Mondays she’d take the train or a young man friend of hers,
Jurgen Reisner, would drive her to work.
One day she missed her train. The only train going that would get her to
work on time was a locomotive  freight train. She talked to the engineer, who
allowed her to ride along on the engine. The coal man always filling the boiler
made it hot and the soot made her face, hands, and clothes black. But she got
there early enough to make the long walk and be at work on time.
Her job consisted of accompanying the judge as he went to investigate traffic
accidents. She’d record everything in shorthand and then upon returning to the
office, type it all for the records.
The first accident they went to was a two truck wreck. One driver was yelling in
pain. They got him out but he lost both of his legs. She later saw him in the
court house legless, in a wheelchair.
It wasn’t always so dramatic.
Nights her peace would be interrupted by boys pitching pebbles at the windows.
One night a window was broken by the rock tossers.
Her Uncle Max was informed of the situation and came up with a plan to put an
end to the trouble.
Max was her mother’s brother. He was an interesting character. As a boy he
had gotten polio which left him in a wheel chair with little control of his upper body.
But Max was a good natured kind of a guy, making do with his limited mobility,
became a fine artist dealing in oils, ink, watercolor. He excelled at it. I really like
his ink drawings, though I don’t care much for his modernistic stuff.
He became so proficient at chess, that the city of Leoben chess club expelled
him because no one could ever beat him at the game.
I was a missionary there in Leoben and lived up the street on the downhill side of
Barbaraweg (Barbaraway) street. He and his mother lived in a one level apartment
house on the same side of the street. My missionary companion and I would often
stop and get him and wheel him to church meetings in town or just to visit.
Max knew many missionaries before and after me. He became good friends with
them all.
To solve Ilse’s night pebble problem, Max recruited 8 missionaries, Jurgen Reisner
and some other young men to go to Ilse’s place. That night when the pebbles stared,
a young man would open and lean out the window being hit and yell. After several
windows were tried, the throwing stopped and never occurred again as long as she
lived there. Max’s plan worked.
Once after that a pebble did strike one of her windows one afternoon.
When she looked out it was the owner of a neighboring gasthaus (guesthouse)
who’d thrown the stone.
He’d come to ask her to work as a waitress for him nights after her regular job.
She took the side job. The gasthaus was very busy at that time of year with guests
from all over coming nightly for meals, beer, entertainment and socializing.
She became an instant favorite of the patrons.
One of her admirers sent flowers, candies, and the like over a period of time.
Finally by letter her secret admirer arranged to meet her in the afternoon between
her jobs and take her for a ride in his car so they could talk.
She waited for the appointed time. The admirer sent a young man in a sports car
to pick her up. She went with him not knowing that the admirer was following in the
car behind them. Later he revealed himself and Ilse learned he was married.
She promptly informed him that she didn’t go out with married men. That ended the
Once, her friend Renatta, who worked for a dentist, received an invitation for she and
Ilse to go to a party at a ski resort with two young men on a Friday night. They went.
And after the party on the way down the mountain the girls expressed concern about
the speed the car was traveling. At that the young men asked them to get out and
walk home.
They got out and were soon left in a very dark forest. So dark in fact that they had to
feel their way from tree to tree. After a while they came upon a ski hut, entered and
spent the night there.
The morning dawned sunny and bright. Their arms were covered in sores.

Later they learned that parasites that had been in the blankets had attacked them.

The sores continued for some time until doctors solved it for them. Ilse only had one
outbreak of it after that, which she solved by using Vicks vapor rub. Her cat didn’t
like the smell and she surmised that the parasites wouldn’t either. She was right.
Her doctor thanked her and wrote that down so as to use for his patients in the future.
They started to walk down the very, very steep road, grateful that they hadn’t been in
that car the night before.
One man who visited the gasthaus was from Amsterdam. He was so impressed
by Ilse that he offered her a job at his company in Amsterdam at the end of summer.
She declined the offer as she had already made up her mind to move to America
and get married.
She did get married in America and still lives in the United States.
She’d spent a wonderful two years working in Sankt Gallen, Austria with many
exciting experiences.
So ends her story of her first job, well first two jobs.