Maya Malhotra

Born: 27th January 1937

Agra, India

Date of interview: 7th June 2006

Map showing where Maya Malhotra came from

How did you find out about that job?

It was advertised in the paper you know and ... good job. You asked this thing because I, in those days we were not getting clerical jobs. Mostly our womans were working in the factories, so any clerical job you are applying, you don't get it. I got so fed up with it, because my husband said to me 'You are not going to work in a factory with your qualification and all that. I won't allow you to work in a factory.' 'I don't mind doing it,' I say 'Well it's work is work. If I work in a factory, does it matter?' But he said 'No. If you find a reasonable job like in a, a school or anything, you go to work.' So I a-, I apply and every time I was getting regrets. Sometimes they say you are too qualified, sometimes they say you are not fit person so different departments ... the work ... I've keep applying.

And when this post came so you know in those days Chronicle, we used to look in the Chronicle for the, jobs. And my husband said 'There's a job advertised in the Chronicle, you apply for that.' I said 'Which one is that?' He says 'PSA they are advertising for it's Property Services Agency.' So all right. I did not even bother, I was so fed up with getting the rejections that I did not even look at the paper, I just applied for it. I shown him the application that I'm sending this, he said 'Why you are applying for the clerical assistant job, there's a clerical officer job there' so I said 'Is it?', he says 'Yes' so I crossed the assistant and put officer on it. I was so desp- ... I knew I won't get it but I just sent the same application.

And they called me for interview, I went for the interview, and this time ... I'm, as it happened quite a few times the same people were interviewing me so the faces were familiar. And they, in the form they asked have you applied before. So last time I tell a lie, I said 'No I haven't applied before' [laughs] because I thought 'What they will think of me, that she is not even getting a clerical job.' To my mind it was a small job, so why, I was thinking 'Why I can't even get this job?' The policy was different, they don't want to give the job to us. He asked me 'Have I seen you before somewhere?' And I ... just did not answer that neither yes or no. I just smiled. [Laughs] And then he said 'All right' and so he asked different questions and then he said 'Do you know what the job entails?' and I said 'No I have no idea.' I was honest. So what do they do? I say that the property, PSA stands for the Property Service Agency but I don't know what you do. And ... then he asked me about questions whether I can speak other language. I said 'Yes, apart from English I speak Hindi, Punjabi.' Then he said 'If I, do you do get a job then it won't be in this office. Do you mind?' I said 'No it doesn't matter. I have to start anywhere so if you give me a job wherever you like.' Well then I knew I might have got the job. So then they gave me the job in Department of Transport because there they used to get quite a few Indians who were not well spoken in English. So he thought I might be useful there. [laughs] So I think that's how I got the job. So ... But that's the only job I did in this country. And then I retired from there.