TIME Companies

Even More Zappos Employees Are Being Offered Money To Leave

Inside The UPS Worldport Facility Ahead Of Earnings Figures
Bloomberg—Bloomberg via Getty Images A package from Zappos.com moves down a conveyor belt during the afternoon sort at the United Parcel Service Inc. (UPS) Worldport facility in Louisville, Kentucky, U.S., on Tuesday, April 21, 2015.

Earlier in May, 14% of the company accepted exit pay

Only days after 14% of Zappos’ employees accepted a severance offer from the company, even more employees are being offered the opportunity to quit for cash, according to Quartz.

Zappos has reportedly told 9% of the company they can leave and be paid for it in what’s being called the “SuperCloud offer.” That deal, which was extended to many on Zappos’ tech team, comes as Zappos’ backend technology is being replaced with parent company Amazon’s tech. Sources told Quartz there are a “significant” number of employees accepting the second offer.

The initial offer to employees came earlier in May after the company said it would transition to a management structure called Holacracy, in which employees manage themselves. About 210 workers, or 14% of the company’s 1,500 total employees, accepted that offer, which included three months of severance pay.

TIME Depression

These are the Most Depressed Workers

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One in five young workers have been depressed, according to the survey.

One in five millennials said they have been depressed on the job, the most of any age group, a new survey found.

That’s compared with 16% of Baby Boomers and 16% of Gen Xers, according to Mashable.

Bensinger, DuPont & Associates, a firm that provides employee drug testing and assistance for problems like gambling, published the survey, Depression and Work: The Impact of Depression on Different Generations of Employees, to coincide with National Mental Health Awareness Month. The study said that depressed employees are more likely to function poorly at work.

There was no word on why millennials, born from 1978 to 1999, are more depressed than other groups. Baby boomers were born between 1946 and 1964 while Gen Xers were from 1965 to 1977.

The article continued:

Other impacts of depression in the workplace include absenteeism (missing work), tense work relationships or conflicts, and receiving verbal or written disciplinary action as a result of depression.

“While major depression affects 10% of [American employees], an overwhelming 75% of people with depression don’t receive formal treatment,” Marie Apke, chief operating officer for Bensinger, DuPont & Associates, said in a statement. “Depression costs the economy more than $23 billion annually due to absenteeism. While recent public health initiatives continue to enhance and expand our understanding of the social and economic costs of depression, it’s clear more work is needed to combat depression in the workplace.”

MONEY Careers

Should I Email Everyone at Work About Why I’m Quitting?

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Q: Would it be career suicide to send an email to everyone at my current job explaining why I’m leaving it?

My boss turned out to be a two-faced liar who viciously targeted and drove out several coworkers (while quite a few who weren’t targeted left because they couldn’t stomach how others were being treated). Because I’m not social and she was so nice to those of us she liked, I never questioned anything until very late when someone who worked close to me was targeted and driven out. I’m still pissed at the sheer WTF nature of what was done to so many people. I liked that job and team too!

It possibly wouldn’t help matters because my boss was forced to leave one departure before me (at that point she’d lost all the experienced teapot-makers save me), but still, HR and upper management sat on these problems for over a year! I’m also upset that to many she’s seen as an angel and they think that I’m leaving to show support of her.

A: Do Not Send.

Do not, do not, do not!

Sending an email like this, no matter how right you are in what you’re saying, will reflect far worse on you than it does on your old manager or your company’s managers. Rightly or wrongly, it’ll make you look unprofessional and like you have bad judgment. It’s likely to be seen not as an attempt to set the record straight, but rather as a bridge-burning act and an F-you to your company. It’s the kind of thing that will make people uncomfortable to refer you to jobs in the future, even your allies.

Believe me, we’ve all had fantasies of doing this kind of thing. But you’ve got to resist the urge, because it really will hurt you more than anyone else.

However. You absolutely can discreetly let people know your reasons for leaving in one-on-one conversations (and not in email — you don’t want a paper trail of this after you leave). Do it calmly and objectively, and you’ll get the message out while preserving your credibility.

Q: My boss introduced me with a dramatically wrong title. What should I do?

I am currently employed as finance manager (which is the job I accepted), but during a major meeting I was introduced by my boss as an admin. Can a company change my job title so dramatically without informing me?

A: Sure, they can change your title. The bigger issue here isn’t whether or not they’re allowed to, but what’s actually going on. Is there any other reason to think that your role and title is so different from the one you accepted? Are you doing the work of a finance manager or of an admin? What’s your role been thus far?

Assuming that you’re doing the work you were hired to do, I’d say this to your boss: “I noticed you introduced me in the X meeting as an admin, and I wanted to make sure I’ve got my title right — we agreed on finance manager, right?”

These questions are adapted from ones that originally appeared on Ask a Manager.

More From Ask a Manager:

MONEY Workplace

10 Times It Pays to Speak Up at Work

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Don't be a workplace wallflower

There are times during anyone’s career when it’s preferable to stay quiet, and avoid confrontations or drama. And, there are other times when staying quiet may be the easy thing to do — but not the right thing. You may be put in a situation that requires you to speak up for the good of the company, yourself, or another employee. Your job could be put in jeopardy by not speaking up. You could simply be doing yourself a disservice by not speaking your mind, and letting others know just how you feel. Here are 10 of those times. In these situations, speak up, and do it quickly.

1. Any Time You Are Being Harassed

Whether sexually, physically, racially, or emotionally, the workplace should be harassment-free. Most employers require you to take harassment training courses these days, and with good reason. Harassment is not only disruptive to the work environment, it can lead to deep psychological scarring, lawsuits, and in the worst cases, suicide. The moment you suspect anything has gone from playful banter to something much more serious, you must arrange a meeting with someone from your HR department. If you don’t have one, then you need to talk to your supervisor, or someone else in a position of authority. The longer you leave it, the worse it will get.

2. When You Witness Harassment

Look out for fellow employees who may be too afraid to take action against harassment themselves. If you notice that someone is experiencing any kind of harassment that could be contributing to a hostile work environment, follow the procedures set in place by your HR department, or superiors. This is not just a “nice” thing to do — it’s actually your responsibility to the people you work with. Again, this needs to be nipped in the bud quickly, before it gets out of hand and creates a very serious situation.

3. During Brainstorming Meetings

If you work in an environment that requires brainstorming sessions, be they about finances, advertising, engineering, or just the holiday party, you must not make the mistake of staying quiet in these meetings. Whether it’s from shyness, self-doubt, or preferring to listen instead of contribute, your lack of involvement will only be viewed in a negative light. You will be seen as someone who doesn’t contribute, has no ideas, or is apathetic to the task at hand. To combat this, speak up early; ideally within the first few minutes. This is a great way to make sure you break the silence, boost your confidence, and avoid searching your brain for an idea that is not already on the table.

4. When You Don’t Understand the Assignment

There’s a famous episode of Seinfeld (“The Bottle Deposit”) that involves George receiving a very important assignment from his boss, Mr. Wilhem. As George is getting briefed, Mr. Wilhelm enters the bathroom, and George stays outside. But when he eventually follows him in, Wilhelm has finishes the briefing and thinks George heard every word. The comedy comes from George trying to figure out what on earth Wilhelm wants, without asking him to repeat the instructions.

Don’t be like George. If you misunderstand any part of the brief, go back and ask questions; explicit questions. This is not the time to beat around the bush, and your boss will appreciate you making sure you are going in the right direction. Of course, there is one caveat; don’t continue to ask the same questions over and over. Getting clarification is one thing, but if you have to be told something five times before it sinks in, you may not be in the right career.

5. If You’re in Physical Pain

It doesn’t matter if you do a desk job, or you’re out doing hard labor. If you’re in pain, you must speak up, and quickly. Experiencing pain on the job can severely impact your performance, and also make the cause of the pain even worse. If it’s a migraine, take the day off if you have sick days. If you don’t have sick days left, see if it is possible to work from home after the pain has eased a little. If you’re experiencing physical pain, like a bad back or shoulder, explain it to your supervisor. It could be work-related, in which case the company may be obligated to help you eliminate the cause of the pain. These days, many office workers find it better to stand at their desks, and your employer could provide you with the appropriate desk and equipment.

6. When You Witness Something Illegal

Your company’s code of conduct will likely cover compliance issues, and how to make sure you are not breaking any laws (even accidentally) while at work. If you should notice someone breaking these rules or laws, you need to speak up. Your employer should have a whistleblower policy to cover this, and you will be able to report the incident anonymously. If there is something systemic going on, like the Enron scandal, your quick action could save hundreds of jobs. If you believe you, yourself, may have inadvertently broken a law, you must also speak up. It is far better that it comes from you, than someone who notices your genuine mistake and reports it to your superiors.

7. As Soon as You Know Something is Wrong

Wrong? How? Well, it all depends on the kind of job you have. If you’re in accounting and you notice a mistake in the numbers, don’t wait until the financial report is at the printers. Say something when you first notice the mistake. If you’re in advertising, don’t stay quiet when something is clearly wrong with the ad (or bottle… as Bud Light found out recently to much blowback). If you’re in engineering, and see something that could cause major problems later on (such as GM’s poorly-made ignition switch), for goodness sake speak up. These mistakes can cost lives. Staying quiet because it’s easier than causing a fuss is not good enough. Be brave, speak up, and do the right thing.

8. When Someone Takes Credit for Your Work

It happens a lot in businesses all over the world. You have a great idea, you say something to someone, and the next thing you know, they’re claiming ownership. They get the pay raise, the new account, the promotion, the accolades, and you’re left holding with a whole lot of bitterness. These “leeches” work everywhere, and are quite happy to take the credit and climb the ladder, be it in a Fortune 500 company, or the local bakery or autoshop.

How you speak up is important though. It can’t come down to whining and complaining. Make sure you approach your supervisor, show them the work you had done beforehand (if you have it) and calmly discuss the fact that this was your idea. You may want to approach the person who stole the idea first; sometimes, they may be unaware of their mistake. In those rare cases, they may be quite happy to speak up on your behalf. Either way… take what’s yours.

9. If Anything You Own Goes “Missing”

Make no mistake: there are sticky fingers in offices and businesses around the country. It can be as small as someone using the milk you brought in for their own cup of tea. Or, it can be more expensive items, including money, electronics, clothing, or even collectibles. When you start noticing that your things are going missing, report it immediately to HR or your superiors. It’s important to at least get them alerted to the problem. It could be an internal person, someone from the cleaning staff, or anyone else trusted to walk around your business or office. HR can even install security cameras if it is serious enough.

10. When Rumors and Gossip Are Running Riot

You can’t avoid water cooler chats and idle gossip in businesses. It happens in kitchens, bathrooms, conference rooms, and anywhere else people congregate to chat. However, when this gossip goes from a little harmless griping, to something much more toxic, you need to speak up. You can either put a stop to the chat instantly when you hear it (i.e. “No, she didn’t say that, and was never even in that meeting”) or you can take your concerns to your superiors so that they can address the issues. Gossip can be very destructive, and needs to be stopped.

When has speaking up at work made you most proud?

 

MONEY Kids and Money

How New College Grads Can Beat the Tough Job Market

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The career expectations of college grads may be overoptimistic. But these strategies can boost their odds of landing a job.

As another crop of college graduates frame their diplomas, another dose of reality is about to set in. The financial crisis may be ancient history for this group, most of whom were still in middle school when the market began to plunge. But the effects linger—and new entrants to the job market may be surprised at how difficult it is, even now, to move ahead in this economy.

Eight in 10 new graduates expect to have a job in their field within a year, with more than half expecting to land one within two months, according to an analysis from Upromise.com, a college savings website. That jibes with research from Accenture, which found that 80% of the Class of 2015 say their education prepared them well for the workforce. Yet here’s the reality: 49% of graduates from 2014 and 41% from 2013 report being underemployed (having no job or one that does not require a college degree), Accenture found.

Meanwhile, just 15% of this year’s graduates expect to earn $25,000 or less in their first job. But almost three times that many from the classes of 2013 and 2014 report that level of income. So for entry-level job seekers, it’s still surprisingly tough out there.

Despite their upbeat expectations, most new grads do have a fallback plan: Mom and Dad. About half expect to be financially dependent on their parents for two years after graduation, and they are prepared to move back home and pay rent, Upromise found. This won’t surprise their parents. Nearly a quarter of 25- to 34-year-olds lives with parents or grandparents, up from 11% in 1980, Pew found. This failure to launch is so widespread psychologists have given it a name: emerging adulthood. The share of parents that expect to support their college graduates for two years or more doubled to 36% this year, according to the Upromise analysis.

Why, then, is this class of graduates so optimistic? First, optimism is rightfully a trait for the young, and Millennials possess it in staggering proportions—probably because they were raised by helicopter parents who constantly extolled their greatness and rewarded them with trophies for showing up. But more is at work here. The economy has been growing since 2009, when this class was taking the SATs. In their college years, this group has known only rising stock prices and an improving jobs and housing market. Consider: through four years of higher education the S&P 500 rose 2%, 16%, 32% and 13%. Even for the uninvested, that’s an encouraging backdrop.

This optimism may also spring from the Class of 2015’s improved career preparation. Accenture found that 82% considered the availability of jobs in their field before choosing a major. That’s up from 75% in the Class of 2014. To minimize student debt, more from this class also started at a community college. And—a crucial step—some 72% of this year’s class had an internship or apprenticeship while in school, up from 65% of graduates the year before.

This is all smart planning. More than half who took part in an internship said it led to a job, Accenture found. At the Intern Group, 88% of those who take part in an internship find work at a graduate level job within three months and 95% say the program was good for their career, says David Lloyd, the firm’s founder. Still, it seems we’ll be talking about the Great Recession a while longer.

Read next: The Costly Career Mistake Millennials Are Making

MONEY work life balance

Millennials Want Work-Life Balance Too. Here’s How They Can Get It

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Don't be afraid to ask.

We all want a life more that’s more balanced between work and fun. But millennials, more than any other age group, are the unhappiest when they don’t get it.

Nearly one-third of millennials say managing their work, family, and personal responsibilities has become more difficult in the past five years. And nearly half—47%—are working more hours, compared with 38% of Generation X and 28% of baby boom workers, according to a recent survey by Ernst & Young’s Global Generation Research.

More than other generations, millennials want flexibility in terms of where and how they work and are the most willing to take a pay cut, pass up a promotion, or even relocate to manage work-life demands better, according to the survey.

But employers don’t make it easy. Nearly one in six young workers surveyed by EY say they suffer negative consequences for choosing a flexible schedule.

Why should employers care about millennials want? This group—age 18 to 34—now officially outnumber Generation X as the most populous group in the workforce and are on track to surpass baby boomers soon. As employers try to attract and retain the best and the brightest, knowing what’s important to them is, well, important. Turnover among millennials tends to be higher than other work cohorts, and high turnover is costly to companies.

The E&Y survey further illuminates why this generation is more adamant about wanting flexibility. Millennials are hitting the time of their lives when they marry, buy homes, and have kids at the same time the demands of work are escalating.

“Earlier generations were probably too afraid to ask for flexibility. The mindset was that work comes first,” says Rose Ernst, national director of G10 Associates program, which works with companies to hire and retain college graduates and Generation Y workers. But many millennials grew up with parents who got laid off or whose careers suffered during recessions despite putting in long hours in the office. Meanwhile, technology has evolved so it’s easier to work from anywhere.

The dynamic on the home front has also changed. Millennials are almost twice as likely (78%) to have a spouse or partner working at least full time, compared with 73% of Gen Xers and 47% of baby boomers.

Until more millennials advance in their careers and become managers, the reality is that an older generation of workers still sets the standard for where and how work is done at many organizations. Here’s how to ask your boss for a flexible schedule and make it work without hurting your career.

  • Be up front. If you’re interviewing for a job, don’t wait until late in the game to ask about the possibility of a flexible work schedule, says Ernst. Research the company before you interview to find out what the culture is like in terms of nontraditional work arrangements. Clearly some jobs are going to be more adaptable than others. If you’re a human resources person focused on recruiting and meeting with job candidates, you may be able to do some work from home or after hours. If you’re managing a large team of people who work in one location, it’ll be more difficult to work remotely.
  • Be reasonable about why you’re asking. If you want to leave at 4 p.m. twice a week to take a class relevant to work, or if you need a few weeks off every February for volunteer work in Costa Rica, that’s going to be perceived differently than asking to leave early because you play in a softball league on Thursday nights.
  • Have a plan. If you’re already on staff and want to move to a flexible schedule, such as job sharing or telecommuting, prepare a proposal on how you’ll get your work done.
  • Don’t be a flake. It’s obvious but critical to be reliable. You’re much more vulnerable to being judged as a slacker when people can’t see you working. Always be reachable, deliver work on time or early, and make it a point to check in regularly.
  • Give and take. Volunteer for projects when you can or offer to help out colleagues on deadline, especially if others are making accommodations for your work schedule.

It remains to be seen how quickly work norms are changing. But there is power in numbers. “The millennials are a huge cohort of workers who value flexibility more than previous generations,” Ernst says. “That gives them leverage to change how we work.”

MONEY Workplace

How Your Coworkers Can Help You Succeed

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Building better work relationships can raise your visibility—and your salary

To nail that big promotion, you might want to get to know your colleagues better. Studies show that workplace friendships not only can increase job satisfaction and decrease stress, but can also boost productivity and job commitment. “Top employees don’t produce results in a vacuum,” says Marie McIntyre, author of Secrets to Winning at Office Politics. Take these steps to cultivate valuable, authentic relationships—and turn co-workers into co-conspirators.

Move in the Right Circles

Avoid aligning yourself too closely with poor performers. “You want to build your brand and reputation by associating with hard workers,” says Philadelphia executive coach Julie Cohen. Better yet, says McIntyre: Create an “influence map”—a short list of employees within and outside your department who could have a positive impact on your career. Assess which of these relationships need nurturing and target your efforts. Cozying up with a peer in HR, for example, can be very valuable; though he may not have decision-making power, he’ll know when a high-profile job opens.

Take It to The Next Level

Attending the happy hour will help you build camaraderie, but meet with key co-workers one on one to establish deeper connections, says Peggy Klaus, executive coach and author of The Hard Truth About Soft Skills. Start with lunch or coffee. For those you don’t know well, you might say, “I’m interested in how your division works. Do you have 15 minutes to chat over a latte?”

Since misery loves company, commiserating about work can also solidify a relationship. After a tense meeting, you might say, “That was a rough one! Do you have time for a debrief?” The trick is to avoid person-specific critiques and to steer the conversation in a positive direction, says Cohen.

Additionally, since helping others builds their loyalty, offer to cover for your pal when she’s on vacation. And make sure you sing her praises in front of VIPs after a major win (“Did everyone notice how sales took off since Mary’s campaign launched?”).

Leverage the Relationships

By having high performers as pals, you’ll know early about their high-profile projects. Offer to assist when you have relevant expertise so you can join in their successes.

Your friends can also help you nab the title and pay you want: Ask them to role-play negotiation conversations with you, suggests Spencer Harrison, professor at Boston College’s Carroll School of Management. The office stars are likely to know best what the boss values.

Finally, keep in touch when your buddies move on, says Harrison. They might go work for a desirable employer one day, which will give you entrée there too.

MONEY Careers

6 Super Ways to Shape Your Online Reputation

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Get a digital image makeover

Searching for another person’s online profile is common practice these days. Employers routinely use search engines to screen potential candidates. We even Google ourselves. It’s totally expected and normal!

Knowing that bits and pieces of information about your identity are floating around cyberspace should compel you to ensure your online reputation is in tip-top shape. And it’s easy with these reputation management tools.

1. Get YourName.com

The number one way to control your search results is by purchasing your own domain name. If you have a name that is unique (like mine), this will be cut and dry. For people with more common names, you’ll have to be a bit more creative. If the name Kim Smith is taken, incorporate your professional title. For example, Kim Smith, MBA could try www.kimsmithmba.com, or www.kimsmith-mba.com.

2. Get on LinkedIn

Adding your profile to popular social media sites is a surefire way to ensure the real you (that you wish to portray) shows up at the top of search results. LinkedIn is the largest social networking platform, with over 347 million users, and has great SEO power.

Creating a profile provides the unique advantage of getting your very own, customizable vanity URL. For example, if your name is Jane Smith, your personal LinkedIn page would look something like www.linkedin.com/en/janesmith. Because the LinkedIn network spans more than 200 countries worldwide, the letters preceding your name will represent your country’s code.

3. Get on Google+

If you don’t already have a Google account, it’s time you get one to start taking advantage of the super searchable features of Google+. It allows you to “share and [be] discover[ed], all across Google.” In many ways, it combines the features of popular social media networks. Users can create circles, add updates, and share posts and photos similar to Twitter and Facebook. And when someone searches for your name, your Google+ profile will be one on the first results to appear in search.

4. Setup Google Alerts

The Google Alerts tool allow you to monitor content on the web by inputting the search terms you want to track. Input your name to detect any new information that appears about you. You’ll be notified via e-mail with a link to the source whenever something new is found. If you’re unhappy about the content, you can use tools like the ones below to bury it in search rank.

5. Use Brand Yourself

With Brand Yourself, users can sign-up and personally manage their online profiles or receive the guided support of a reputation management expert. The free account has limited features that allow you to control your search results by “boosting” three URLs you want to appear at the top of search results. Paid accounts come with more boosts and additional features. You also get instructions on how to improve the rank of certain URLs, which you can apply to all of your reputation management efforts.

6. Use ReputationDefender

ReputationDefender is a company dedicated to helping its clients improve their online reputation. Though it’s a paid service, it can help you remove or minimize unwanted search results and boost positive search items. If you have serious online reputation concerns, this may be one of your best bets.

More From Wise Bread:

TIME Transportation

Hired for Their Looks, Promoted For Their Heroism: The First Flight Attendants

Church Schroeder
AP Photo Ellen Church and Virginia Schroeder, another flight attendant, pose in front of a modern 12-ton United Mainliner on May 14, 1940.

May 15, 1930: Ellen Church, America’s first stewardess, works her first flight

Ellen Church could fly, but the airlines weren’t interested in hiring women pilots in 1930. In fact, they weren’t convinced that women could do any job aboard a plane, as the New York Times later noted.

So Church, who was a registered nurse as well as a licensed pilot, appealed to the chauvinism of airline executives to help women find work in the skies, as she herself hoped to do. She recommended that nurses be hired to perform some of the tasks then handled by co-pilots, like hauling luggage and handing out lunches, as well as to help put the public at ease about the dangers of flying on the clunky, crash-prone early passenger planes.

Who better than nurses to put fearful passengers at ease, and who better than women to show men it was safe to fly? Or as Church put it, per the Times, “Don’t you think that it would be good psychology to have women up in the air? How is a man going to say he is afraid to fly when a woman is working on the plane?”

Officials with Boeing Air Transport, the predecessor of United Airlines, went for her pitch, and agreed to hire eight women, conditionally, for a three-month experiment. On this day, May 15, in 1930, Church and seven others began their first day of work as the country’s first flight attendants. Four flew from San Francisco to Cheyenne, Wyo., and the other four flew from Cheyenne to Chicago.

After the three months had ended, the original eight stayed on — and other airlines began recruiting their own stewardesses. According to TIME’s 1938 analysis, the jobs were highly competitive, and the hiring process was steeped in sexism. “To get their $100-to-$120-a-month jobs, applicants for the 300 stewardess posts [since 1930] had to be pretty, petite, single, graduate nurses, 21 to 26 years old, 100 to 120 lbs,” TIME notes. “Many of them found husbands right after they found jobs; few married pilots.”

The work itself was much more than pouring drinks and looking pretty, however. Stewardesses cleaned the cabin, helped fuel the planes and bolted down the seats before takeoff. And while they normally drew on their medical training only minimally, in assisting airsick and panicked passengers, they occasionally played the part of first responders in an emergency — as when 22-year-old TWA stewardess Nellie Granger ministered to critically injured passengers and then stumbled through snowy mountains in search of help after her flight crashed in Pennsylvania in 1936. (TWA rewarded her heroism with a paid cruise in the West Indies, along with a promotion.)

Church’s proposal was a success by most measures. Hiring female attendants paid off so handsomely in the air, in fact, that railroad executives followed suit, hoping to bring some of their glamor down to earth. But TIME’s 1937 dispatch about a recruitment drive for hostesses on the New Haven rail line reveals that while Church’s pioneering efforts might have opened new doors for female workers, only those with pageant-winning looks and charm were allowed to walk through — in the air or on land. As the story explains:

Candidates are required to be unmarried, 5 ft. 7 in. to 5 ft. 10 in. tall, aged 24 to 35, 115 to 135 lb. in weight. College graduates are strongly preferred. They must pass a “personality test”—i.e., be reasonably personable as well as amiable. Because Superintendent H. W. Quinlan of the New Haven’s dining cars believes that grace of carriage and movement is important, he insists on modeling experience as well as hostess experience.

Read the full story, here in the TIME archives: Women on Wheels

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