Photo taken in:PragueCountry name at time of photo:Czechoslovakia, 1945-1989Country name today:Czech Republic
This is my wife, Libuse Brodova, nee Kvasnickova. The photo is from the 1980's.
My wife worked for fifteen years at the Academy of Sciences, and another fifteen years with a bucket as a cleaning woman, and that at three different places.
She had problems even finding any sort of work, she was refused at about forty-nine places before she even found something, thanks to some connection.
I for example remember that once she almost started working in the Tyl Theater.
Everything was on the right track, in the theater itself it was all arranged, but because the Tyl Theater belonged under the National Theater, she had to go secure it at the directorship of the National Theater as well.
Here she filled out a huge amount of paperwork, which they absolutely couldn't do without, and then went into an office where there was sitting one of those typical cadre officer women.
My wife says that it looked like something from a film: she had this beehive hairdo, that was the style then, glasses, and she told her to wait in the hall.
She called somewhere and because she had her papers, she of course found out what my wife was about, that she was expelled and everything connected with that...
So she called her in, she didn't even wait for her to properly enter the office, and across the whole room said to her: We have a ban from the Ministry of Culture (the theater belonged under the Ministry of Culture), we're not supposed to employ THESE people. THESE people.
As a cleaning woman she wasn't very well paid, but it did have the advantage that she could basically do the work anytime and I could also help her out at work or take her place occasionally.
The place where she worked the longest, and the time from which she has the fondest memories, was when she cleaned at the Theatrical Institute in Celetna [Street], it had been reconstructed, a nice environment, they treated her decently...
There was a hall there, where today's Kaspar Theater is, and in the morning the Smetana Quartet always rehearsed in that hall. So she grew to quite like it.
She would make them tea, and they would bring her souvenirs from their various trips...to this day they tell people to say hello to her.
The work wasn't that demanding time-wise, during that time my wife began to do yoga, she's is also a vegetarian. In 1987 she retired.