Women Don't Make Good Bosses, Says Olga Ramsay
(Editor’s note: This is the third in a series of articles about women who hold administrative jobs in business and industry in Ann Arbor.)
By Marty Papo
Here's a woman who doesn’t think women make good bosses, but she seems to be a pretty good one herself. She says women are too demanding to be good bosses.
Olga Ramsay is the owner and manager of Ramsay Printers, Inc. She, like other women in Ann Arbor’s business world, took over the business when her husband died. When she began, she says, the printing business had her “completely baffled.”
But today there isn’t much that she can’t do or hasn’t done.
She never learned to run the automatic presses, but she does run the hand press, can fold, stitch and do other mechanical jobs in connection with printing. However, her job is primarily to keep the business in order by doing the bookwork and the buying, and by maintaining customer relations.
In spite of the fact that she has an office girl to take customers’ orders and to sell stationery and cards, Mrs. Ramsay is often pressed into service, too.
Planned To Be Librarian
Mrs. Ramsay, a graduate of the University class of ’25, had trained to be a librarian. She came to Michigan in 1922 from Minnesota and met her husband, James D. Ramsay of Ann Arbor, while in college. She was married in 1926 after having worked as a librarian for one year in a Detroit high school. Since her marriage she has lived in Ann Arbor.
Her one daughter, Kris Clark, had at one time been a general helper in the shop, but now she only comes in occasionally to help when really needed. She’s busy enough with her two daughters, Lee and Kim (who are Mrs. Ramsay’s favorites. Now she turns up as general helper for her daughter—she babysits.)
Ramsay-Kern Printers, Inc., was formed in 1936. Two months after Mrs. Ramsay joined the business in 1940 "Cotton” Kern died, leaving her to run things alone. In 1945 Ramsay Printers, Inc., was formed.
“It’s a corporation now, but I own 100 per cent of the stock,” she said.
Business Expanded In 1945
Originally the business was located in the First National Building. In 1945 it was moved to the present E. Liberty St. location. At that time Mrs. Ramsay added cards and stationery to the business which had until that time included only job printing.
The shop closes every Saturday afternoon, and that’s probably because Mrs. Ramsay is an ardent sports fan who hasn’t missed a Michigan football game in years. She’s enthusiastic about basketball and hockey, too.
She is active in the Zonta Club and is recording secretary for the Ann Arbor Business and Professional Women’s Club. She is also a member of the Washtenaw Nursing Council and is on the promotions committee for the Retail Merchants Association.
"Meeting, meetings, and more meetings,” she says.
When she isn't at one of those meetings she’s at home at her Nob Hill Pl. apartment, reading or babysitting with those granddaughters.
OUT IN THE SHOP: When Mrs. Olga Ramsay meets customers in her printing shop she might have a smudge of printers ink on her hands, but that’s because she gets into all phases of the business. There isn’t much about the printing business that Mrs. Ramsay can’t handle.
Printers & Printing
Ramsay Printers Inc.
Women in Business
Ann Arbor Businesses
Ramsay-Kern Printers Inc.
Zonta Club of Ann Arbor
Ann Arbor Business and Professional Women Club
Washtenaw Commmunity Nursing Council
Ann Arbor Retail Merchant's Association
Ann Arbor News
James D. Ramsay
Kristeen Ramsay Clark
Kim Marie Clark Braun
Lee Ann Clark Barrineau
Edward W. 'Cotton' Kern
119 E. Liberty
119 E Liberty St