We used to push through b/w in those large, black Kodak (?) tanks with floating lids to conserve the solutions when not being used. The films were clipped onto frames and then placed onto a sort of rack thing that you could lift up and down, much like frying potato chips. Real chips. Do them in virgin olive oil and you'll never look at a bought one again.
Our colour stuff went through small stainless steel tanks called Dallon, of Daler, or something similar. I can't remember the 'boss' or anyone else noticing uneven development. As for safelight, we used lots of panchromatic film so it was total darkness. No trouble at all as long as you have no fear of the dark. Incidently, don't ever use strip lights in a darkroom: they glow for ages even when you think they are off.
Line film we did in the red.
Walter: welcome aboard! You'll find a couple of folks you may remember from way back.