Daily Archives: August 12, 2011

Working On the Line – A Source of Pride

It’s the last day of the factory week here at Bon Bons and Martinis.  And today, I want to talk about pride.

I may not have been working during her war, but I worked during ours.

You heard me.  I’m damn proud that I worked at Whirlpool, and I’m have so much revere for those who have made factory work their careers.  It takes a lot to be a factory worker–strength, determination, willingness to be in the actual setting of the factory.  Everyone who works at a factory deals with a hazardous environment, hard work, and so much more.
Now, you all know I’m by no means a feminist.  I need that to be clear right off the bat.  I will say, though, that being a woman in a factory is much different than being a man.  Manual labor has always been considered “man’s work” and it’s easy to see why.  But you know what?  What all the men were at war in the 1940’s (and thank God they went, because I’m not so sure I’d be good in combat), the women stepped up to the plate and did work–factory work.
Rosie the Riveter is monumental.  From her beauty to her brawn to her brains.  And we were lucky to have thousands upon thousands of Rosies step up to the plate and keep our country going.
I’m lucky to have experienced factory work firsthand.  I know what it is to work hard and to ache.  And I know what it takes for the people who were around me to work that hard for the majority of their lives.  No one can say that I had it easy my entire career.
I’ve always felt tough.  I still feel tough, but there’s something about twisting steel and wire in your hands that makes you realize that you can handle whatever life throws at you.

Posted by on August 12, 2011 in Fremont


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Working On the Line – What I Learned

I learned a lot over those six summers.  Da da da DA – another list for your easy-reading pleasure.

What I Learned On the Line:

That starting work at 6:45 am sucked, but getting out at 3 pm rocked.

That going to rock concerts on work nights was stupid and awesome.

That when you are around potty mouths, you become a potty mouth.

That I could do manual labor with the best of ’em.

That learning a new job wreaks havoc on your muscles.

That everyone’s soul has a little youth left in it.

That no matter how ergonomic a chair claims to be, it’s still uncomfortable.

That the quiet ones have the most to say.

That everyone was a little wild in their younger age.

That people are willing to admit things only months after doing something wrong.

That it takes a strong marriage to make it in a factory.

That summer help can sometimes turn into permanent help.

That working in a factory is kind of fun.

That you do end up making friends–real friends.

That while it was incentive to stay in college, part of me will always miss it a little.

That it was comforting to come back to the same people summer after summer.

That as a woman, just saying hello to a man with no other intention can cause a world of trouble.

That as a man, vice versa.

That if you dress up for work, people will think you’re snooty.

That no one cares if you wear the same two pairs of pants over and over again.

That you’re bound to get hurt on the machines.

That people jonesin’ for a cig on their breaks can walk faster than Olympic sprinters can run.

That potlucks are Red Letter Days.

That we all gossip.

That few apologize.

And that we were all meant to be there at some point.


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Posted by on August 12, 2011 in Daily Happenings


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