Aug. 28th, 2014

nagunak: (bridge)
Originally posted by [ profile] ms_violet at old husbands' tales
Here is a story for [ profile] lesbianhedgehog, which I think might give others a giggle too.

(If you and I are friends offline, you've heard this one before. Apologies.)

A friend of my dad's (let's call him Larry) inherited management of a tool-and-die factory from his father. The factory was out in central Pennsylvania, deep in the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch Country. The people who worked there weren't Amish or Mennonite specifically, but they were people who had mentalities set about 30-50 years behind the rest of the East Coast. They were of a simpler time, let's say.

Anyway, Larry comes in with his shiny business degree and newfangled ideas, and it was the 70's, so Larry starts hiring women. Not to pour coffee, not to type correspondence, but to actually work on the factory floor making tools and dies. I suspect it may have been less of a "let's hire women!" thing, and more of a "job applications will not be ignored if the applicant's name is Wendy" kind of thing.

There was a chill in the emotional air, but the factory workers, many of whom had been there for decades and planned to stay there for their entire lives, kept a stiff upper lip. Larry knew this wouldn't be welcomed with smiles and parties, but he figured these guys weren't going to start burning shit down either.

So, the male factory workers got their heads together and they talked, and they quietly appointed a representative to go have a chat with Larry.  (When my dad's friend tells this story, he adopts a German accent to illustrate the representative, but that doesn't fly well with autocorrect and anyway I don't know that the Pennsylvania Dutch sound like that.)

Larry, being a nice guy with a progressive, 70's-era business sense, sits down with him to chat. The guy is instantly more comfortable in Larry's office than Larry, having been with this company for decades.

"Well, Larry, I knew your father, and he was a good man, and he always did the right thing by us, and he always ran this company well and fairly. And I know you've got a good education, and you're a good man too, like your father, you've made this company better in the time since you've been here, but this is about the hiring of the women."


"And, you know, Larry, at first we didn't think this would go so well, but you know, they're good, the girls you hired, they're careful, they're patient, attention to detail is good, they work hard, they're hard workers. So far everything is good. But I have to caution you, Larry, because I think there's something you don't know about having women work with the tool and dye manufacturing."

"What's that?"

"You have to understand, Larry, everything is okay right now... but once a month, the steel will rust."


Thank you.


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