Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 49 > Page 74 - Part One of a Two-Part Story: We Worked for General Instruments

Page 74 - Part One of a Two-Part Story: We Worked for General Instruments

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1988/8/1 (138 reads)

living at it, you know. I couldn't afford to make a living. (Let me say it a different way. For the work you did, did you then think, "This is fair pay"?) It was the first place I ever worked. And, to be truthful, I thought it was just great, to have that kind of money in my pocket on Friday. When you come from a large family, all small kids--I mean, if you got a dollar, you were a millionaire. But then I quit there on Friday, and I went out to the G.I. plant on Monday--it was in the summer--with my girl friend. She had worked there, and she was off, out on sick leave. And she was going out to tell them she was ready to go back to work. So I went over with her, and the girl said to me, "Why don't you fill out an application while you're here?" I said, "Sure." I had a white suit on. At 10 o'clock I was sitting down, full of grease, working! At $1.40 an hour. I went from 80 cents on Friday. On Monday I was making $1.40 an DRAFTEX ARCHITECTURAL DRAFTING & DESIGN COMMERCIAL & RESIDENTIAL DESIGN BLUEPRINTING & COPYING P. O. Box 250 100 Reserve Street Glace Bay, N. S. B1A5V3 BILL WHITE Bus.: 849-5494 Res.: 862-7408 WE'RE PROUD TO SHARE... Scottish and Acadian Festivals Hiking trails, picnic and camping parks Museums and heritage The warmest waters north of the Carolinas! Cottage crafts and works of art The Cape Breton highlands National Park Fresh and salt water fishing Horse racing, canoeing, and other sports Fine accprnmodations, gift shops Restaurants Wildlife The Sunset Side of Cape Breton Requests for Visitor's Guide, broctiures, and general information may be made to: Inverness County Department of Recreation/Tourism P.O. Box 179. Port Hood, N.S. BOE 2W0 (902)787-2274 hour out there. Of course, I wasn't pre? pared to start work. They asked me did I want to start right then and there. Or, I could come back the next morning. And of course, when they told me I was going to get $1.40 an hour, which was 40, 50, 60 cents more than I was getting--that was like offering me $20 an hour today. "I'll start right now!" I was scared to death, if I went home, they weren't going to call me to come back the next day. I wasn't taking any chances. (And you were wearing a white suit, and then you were full of grease--you have to explain that to me.) Well, the (radio) tun? ers, and all the things you picked up-- everything was greased. You know, all oiled like. Full of black grease. And of course, every time you picked one up, you were full of grease. It was a dirty job, a very dirty job. Your hands--like, I used to have to fix these cdlls up, to fit in the machine. And all the time my fingers were just cut to pieces. We used to tape our fingers up. Of course at this point, the first week, I didn't know about taping my fingers up. Till I got onto it, eh? And oh, my hands were cut. (Did they provide uniforms?) No. No. No, you just wore old clothes. A lot of the girls wore an apron. But they bought it themselves, and brought it from home, and took it home and washed it. They never gave you anything. They gave you gloves to put on your hands. And they used to give you the tape. We used to put like a little glove on our hand, and then we'd tape these two fingers up. (The thumb and forefin- "Enjoy superS dining in a re[a?(ing & iuTQirious atmospfiere SPECIALIZING IN CHINESE CUISINE Canadian Dishes also available FULLY LICENSED TAKE OUT & DELIVERY ORDERS Major Credit Cards Accepted ilekjng Hestaurant 355 Charlotte Street Dov/r'town Sydney Tel: 539-7775 Open daily] 1:00 am ONE OF } CAPE BRETON'S FINEST i U ''
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