Thursday, March 8, 2012


First week in the bomber factory. Even though I wasn't sure what to expect, somehow it still wasn't what I expected. I've never worked before, let alone with men, particularly machinists who aren't used to having women around and are none too happy about it.

Naively I anticipated that the men would be glad we were helping them with the war effort. But I suppose they miss their buddies who have enlisted, or wish that they could have signed up as well. I haven't heard yet why these fellows have remained at Boeing, but I imagine some are too old to join up or have physical problems of one sort or another keeping them out of the service.

Whatever the reason, they seem determined to take it out on us women. I don't mind the sour faces worn by my new colleagues so much as the outright hostile behavior. Our foreman Tom acts like we're about as welcome as ants at a picnic, but he's been fair so far about assigning and overseeing our work. As long as we're meeting his standards for speed and accuracy he pretty much leaves us alone.

I can't say the same for the other men on our shift. They're supposed to work with us but seem far more interested in playing pranks. A riveter named Frank Lomax has been really getting my goat; pinching my bottom and hiding Susan's tools. But Susan seems to have lost a little of her ire since handsome Grant Wilson came to her rescue and got her bucking bar back from Frank. She's been blushing like a schoolgirl every time Grant walks by!

I'm not so easily mollified. This war took my husband from me and sent him thousands of miles away to great danger. I've given up my normal life to spend six days a week in this huge, noisy building full of weird-looking airplane parts, working until I'm so tired I fall asleep on the bus home, just to help bring this thing to an end. I'll be damned (I can't believe I just wrote that word - factory life must already be rubbing off on me!) if I'm going to let a bunch of galoots in overalls get in my way!

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