The other day, I got a phone call from a dear old friend, Steve Bull. Steve lives in Lynne, Mass. Apparently at my retirement party in June, Steve and my Mom got into a conversation about when she and her best friend, Betty worked painting dials for a company in Swampscott during the war. Steve now works at a law firm in that area, and came across an article he thought Mom might "enjoy". It is from the July 1943 issue of Transportation Magazine, and is called "The 1943 Guide to Hiring Women". It was written for male supervisors of women in the work force during World War II. It features eleven "tips" for getting more efficiency out of women employees. It begins with the line,"the most important things now are to select the most efficient women available and how to use them to the best advantage". (Use them??? I guess this information would be very useful for men--just like if we went to work today with orangutans working next to us!) **Please note--the remarks in parenthesis are mine!
Here are a few of my "favorites"
**Pick young married women. They usually have more of a sense of responsibility than their unmarried sisters, they're less likely to be flirtatious, they need the work or they wouldn't be doing it, they still have the pep and interest to work hard and to deal with the public efficiently. (Right, because God knows the men would never be flirtatious!! I'm sure it was the secretary chasing the boss around the desk!)
**General experience indicates that "husky" girls--those who are just a little on the heavy side-are more even tempered and efficient than their underweight sisters. (Maybe because the underweight sisters are freaking starving to death!!)
**Give the female employee a definite day-long schedule of duties so that they'll keep busy without bothering the management for instruction every few minutes. Numerous properties say that women make excellent workers when they have their jobs cut out for them, but they lack the initiative in finding work themselves. (Sure, because they must have had sooo much free time when they were homemakers doing everything by hand!)
**Stress the importance of time the fact that a minute or two lost here and there makes serious inroads on schedules. Until this point is gotten across service is likely to be slowed up. (Tell that to the guys who are out drinking their 3 martini lunch!)
**Give every girl an adequate number of rest periods during the day. You have to make some allowances for feminine psychology. A girl has more confidence and is more efficient if she can keep her hair tidied, apply fresh lipstick and wash her hands several times a day. (Maybe some of the guys should wash up a bit, too)
**Get enough size variety in operator's uniforms so that each girl can have a proper fit. This point can't be stressed too much in keeping women happy. (Even with tidy hair and fresh lipstick, there's nothing like a properly sized uniform to keep you happy!)
Look--here come some of those happy workers now!!
All I can say is tonight, when I go to bed, I'm going to thank God that times change--maybe the good old days aren't always so good---just old! Any thoughts?