hired me in 1948. department expediter became
my first title. i worked with interiors—velvet, silk.
they paid me 63-and-a-half cents an hour, rounding
up to the next full penny if i worked 41 or 43 hours.
i made sure special units that had to go out the next
day were ready in time from the cutters, seamstresses,
and interior installers. the factory sent me to school
in philadelphia to learn more about textiles and how
to do industrial time study engineering, to see just
how long it took to do a single job—three stopwatches
always in my pockets. after three years, i quit to serve
in the national guard and worked at the armory
in pottstown, taking care of the equipment, like
rifles and trucks. but my recordkeeping skills
there impressed the bosses at the casket factory,
so they hired me again in 1955. then i did cost
accounting for them, earning $1.60 an hour.