Aggressive pals

This was the best job in the factory because Lily loved to work. She showed me how to use the packing machine and how to read the orders and we worked really hard.

By now, I was spending the evenings with some of the other girls from the neighbourhood, and soon, after all the fuss about working too hard had settled down, some of the factory girls did as well.

We were all aggressive and kept getting into fights at dances.  It was almost   like enjoying fun with the school-friends I never had -- going about in a big, giggling gang, acting tough with other gangs of girls and having fits of uncharacteristic shyness when confronted by boys.

That was outside the factory.  Inside, we tormented the men mercilessly.  The owner’s son got most of the stick.  He was a shy, sheltered boy, who had arrived straight from Oxford to learn about the business.  Nothing at Oxford had prepared him for this gang of Liverpool women.  He was obviously afraid of women and blushed easily.  Everyone would wink and make suggestive comments about him and his face would flare the colour of beetroot.  Lily and I were the worst teasers, especially during the time his father made him do a time and motion study on us.

This study came about because there was no bonus for packers.  It annoyed me because it meant that no matter how hard Lily and I worked, we were the only two workers without a chance to earn more money.  I needed the cash to finance my newfound social life, so I went to see the manager, Johnny Walker himself.

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