through a blog I was introduced to early (and I do mean early) this morning…..and I am happily following her now. If you want to read about the travels of a determinedly happy person, go check out The Snow Melts Somewhere.
She got me caught up in memories of the 80’s in her post “where were you in the 80’s“. ..and I thought, oh go ahead and write about it. So here I am, doing just that (or will be as soon as I stop explaining!)_
In the 1980’s George and I were living in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Our boys were in elementary school, George worked at a local hospital emergency room and was in the Army Reserves. I worked construction.
I know, but that’s our crazy family…I had a “guy” job and George was constantly being asked “why aren’t you a doctor? Are you gay?”
I’d drop the boys at school then go off to my job as a vivratory roller operator, and George in his white’s would go to the hospital.
I was busily helping to rebuild the highway between Richmond and Washington, DC and putting up with the constant and extremely annoying sexual harassment of the time from my boss and coworkers. One hot day, when I had been operating the machine without a break, 101 degree F temps, not a cloud in the sky and my boss calling me ‘sweet cheeks” (and worse) and suddenly I just couldn’t stand it anymore.
I told the boss every freakin day to lay off the comments and just let me do my job but he refused to listen. Said it would ‘toughen me up so I could do a man’s job”….I did my job better than the MEN that’s why I was the machine operator! I snapped.
I turned the machine so that the boss was directly in front of me, hit the vibrator (made the roller bounce up and down to pack the earth) and started towards him. he looked up when the flagger yelled “hey look out!” and saw that i was mad as hell and he was about to be splatted.
The boss turned tail and started running…what an idiot…..and his hard hat fell off. he started to reach for it but must have decided I was too close so he started running again and abandoned the hat.
Now he was inordinately proud of his hat. It was covered with beer labels from his vast drinking career of two decades and included “BILLY BEER” a label that failed during Carter’s presidency.
I headed straight for that danged hat and smashed the tar out of it…then backed up and rolled over it again and again all the while yelling “take THAT you chauvinist PIG!”. After smashing it completely flat, I stopped the machine, climbed down, picked up his hard hat and threw it like a frisbee into the dump truck. Then I walked up to the boss…whose reddened told me what was coming and said “If you EVER call me some damned sexist name again you can expect another hat…or worse, to be flattened!”.
I left for a lunch break, then came back as if nothing had happened….and he couldn’t fire me as I was the token woman working for the Virginia department of transportation a the time!