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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Alice P. Evitt, July 18, 1979. Interview H-0162. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Verbal abuse for workers from mill bosses

Evitt remembers the harsh mill bosses who verbally abused their workers for a variety of reasons.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Alice P. Evitt, July 18, 1979. Interview H-0162. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

JIM LELOUDIS:
Do you remember any other times that you or people in your family quit? What happened that made them quit?
ALICE P. EVITT:
Back then, the boss man would get on you for nothing. Out to Highland Park, they was awful bad about that. My daddy was about to get in trouble-'bout to whoop one of them bosses about gettin' on my sister so much. He'd get on her she'd go to the bathroom. He'd holler and go on at her that way, and he didn't allow men to do like that. We quit then. I wasn't workin'. They quit. He was about to get in trouble. He was about to whoop him, or try to whoop him. They'd do all them spinners that way. After I went to work in there, they knowed my daddy, they never did holler at me or nothing like that. But they would then when it was just. . . . They'd be right mad at them, hollerin' at them. Back then, the bosses, they just thought they could boss you around and make you do as they say do. They would them that would listen to them, but we never did listen to them, cause my daddy told us not to. So, he knowed we wasn't goin' to do nothin' wrong, but he wanted us to do our work right. They was just mean to people back them days. I never had them be mean to me that way. When I wanted off and couldn't get off, that wasn't bein' mean, they just needed me.
JIM LELOUDIS:
What type of things would they fuss at you about?
ALICE P. EVITT:
I don't know what they would do. Maybe your work'd be runnin' bad and you couldn't keep it up good. You'd be workin' as hard as you could, and it would get all messed up. Some rollers choked up on it and you couldn't help yourself. It wasn't your fault, and they'd just raise cane with you about it. People doin' all they could do, that's all they could do. They thought they could do more than they could do. They'd get on 'em and holler at them. You could hear them all over the plant-much fussin's that made-you could hear them holler at people. I never had one to holler at me like that. I guess they would of, but I never did. But I sure did hear 'em holler at t'other people. Of course, they don't do that now, but they did then.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Did they have real strict rules? You said they tried to run your sister out of the rest room.
ALICE P. EVITT:
A lot of them go in there and they'd talk. Their work'd be goin' bad. They'd go to the door and holler at 'em make 'em come out of there. That's all I knowed they'd do because they never did holler at me. But I heard my sister and them tell about 'em hollerin' at them. I heared 'em holler at other people.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Could you talk to people you were workin' near . . .
ALICE P. EVITT:
Oh yes, if your work was caught up, you could go on and do what you want to do around. They didn't care.