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Oral History Interview with Andy Foley, May 18, 1994. Interview K-0095. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007).
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  • Abstract
    Andy K. Foley made drawers for the White Furniture Company, but he did not stay on the job very long before the news came that the factory was going to close its doors. In this interview, he briefly describes his work routine and recalls his and his coworkers' responses to the closing. Like many of his coworkers, Foley worried a bit about his financial future, but his greatest concern was the dissolution of the friendships he formed on the job and as a member of the company softball team, and the loss of a fun work environment. This final element is the focus of this interview. Foley is an enthusiastic prankster, and he and his friends used the factory as a playground, playing jokes on one another and their coworkers. This sense of fun sustained him during a long period of unemployment, but he could not bring it to his new workplace, where horseplay is unwelcome. This interview emphasizes the unique, social atmosphere at the factory, drawing attention to a change that may have been echoed as North Carolina's industries endured challenging transitions in the 1980s and 1990s.
    Excerpts
  • Diverse work environment
  • Comfortable job, but with some pressures
  • Drop in quality contributes to factory closure
  • Somber mood in a closing factory
  • Uniquely comfortable atmosphere at a furniture factory
  • Practical jokes and horseplay at the White Furniture Company
  • Plant closure presents a former worker with a promising opportunity
  • Learn More
  • Finding aid to the Southern Oral History Program Collection
  • Database of all Southern Oral History Program Collection interviews
  • Subjects
  • Furniture industry and trade--North Carolina
  • Furniture workers--North Carolina
  • White Furniture Company
  • North Carolina--Social conditions
  • Foley, Andy, 1967-
  • The Southern Oral History Program transcripts presented here on Documenting the American South undergo an editorial process to remove transcription errors. Texts may differ from the original transcripts held by the Southern Historical Collection.

    Funding from the Institute for Museum and Library Services supported the electronic publication of this title.