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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Barbara Hanks, August 10, 1994. Interview K-0098. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Point system for evaluating conduct

White Furniture Factory was not a strict work environment, Hanks remembers, but there were rules that limited smoking and eating on the job. Hanks also recalls the factory's point system, which penalized employees for lateness and other infractions.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Barbara Hanks, August 10, 1994. Interview K-0098. 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

PATRICK HUBER:
What sort of rules would they have at Hickory-White's that you had to--? You mentioned you couldn't eat on the eat
BARBARA HANKS:
Right. You're not supposed to eat on the job, but we did. Of course, you couldn't smoke in the bathrooms.
PATRICK HUBER:
Or anywhere inside?
BARBARA HANKS:
No, except down in the break room or outside, you know. Really they wasn't that strict, I mean, you know, they just let you use your common sense, you know, when you were working you were supposed to be in your work area. But other than that, I mean, you know it wasn't really that strict. Now, working, they wanted you to be there everyday. They had a point system. If you was out or whatever, you know, you could be out, I think, like three days and it would be one point. But you set to work your points off. They was really lenient, I mean, compared to other plants. I mean, like leaving, a lot of plants, you couldn't leave, like, go out and get stuff. Now, people has got hit, you know, it's bad, cause, you know, when the whistle blows, you know, we'd all just run out and there were cars and stuff-. People has got hit out there and that was really bad. A guy got killed coming to work.
PATRICK HUBER:
When you were there?
BARBARA HANKS:
Yeah. It was really bad. He was coming--. He'd been working there a long time, and he was coming to work, and he was coming across the road, and a truck hit him. That was real bad.
PATRICK HUBER:
Was he an old guy?
BARBARA HANKS:
Yeah, he'd been working there. They said that evidently he wasn't paying attention, you know, when you come in the mornings you're half asleep. He was coming across the tracks and really wasn't paying attention. It was real bad. Then a girl in the evening--. Now in the evening time we was wild, you know, we're going home. [Laughter] And she got hit. Went running out and not looking. So when that happened they kind of got concerned, you know. First, we'd have to punch in and out when we left. Everybody understood that then cause I'm assuming we was still on their time if you got hit. So when we run over we'd have to punch out and in. That wasn't too bad. But it didn't last long cause, you know, they'd say "I'll punch later."
PATRICK HUBER:
Would you all punch out a little bit before work ended?
BARBARA HANKS:
No. Cause the clock, you know, it would put your time on there. So no, if we got to the clock we'd wait until it clicked and blow before we punch out. See, now, a lot of people don't even have the clocks to punch in and out. I know, we don't at Dixie. Cause there'll be something every morning, and there you are lined up and punching in.