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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 >>

Cameraderie and joking on the job

The work environment at the factory was lenient enough to allow some practical joking, and workers used to attach "tails" of wool to one another's rears. One jokester was Vickie Jacobs, whose interview appears in this collection. Jacobs was also an ally of Hanks's, pacing her work and befriending her.

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:
Were there some practical jokers?
BARBARA HANKS:
Oh. man, yeah! Like some of them, you know, that wool I was telling you about?
PATRICK HUBER:
Uh, huh.
BARBARA HANKS:
They would roll it up and make it like a long tail. You wouldn't know it. You'd walk by, and they'd just kind of like tag it on your back. [Laughter] Then you'd walk and, man, that little tail swinging. And you'd notice people kind of laughing. They'd let you walk around half the day like that, and here you're going downstairs and everything with that wool hanging down there and looking like a little tail. Yeah. and we'd laugh. too. when you seen other people. But that got to be aggravating because every time you'd walk by them you'd think, here you go, you start patting because you have that tail hanging down. But that was funny.
PATRICK HUBER:
Who would have done things like that? Was there just a couple of people there?
BARBARA HANKS:
Well, Vickie.
PATRICK HUBER:
Vickie Jacobs?
BARBARA HANKS:
Yeah, she would do it a lot. She is a card. She is a mess. She's the main one, yeah. Yeah, and see that's something, too, with the Hillsborough plant closing they come up. That was really something. When they first come, you know, everybody's like, "Yeah, they gonna try to come and take over everything." It was nothing like that. We all become real good friends and worked together. It was good. Me and her both--cause I had never done the furniture that they done, and she hadn't never done the furniture we done. So me and her would talk and worked together. That was real good instead of trying--. "Well, you ain't gonna outdo me, and I ain't gonna outdo you." She helped me a lot, and I think I helped her a lot.