Union Made


Right after graduating from high school in the spring of 1976, I went to work at Beech Aircraft Corporation (now Hawker Beechcraft) in Wichita, Kansas. My father was a Beechcrafter, a factory-line sheet-metal worker – and he had learned that the company had a policy of hiring college-bound kids of employees for summer work. So there was really no question of whether or not I would do it. I needed cash for school, and no other summer job would pay as well.

This is how I became a member, for three consecutive summers, of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (the IAMAW, or simply IAM).

I remember the hire-on procedure quite well, especially the first time: I filled out a long application form, then sat at a desk across from a necktied Company representative who scowled at the form and asked me the same questions to which I had already written answers. Then, once the Company man verified that I was the son of a twenty-year factory employee and that I wasn’t a goddamn hippie drug addict (yes, he asked, although not quite in those words), I was told that I was hired . . . and sent around a corner to the Union desk.

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Erin Writes About, well, Writing

Erin O’Brien has a regular gig with the Cleveland Free Times, a column called Rainy Day Woman, and this week she writes about rejection.

This is what it says:

Dear Writer,

Unfortunately this submission does not meet our current needs. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to read it and good luck.

– The Editorial Staff.

But you’re certain it says this:

Dear Fuckhead,

Thanks for sending this piece of shit submission. We laughed our asses off over it! Greggers thought the crap about the broad knitting booties for the dead baby was so funny, he highlighted it and tacked the page on the break room bulletin board. Trudy laughed so hard at the blood scene that Diet Pepsi squirted out her nose.

Publish it? Yeah, right. Maybe in our “Greatest Shits” issue. Ha!

Read the rest here.