Great Jobs: Chapter 5-Mom Made Me Quit A Lot of Good Jobs
It was 1941, I had just graduated from High School, the war had not yet started for the USA, but we were supplying England, Russia, and other allies with munitions.
Missouri had built a new dual lane, divided Highway 40, what was then the forerunner of today’s interstates, from Weldon Springs to Lindberg, Blvd. and off routes to the new Small Arms plant in North Saint Louis, at Goodfellow and Natural Bridge Avenues.
Jobs were now plentiful and everywhere, as opposed to a year or so earlier when we were still just getting out of the Great Depression.
So I found a great driving job, 40 bucks a day, everyday, as soon as you turned in, and I did mention to my mom, that I was driving ‘supplies’ to the new Small Arms plant.
“Well, that sounds great”, she said in passing as she took off for her job. And no more was said about the new job for quite some time.
And, as was the custom in those days, the Insurance man used to drop by about once a month to collect on policies and update them and such things as that, sometimes even selling a new policy or adding additional coverage to existing policies. That was a common practice in those days since as the Depression Era passed on, people began to find jobs and get better jobs with more pay and now they were worth more, thus, more insurance coverage.
It seems that it wasn’t too long after, on one of the visits by our Insurance man, my mother called me in for ‘consultation’.
“Francis, what in God’s name are you doing now”? asked my mother, “Did you know that your insurance is going to be cancelled”?
“Gee, what for, I didn’t do anything”.
“Well, maybe you did, or, you are doing”. Mom had a way with words.
“Master Helmer” the agent began. And, he did know better than to call me Francis. “You seem to be in a dangerous occupation”.
‘You mean driving a pick up with supplies is a dangerous job”?
“Well, it is, if the ‘supplies’ are 5 gallon carboys of Nitro Glycerin”, said the agent.
“And beside you are transporting them in intrastate traffic between dangerous plants, where they make it and where they use it for munitions. And, there have been incidents of explosions in transit and at these plants. Beside that, the police have to ‘escort’ the trucks and stop traffic on the highways that you use between plants”.
“Francis”, my mother was serious, ‘you quit that job, Right Now!, and Mr. Jones, you make sure you reinstate that Insurance policy, Right Now”.
Gee, it was hard to keep good jobs with mom on my tail all the time.
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