I worked at this job for over 10 years. Most people didn't last that long! Although the job was 'easy' it was very hard! For it was the amount you had to do every hour, that made it almost impossible. When I first started working there the Manager Stephen didn't 'know' me, but after a few months working there he gradually began to. Imagine the road as a 'T' junction, I would be walking on the main road and would turn left into the side road and Stephen would also be on the main road coming from the opposite direction and he too would turn right into the same side road, after a while instead of driving past me, he'd stop his car and give me a lift to the top of the road where we both worked. At first I would sit on the back seat and after a few mornings of this when we pulled into the car park I would wave to the workers who were outside smoking, like I was the Queen, it was that sort of a wave. He had a Mercedes then with his initials on the registration plates.
After a few years of working there, if I happen to book a day off, Stephen would always notice, and would say to the person who sat next to me, “Where is Grace today?” He'd be told, “She has booked a day off and will be back in tomorrow.” But I didn't notice him doing that to other people......
The wage was very low. He did very well from his workers. The Customers paid good money for the work that we did, but we in general didn't get it, but him.
When Stephen had a new car, a Jaguar, the Workers who all knew I went in from the bottom of the road, said to me, “Stephen won't have you in his car now it is new” I said, “He will!” And sure enough, after about 4 days I was picked up as usual from the bottom of the road, and as we arrived into the car park I would, in jest, wave to my co-workers, from the back seat.
One day it was Winter and cold I had my favourite duffel coat on, it wasn't very long as some of these coats are but it sort of came to my hips in length. I was wearing this with red knitted tights and a black skirt. The skirt was similar to a pencil skirt. I always did a brisk walk to work from home I timed it well so I could clock in, I was never late for I knew where I should be along the way and at what time I should be, when I turned into the side road, for the final stretch of the walk, so that I would clock in with a minute or two to spare. I suppose it kept me fit. But I was fit and slim anyway. I didn't walk for exercise but to save on bus fare! So on this Winter morning as I started to walk, I noticed my nylon 'pencil skirt' was slowly riding up my legs, when I realized this I pulled it down, but then time was of the essence so I thought “Don't worry about the skirt, just walk!” I turned left into the side road and Stephen stopped his car and I got in, he glanced quickly twice at me as I said, “Morning” It was then I saw it!!!! All I saw when I looked at my lap was my red tights and duffel coat! Where on earth was my skirt!? Had it fallen off? What must Stephen think, that's why he'd looked at me quickly twice. You know where my skirt was, it had ridden up with the friction of my tights and the material of my skirt up to my waist & stayed there! So I lifted my bum off the seat and edge my skirt from where it had disappeared and by the time we had arrived my skirt was back covering my legs! Goodness knows what Stephen thought when he picked me up that morning. I didn't bother to explain either.
Then after a few more years he had another new car, I told you he did well, this time he had a Daimler. WOW! What a car! Even I was doubtful that I would be given a lift in this one, but like before over the years after a few days he'd give me a lift to the top of the road, and after a few days of me sitting in the back waving to the workers, I'd just sit in the front. He did this to no one else! And my Co-workers gave up wondering why he only did this for me.
After over ten years of working there I left to go to University. He called me into his office and said, “When the University is closed, you are welcome to come back during that time and work.” I thanked him and he also added, “When I have finished university if I can't find a job, I will always be welcomed back here.” I knew people who had left and begged to come back and were refused! So again I thanked him, for his kind offer and hoped that would NEVER happen!!
I loved it at University and I went back at the first opportunity I got, to work, Stephen came up to me at my desk and said, “I saw you two weeks ago at the train station, you were on the opposite platform to me, (our station is small) I waved to you several times, but you totally ignored me!” I said to him, “I have a double, someone who looks just like me, I haven't been anywhere, I was busy at University, there is no way, I would see you and NOT say hello, it was not me you saw, and I am glad, that I did come back to tell you that.” He took some convincing, but he eventually believed me.
For Stephen. RIP.