Swing shift swings they said. It
did. Working hours were jumbled to accommodate 24/7 operation. The male
executives, scientists, and engineers worked 12 hour days, 6 days a week or
more to be or were millionaires with 4 or more times female line production or
secretary employees of modest income with no stock options. Most employees were
from somewhere else, often Asia to which the gates were opened to in 1962. Engineers
form Europe, Iran and other exotic lands
unknown until working there also were common.
Security was tight to keep out spies
from competitors, especially those from Japan, Taiwan, Germany, even Holland
all who were trying to get in the bonanza. Once in the guarded parking lot you
were in a zone safe from spouses and boyfriends. It was a violate mix when the
"pill" was a standard item in a woman's purse but before AIDS. It was
work hardy and party hardier, with nudie hot tub parties, nonstop sex
innuendos, coworker affairs and parking lot quickie trysts.
Talk during work was an ongoing
sexual banter with sex gag presents and pranks that today would cause personnel
office sexual harassment panic attacks. Buildings had to be ultra-clean with everyone
required to wear a smock to avoid dust contamination. Girls often dressed risqué
under their smocks showing the other girls during break what they wore and at
times not wore under it. A game good for a laugh was to smock flash a selected
male, especially if suspected of being gay, while others watched.
Lunches were only half an hour but
the employee parking lot was a secure trysting area for quickies before and
after shifts and during lunch. Walking through the lot one often spotted a used
condom and more common wadded tissue paper with a yellow smear spot.
The women I worked with were a new
experience. They definitely had not attended parochial Catholic school. They
did not accept me as one of them and soon nick named me "fucking do
goody" or "FDG" as I did not swear, worked hard and always met
quotas. I also often missed the meaning of their sexual banter and innuendos
making me a "FDG ", nerd.
A Filipino woman, Penny, was the
only one to initially befriend me. She was married to an old Filipino man with
bald head and big jolly belly. I learned US navy ships used men from the
Philippines as cooks. While they were not in the US military service they
earned a pension and got US citizenship at retirement.
Old and retired they often married a
young woman like Penny from the Philippines. She bore him two boys. He took
care of their Mountain View home, spoiled the boys, cooked all day, and fed
Penny and the boys until all were plump. For him the sugar was in the bottom of
his life’s cup. He taught me how to cook Filipino dishes when I visited.
Penny loved to laugh, was affectionate to her old husband who she teased by rubbing his bald head, was a loving mother and was kind to me at work when no one else was. They owned a ramshackle house with a big lot where they were always throwing parties. The husband cooked large meals in the backward as if still aboard ship in the navy. As her husband was too old for sex she had a white boyfriend for stud service who her husband often unknowingly fed. She could not believe her good luck as a mail order bride of sorts which made her always cheerful.