I look back at my life I can proudly say that I was one of several women that paved the way for other women electricians in the steel mill. It wasn’t easy when I hired in back in 77′ and there were very few women in the mill let alone electricians. The men did not treat us as equals, o no we were treated as fresh meat and being nice to guy meant you wanted to fuck them in their eyes at least. Instead of saying hello, you had to say fuck off to get any respect from them.
I was the only woman electrician that was also a union steward that would fight for the rights of my fellow workers and I won most of the cases I filed, getting thousands of dollars in back pay for the guys. They eventually respected me because I didn’t rely on them to do my work nor did I want them to which made me a bitch to some because I wouldn’t have sex with them on the coal belts, the filthy coal belts were for some ladies the place to get “ahead”.
There is no bronze statue of me anywhere and no I wasn’t the top striker in my league but I opened doors for other women to stake their claim in the electrical field. It wasn’t easy for me not one bit and yes I had many hands on my ass and boobs before I finally retired. I dealt with many men that thought a woman’s place is in the kitchen and that mentality got them nowhere fast, I had to always work harder, learn more and be more prepared than my male counter parts.
I remember my first night working on Zug Island, I had worked the afternoon shift at the 80″ mill and had to work the midnight shift on the island and that is where I met my husband. He was my boss and tried to fire me for not doing the work of an electronic tech even though I was qualified but he said he wouldn’t pay me the job rate so I didn’t fix shit. We had a nice conversation in the morning and he told me he was going to fire me and told him go ahead because he would be giving me a paid vacation.
Needless to say, he was impressed by my lack of fear for him and his position and from that day on he followed me around like a lost puppy. The men instantly hated me because the general foreman had his nose up my ass and they figured I was getting favors, which was so far from the truth. I learned alot about life and men and I worked many a double shift to gain my financial freedom and I did damn good for myself compared to my friends.
The mill taught me to weed out the friends that thought I should always pay because I made the big bucks compared to them and yes I weeded them out very quickly. I thought I had rid myself of all the parasites of the world but I was so wrong because I am still dealing with that type of person to this day. Men are just as bad as women when it comes to looking for a “sugar momma” and I am so not a sugar momma but to some I appear to be.
People are impressed when they find out what I did for a living but I do not find it impressive one bit, it was just the way my life went without the bells and whistles. I am proud to say that I opened doors for so many young women but that is all I have ever done. No one wants my autograph or to take a picture with me and I am not adored by millions like others that have made a statement in their field but that is ok because I have something special that no one can ever take away from and that is my spirituality.