Yesterday's Technology . . . Today!

The Green Card

BACK in 1968, after 13 years of "homesteading", I decided I was going on the road again.

I went to Sacramento, slipped up on the Bee, and was working nights operating. I was about ready to return to the midwest, and one of my old traveling buddies came to me and said, "Dean, there is a kid in the ad room, who just finished his apprenticeship in one of the small papers somewhere up the Truckee River, and he wants to go on the road, to get some more experience, and I was wondering if you would mind taking him with you."

He introduced him to me, we talked for a while and decided to take off together in my pickup. We started toward Reno, on the way to Salt Lake again, but were stopped about half way up the mountain because of a blizzard, and we could not find chains for the truck. We turned around and headed for LA., going the southern route.

We slipped up at the LA Examiner. They had posted on the chapel slipboard, that negotiations had ceased, and it looked like they would be going on strike very soon. We didn't quite have as much money as we needed to travel east, so we slipped up at the Green Sheet in Burbank.

We worked a couple of weeks, and were ready to go, so I called the chairman over to where I was inserting classified ads into the iron chases, liners, prior to making up the pages. I asked the chairman if we could cash out in the morning, pick up our check and travellers, and be on our way.

Company policy

He informed me that it was company policy that the only time we could get our checks was payday, they would not cash us out. I asked him to get the foreman, and he complied. I repeated my request to the foreman, and he gave me the same answer, and added, that we could leave an address, and the company would send our checks to us. I informed him that we didn't know where we were going, therefore, I could give him no address.

Then I had an idea, so I informed the foreman that if he fired me, by state law, the company would have to pay me in full, within 24 hours. He replied, that he had no intention of firing me. So I grabbed the side screw on the chase I was working on, and it was on a turtle, I put my foot on the turtle and shoved a bit while holding the chase screw.

The chase was about half full of classified liners. I glanced up at the foreman and said, "If I go ahead and push this turtle out from under this chase, you will fire me, and the company will pay me tomorrow." He began begging me not to spill that page of liners all over the composing room floor. I said, "not until I am assured that we can pick up our checks tomorrow."

Well, we left the next afternoon with our checks, and I don't think that it hurt that company at all, taking a few minutes to figure two employees earnings a few days early.

Copyright © Dave Hughes 2000-2015. All rights reserved.