Yesterday's Technology . . . Today!

Salt Lake deadline

IN 1956, myself, and a friend, Joe McGowan, left the Rocky Mountain News in February, after the Xmas layoffs.

We first hit Casper Wyoming, worked a few days, to get some money in the kick, then to Cheyenne for a few more shifts.

We then landed in Salt Lake City, slipped up on the Tribune as operators.

Now, I have to tell you that Joe was getting up in age, and wasn't one of the swiftest operators. Before we went to work, the foreman called us into his office and gave us each a style book.

He informed us what the deadline, (amount of lines needed per shift to be deemed a competent operator) was.

Can we go home?

I asked him, "can we go home when we reach the deadline?" He answered, "no." I stated, "why are you telling me what it is, if I cannot go home when I reach it?"

We went to work and finished the shift. The next afternoon, when we showed for work, the foreman came over and handed each of us a slip of paper with a figure written on it.

I looked at it and asked, "what is this?" He replied, "That is the lineage each of you set last night."

Mine was within about 50 lines of the deadline, but Joe's was quite a bit less than that.

The foreman stated that he could live with my output, that he knew I could make the deadline, but that he didn't think Joe could make it.

I told him that we were just going to work that night, and leave for San Francisco the next day, so he hired Joe as an operator, and I worked the ad room that night. That was 1956.

In February, 1975, my wife and I slipped up there again, the foreman came over, looked at me, and said, "I know you, you are the guy who wanted to go home when you reached the deadline." We had a huge laugh about that.




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