Monday, February 05, 2007

Saturday March 18th 1933

Again, a slack day. Borman rushing about like a frenzied dog, attacking Turner, who hurled knives. Green spent so much time grinding knives that he was ordered into the shop. “Diller” Randle, the unpleasant bacon hand, making sarcastic remarks at our inactivity. Samson, the first hand, in stern mood.

Finished work at 9 o’clock. My last job was scrubbing the cooked-meat boards for Green. Then – Sacked! I had just put my apron in the cellar and was returning when, in the semi-darkness I met Mr.Bates. “That you, Dawson? We shall not require you any more. We’re overstaffed at present.” (Wages, cards) As he trotted away upstairs I called, “When do I leave?” “Now!”

Fifteen minutes later I left Thoroughgoods Ltd., a bundle of aprons under one arm and my head in a daze. A queer thing to happen just before Vigil. Now I begin at the beginning all over again. Muddled thoughts for the future. Walking the streets, the queues, the disappointments and race for jobs – which usually do not happen. Later, tight lipped silence or heart-breaking despair. This will be my lot probably. Bitter sweet, for there is a queer happiness as well as sorrow for the out-of-work.

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