Academic journal article Hecate

The Yugoslav Women and Their Pickled Herrings Rubber Company-1971, Melbourne

Academic journal article Hecate

The Yugoslav Women and Their Pickled Herrings Rubber Company-1971, Melbourne

Article excerpt

The Yugoslav Women and Their Pickled
Herrings
Rubber Company--1971, Melbourne

   So cold and long
   this walk
   wet too at 6.30 in the morning with
   tram fares to payday already spent like wishes
   I see some Yugoslav women from work I don't really know
   bundles of quilted parkas on the other side of the road and
   slow down to let them get ahead
   watching them hurrying along
   their funny short rubber boots quickly
   break puddles their
   umbrellas knocking every now and then talking non-stop with
   spare hands that escape into the rain and
   shopping bags that wave their hidden contents
   of purses knitting cross-over pinafores fresh socks family photos
   orange cordial
   and lunch

   I'm the new girl at the end of the line been there week & a half
   no-ones complained about my work I keep up
   putting the pairs of rubber gloves in plastic bags
   heat sealing the ends
   packing finished product on its way to be merchandise into
   assembled cardboard boxes
   waiting tape
   7.30-4.00 $45 per 5 day week lunch times spent walking
   feeling strange not
   knowing anyone to sit with aware
   that rapport takes a while in factories with so many
   coming and going leaving two days in hand to the better job

   So cold and long
   this day
   too wet for a walk
   started to feel sorry for myself half hour before lunch
   you know the theme
   bullshit job rotten pay no friends fuck the walk home there's got
   to
   be a better life than this
   thought about a transfer to the condom testing section for the
   embarrassment money
   working up to quite a state
   just noticing the eyes of the women I'd followed to work
   looking at me their mouths talking about me
   those same arms flagging me over
   Catti Catti they called quick feeees
   feeees what's feeees? … 
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