Newspaper article The Daily Mercury (Mackay, Australia)

The ,Cymaid' with a Hook; A Tough Place and She Was the First Female Boss

Newspaper article The Daily Mercury (Mackay, Australia)

The ,Cymaid' with a Hook; A Tough Place and She Was the First Female Boss

Article excerpt

MAID Marion was the first female I had ever worked with on a mining job, anywhere.

As my haul truck trainer, she was also a woman in a position of complete authority over me. A unique situation Co until I married some years later, so growing more accustomed to the practice.

C[pounds sterling]This won't take long Mazza,C[yen] I commented, as we walked over to the dump truck for the start of my tutelage.

C[pounds sterling]You just sit back, observe the maestro at work... C[yen]

C[pounds sterling]Silence,C[yen] the maid interrupted. C[pounds sterling]The way you operate here will be a reflection on me as your trainer. I will decide when, and if you get passed out.C[yen]

Thus any notions of a C[pounds sterling]tick and flick'' of my permit-to-operate paperwork were dispelled. Surprisingly, my first task consisted of spending two hours reading the manufacturers' operations booklet concerning the dump truck.

With Marion, all procedures were rigorously followed from the start. She quoted verbatim from the operator's manual Co tyre inflation, braking techniques, engine operating temperature, emergency steering tests C* It became clear I was not getting passed out until I could do the same!

Marion's knowledge and work ethic gained her the respect of every person on site Co apart from Fat Pat the giant, red-headed bulldozer driver, a diehard old timer, happiest in life when sitting on his waste tiphead chain smoking cigarettes while bossing truck drivers around.

One day, Fat Pat chipped Marion over the two-way radio: C[pounds sterling]Get your truck square to the windrow ya stupid woman.C[yen]

C[pounds sterling]I am square,C[yen] she replied. C[pounds sterling]Your windrows are too low Co build up the height.C[yen]

The Dirt Boss drove up and confirmed Marion's assessment. He called Patrick down off his dozer and gave him a stern rebuke known as a C[pounds sterling]ball tightener'' (certainly was a male dominated industry back then! …

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