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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Zelma Montgomery Murray, March 4, 1976. Interview H-0034. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Spinner loses her job because of a fickle boss

Zelma Murray describes the spinning room as drafty and linty and recalls a run-in with a boss who gave her job away to someone else.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Zelma Montgomery Murray, March 4, 1976. Interview H-0034. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

BRENT GLASS:
Was it drafty in there?
ZELMA MONTGOMERY MURRAY:
Awful linty, yes.
BRENT GLASS:
Did you ever feel what they call "Monday morning sickness"?
ZELMA MONTGOMERY MURRAY:
No.
BRENT GLASS:
Did you ever feel sick from it, or short of breath or anything like that?
ZELMA MONTGOMERY MURRAY:
No, it didn't bother us. I worked in the spinning room until . . . well, Charlie and I married in '22, and I worked a while on that there. But they didn't treat me just right up there in the spinning room, so I quit. I never did go back to the spinning room anymore. They wanted me to go back; I never did go back. I didn't like the boss-man, and I didn't go back.
BRENT GLASS:
How did they not treat you right? What do you mean by that?
ZELMA MONTGOMERY MURRAY:
Well, you see, you had so many "sides," what they called. They got me to swap with another party for so long, and then they would give me my regular sides back. Well, a friend of mine and I, we worked in the same alley. Anyway, when the time come for me to go back on my regular job, my regular side, this boss-man, he wouldn't give it back to me. He give it to somebody else, and took me over on . . . well it was the whole length of the mill, in what they called a back alley. And I had to walk the whole length of the mill pushing that. I was young then and that walking didn't bother me, but it was just the principle of the thing. And I quit, and I never would go back no more.
BRENT GLASS:
You never went back to the Glencoe Mill?
ZELMA MONTGOMERY MURRAY:
I never went back to the spinning room.
BRENT GLASS:
Oh.
ZELMA MONTGOMERY MURRAY:
I didn't work for three or four years, I reckon it was. I went to work in what they called the finishing room over here. I inspected over there, but I mostly worked in the shipping department.