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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Gladys Harris, August 8, 1979. Interview H-0124. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Bosses vs. floor ladies

Harris compares the role of a boss to that of the "floor lady," focusing particularly on her years working for the Red Heifer hosiery mill. In addition, Harris states and explains her preference for having male bosses.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Gladys Harris, August 8, 1979. Interview H-0124. 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

PATTY DILLEY:
What's the difference between what a boss would do and what a floor lady would do?
GLADYS HARRIS:
A floor lady works, and a boss thinks they ain't supposed to do nothing but boss. That's the best way I can put it. But she worked just like we did. She just saw that the work got out and that was it.
PATTY DILLEY:
I was thinking a floor lady was like a woman boss.
GLADYS HARRIS:
It's not really, no. Where I'm at in the furniture place, I have a woman for a boss. Then we have this girl who gives out our work and everything. They's difference there. The one that gives out our work and all, she can't tell us to go home unless the boss tells her. She can't tell us anything unless she tells her to tell us. So that's the difference in them.
PATTY DILLEY:
Would you rather work under a woman boss?
GLADYS HARRIS:
No, I'd rather have a man boss, really.
PATTY DILLEY:
What's the difference?
GLADYS HARRIS:
A man is more firm and distinct about it, and a woman is too partiality. Now that's the difference. A woman has got her friends or her pets and that's it. A man, I think, is more firm about anything that you really know when he means it and when he don't. A woman, I don't know, they just can't be as firm as a man can. I don't know why, but they can't. I guess because I'm a woman, maybe that's it. I don't think I'm supposed to have a woman boss.