Documenting the American South Logo
oral histories of the American South
Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Cynthia Sykes Cook, February 19, 1994. Interview K-0091. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Disappearance of a good employer

The White Furniture Factory was the kind of place where people "could get it done and still carry on and make friendships," not to mention a decent employer which offered good benefits. That kind of workplace no longer exists, Cook believes.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Cynthia Sykes Cook, February 19, 1994. Interview K-0091. 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

CYNTHIA SYKES COOK:
People got their jobs done. They could get it done and still carry on and make friendships. When I moved up to the sales department there was very little turnover at White's up until Hickory took over. We had one lady pass away. She died unexpectedly of a heart attack. She was in her late forties. That was real devastating. I remember getting a call from the hospital. For that they wouldn't tell you what it was, but they were trying to get in touch with the family. She had had a heart attack earlier. She had come into work and was feeling really bad. They finally took her over to the clinic there in Mebane and her heart had stopped. But she was able to recuperate and came back to work.
VALERIE PAWLEWICZ:
You got the call?
CYNTHIA SYKES COOK:
Yes, I took the call from the hospital. Of course I asked if she was O.K. They said that she was really sick. I connected her to upstairs to somebody that might know how to get in touch with her family. Shirley took the call and she had some numbers. That's about the only way you ever got to move around. It's terrible, but that's true. You pretty much stayed in a position because people stayed at White's. People liked working there, I guess. They were good to their employees and that makes a difference too. They had pretty good benefits. Now it is kind of hard to find a place with good benefits. You appreciate that.