New Farm Park, Brisbane

Monday, February 18, 2013

CHASED BY PUBIC HAIRS

I found this old photo of me at the wedding  of a work colleague in 1961. It reminded me of the work I was doing then.
After finishing school in 1959, I desperately wanted to enter Teachers College but I was unsuccessful so I entered the work force as a Laboratory Assistant. The first job was at Sydney University in the Animal Husbandry Dept, where my boss was inventing a method of making sheep lamb more often. My job was to collate all his results and draw pretty graphs but I still wanted to be a teacher so I applied for college and again failed to be selected.
Elizabeth (the head girl) invited us to her wedding. I am far right.
I moved on to another laboratory. This time with Bonds Wear. Here we tested textiles and dyes before they were used to make undies and baby's clothes. The five of us worked for the chemist but he would give the list of tests to complete to the head girl, Elizabeth, and she would decide who would do which test. So it was important to be nice to Elizabeth so that you would get interesting work. However, the 'new girl' (that was me) would always get the worst jobs.
One of these delightful tasks was to check customer returns for faults and establish what caused the fault. For example was it a knitting machine fault, a sewing fault or elastic fault etc. There was nothing more exciting than scrutinising returned worn undies. Some had been worn and washed so often that they were just plain worn out but others had been worn and not washed and that was disgusting. We weren't given protective gloves in those days but we did use tweezers to try and negotiate between skid marks and pubic hairs.
I was glad when I was no longer the junior and I was given more interesting and responsible tests. The most rewarding task I was given was to do a whole battery of tests on a brand new textile that had been invented called "Bri-Nylon".
One day a junior was given the charming job of customer returns investigation and she didn't appreciate us sniggering at her. In revenge she picked up some pubic hairs in her tweezers and promptly chased us around the lab. Luckily the chemist wasn't in and he didn't witness this squealing and misdemeanour in his lab but the head girl brought us under control with threats of more dirty work.


33 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing this wonderful story, Diane. You must have been relieved to have it confirmed Australia is a land of great opportunity.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Diane, you have had some interesting jobs. Thanks for sharing this story and part of your life!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi There, We are back from a week in beautiful Arkansas. Hope you had a great week.

    HA HA ---not many of us have a claim to fame like you do... The 'Pubic Hair' checker????? ha ha... Gotta love it!!!!

    Hope you have been doing well --and have had a good week...

    Hugs,
    Betsy

    ReplyDelete
  4. What a great story. I must confess I don't think I know of any occupation to match the pubic hair collector.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Wonderful story, Diane...and a beautiful photo!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Doesn't sound very appetizing, lol ! What a cute picture of you

    ReplyDelete
  7. What a laugh .... I'm so pleased I never had to check customer returns but it sound like you had a lot of fun.
    Your outfit for the wedding is very stylish Diane and I'm trying to envision what colour.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Lol, Dear Diane, this just has to be the funniest post I've read... the title got me in straight away of course!
    Can you imagine the outrage today of that job being carried out without gloves or any kind of protection!!!
    The fun and games of being chased around with tweezered pubic hairs is a hoot.
    Who would have thought there'd have been such jobs.
    You have given me the best laughs with which to start the day!
    Cheers :D)

    ReplyDelete
  9. this is to funny now, but i bet it was not then. great story

    ReplyDelete
  10. Oh. my. gosh.!! So funny. I've heard a lot of 'worst-first-job' stories but I think this tops 'em all!!

    I am sort of wondering if the title of your post is going to attract any scummy spammers though.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Yes, well teaching was a far better career choice. I will be watching you very carefully from now on in case you produce "tweezers" of any variety.
    Have fun today, while I get fumigated - hope it can be done with all this darn rain???
    Cheers
    Colin

    ReplyDelete
  12. I that what you did the other day when I saw you at the washing basket with a pair of tweezers in your hand. LOL, TOH.

    ReplyDelete
  13. What gross work inspecting worn undies that just makes me go yuck and then you write about chasing people around with someones pubic hairs more yuck...........

    ReplyDelete
  14. yucky job indeed. someone has to do it i suppose. i bet they don't do that nowadays. :)

    ReplyDelete
  15. Pubic hair is ok when attached, but yuk once it is set loose. Bri Nylon, whatever happened to that? I seem to recall it was a horrible thing.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Your story makes me glad I was able to get into a teaching program after graduation from high school.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Oh Diane, I'm practically falling out of my chair from laughing. What an absolutely dreadful job. That picture of you is gorgeous, btw.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Oh, Lordy, and I thought I had some disgusting jobs in my youth! You win!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Diane
    I hope there were no Tweezers at the TOH and Birthday Bear party today???
    No fumigation, too wet!!!! However, I hate being out in the rain these days. Hopefully tomorrow?? But even that I doubt.
    Just wish this bloody rain would go south and help in Victoria and South Australia with the bush fires, we have had enough. Your lilies must be going berserk??
    I hope you all had heaps of fun, minus your Tweezers of course!
    Bill - get rid of them all, just to be on the safe side.
    Colin

    ReplyDelete
  20. Thanks for a giggle Diane, Thank goodness you had perserverance to persue teaching, thats all I can say. I did pick you in the photo before I read where you were.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I am now imagining all of you running around the lab squealing and trying to escape the pubic hairs. You have had some interesting jobs Diane.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Sounds like an OK job :)

    Wonderful photo!

    ReplyDelete
  23. This is such a fun post. It is fascinating to look back on the early days of work and see how much has changed.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I am always amazed how fasion changes over the years. The hairstyles and the wedding veil, so funny. We did look so old in our young years at that time. I even wore a suit, I have never wore one when I was an adult.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Hilarious now Diane, but not so much then I bet.. That has got to be one of the more unusual jobs I've heard about, but I bet there are many more.. Eeeewww! I don't know what's worse pubic hairs or skid marks haha!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Great story and a lovely photo of you. Yet another thing that we have in common, I was a laboratory assistant for sometime :-) You will get to read about this eventually in My Life Before Charente. Take care Diane

    ReplyDelete
  27. I'm laughing and yucking all at the same time! You have led such an interesting life!

    ReplyDelete
  28. Lovely picture of you Diane but ewwww..........and you made me have a good laugh at this great story. Thank you :)

    ReplyDelete
  29. Oh.My.Word.
    Diane, with this story you win the worst job category. :)
    I wouldn't have lasted a day.

    I hope you don't mind me saying so but you had the fresh faced movie star looks of the 60's. A lovely photo!

    ReplyDelete
  30. Crikey...!

    If it's any consolation, this wedding photo clearly shows that you were (are) far more beautiful than the Head Girl!

    ReplyDelete
  31. Wow Diane I have had some pretty terrible jobs but that one has to be the best:)
    Love this story you had me laughing. B

    ReplyDelete
  32. Gosh, what a job! And quite a funny story for your autobiography.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Yes indeed, old photos can bring back the most amazing memories!

    ReplyDelete