Monday, June 24, 1974

Thank God for Rohm and Haas

No sooner did I quit the Italian Villa, then I managed to get an interview at Rohm and Haas in Bridesburg, and was hired for a summer job to start on June 24, 1974.

Not only that, but I was hired over the minimum wage. During the course of the summer, I would get two raises, and I was tempted, due to the depression caused by my father's declining health, to quit school and work there full time. I didn't.

I spent the summer filling in for workers on summer vacation.

Similar to my 1973 summer job, this one had its hazards---namely...

I blew up a fire hose in my face (when you turn on the hydrant to a 3 inch hose, be sure there are no kinks)
I suffered heat stroke (not my fault, about 130 degrees in those trucks)
I bled from the nose while unloading a railroad car of some kind of 'powder' (again, not my fault, I wore a mask)

Rohm and Haas had a very nice medical staff---I remember being in there for my bleeding nose when a girl named Rosemary was being treated for spilling coffee on herself.

The cafeteria was very nice---I only ate there a few times. Most times, we were so dirty from the hot work that we ate in the locker room.

After my bleeding incident, I was no longer able to unload trucks and boxcars, and was assigned to the clean up detail.

I spent some time cleaning the locker rooms. bathrooms, etc.

My boss was a tyrant---he insisted that we clean and re-clean the bathrooms all day long. We weren't permitted to close them, and if we were working a night shift, he would execute a surprise visit to see if we were goofing off.

My last day on the job was spent weeding.

Monday, June 10, 1974

Villa Restaurant

I just started work as a bus boy/diswasher at the Italian Villa Restaurant on Bustleton Avenue in Northeast Philadelphia.

I started on Monday---quit on Wednesday.

My hours were 5 to 11, but I didn't get out of there either night until after 1, and my parents were a little concerned.

What I remember most about the place were the waiters and waitresses seemed have to dress in hats and fancy shirts and blouses, the salad bar, the hot water to get the the sauce off the dishes, the crusted on burnt sauce in the pans, and the slippery floor.

I called the nasty owner on Wednesday to tell him I wasn't coming in and he started yelling and screaming at me.

My father called him to ask him about my paycheck, and he apparently said he wasn't going to pay me. My father threatened to punch him in the nose and drove up to get my paycheck. He got it :)