Manuscripts/Mixed Material [French Canadian Textile Worker]
Later, I was transferred to No. 4 mill where there were, besides the overseer, three second hands in a department of 18,000 spindles. You can imagine how little work those assistant overseers had to do. They ought to have been running some of the frames to keep themselves busy. I went back to No. 1 with a job that paid me $1.30 a day, 20 cents more than I was getting at No. 4. 1 was roping-boy, oiled the shafts and pulleys and did other jobs.
The boss of No. 4 mill wanted me back and offered me $1.45 a day. I went, of course. One day, another overseer tried to got me, and when I spoke of leaving, Hamilton, boss of No. 4, wouldn't hear of it. To keep me, he offered me extra pay if I would do the work of a sickly operative who had to loaf at times, and more extra pay if I wanted to take the place of a third hand once in a while. I accepted, did my own work besides and, as long as the arrangement lasted, I got $2 a day and a little more. I was finally given a regular job as third hand, quite a promotion for a French Canadian at the time. In 1881, I was made second hand and, in 1901, overseer in No. 1 spinning mill. It included No. 2, where I had such a hard time getting a small job twenty-six years before.
It was a big event when I was appointed overseer of the 1 and 8 spinning mills. There was to be a vacancy very shortly. I knew about it and, being convinced that no one would say a good word for me, I decided to speak for myself. I wasn't bashful any more. So, one day, I asked the super if he wouldn't give me the chance. He was so surprised that he couldn't speak for a long time, or so it seemed to me. He was looking at me as if he had