What It Is (posts below left; rate sheet, client list, other stuff below right)

My name is Bob Land. I am a full-time freelance editor and proofreader, and occasional indexer. This blog is my website.

You'll find my rate sheet and client list here, as well as musings on the life of a freelancer; editing, proofreading, and indexing concerns and issues; my ongoing battles with books and production; and the occasional personal revelation.

Feel free to contact me directly with additional questions: landondemand@gmail.com.

Thanks for visiting. Leave me a comment. Come back often.

Monday, January 18, 2016

My MLK Day Story

I find it hard to believe I've had this blog going for eight or nine years and have never told the Martin Luther King Jr. Day story -- a true tale of America's workplace.

Atlanta, GA, 1981/82: I am working at Dittler Brothers, proofreading airline timetables and lottery tickets about 60 to 70 hours a week with a great cast of characters. It being Georgia, the idea of an MLK holiday was a little ahead of the national curve; the commemoration did not achieve national status until 1983. But in the meantime, some Georgia employers were treating MLK Day as a holiday and closing up shop.

Not only do you not really "close up shop" on a printing plant that operates 24/7/365, but some things don't get left to the bosses when they don't want to piss off the workers. My guess is that the Dittler brothers (Jews), or whatever their name actually was, were part of the long-gone breed of Americans known as liberal Republicans.

Most of this large printing plant comprised unionized printing types: compositors, platemakers, press guys, etc. Everyone in the joint was union except for management, sales (equally loathsome), and the proofreaders. And most of the union guys were unapologetic South Atlanta rednecks.

Getting close to MLK Day, plant buzz begins that we might get off for the MLK Day celebration.

Eh, not so fast.

The question goes to the employees for a vote: Take off a day to commemorate MLK Day . . . or take off a day to commemorate Confederate Memorial Day?

And thus it was that this nice Jewish boy from New York was paid for eight hours of doing nothing on Confederate Memorial Day. Or, knowing this employer, I was probably brought in anyway just to sit there, at time and a half, in case one of the presses magically started printing something on its own.

No comments: