The Left Hook: A Funny Adventure
Story on the Shop Floor
by Charlie Reed Trafford Publishing

"They make you kiss their ass for 90 days. ... After that, you can ignore management like the rest of us."

Describing daily life in an anonymous bearing factory, Reed regales readers with snippets from company newsletters written by and for the floor workers. A warning on the book's title page reads "Danger: Do not read this book if you are a part of management or supervision," and he's not kidding. A former union rep, Reed notes that while such "for us, by us" newsletters are good for shop morale, the biggest issue (aside from getting caught by management) is being turned in by a fellow employee for relentlessly mocking the bosses. It's obvious this threat isn't taken lightly, as many of the cast of characters come and go so quickly that they don't even rate a pseudonym. That's all part of the job, where minimum wage barely covers bus fare to the plant and workers who have dedicated their lives to the factory end up with cancer or worse.

Reed's sense of humor will appeal to anyone who's ever worked a crappy job, particularly fellow "lifers." His ability to evade management's attempts to get rid of troublemakers while sticking up for the new guys makes him a plant hero. Here, he pays it back by revealing the industry and personal greed of "stupervisors" and corporate staff, satirizing the company's double-standards in short commentary and cartoons with a powerful left hook.

Return to USR Home