My First Job

Sizzling summer nights: Working in a bacon factory

Mukta Mohan Apr 27, 2015
HTML EMBED:
COPY
My First Job

Sizzling summer nights: Working in a bacon factory

Mukta Mohan Apr 27, 2015
HTML EMBED:
COPY

Do you remember your first job? It might have been radically different from the career you ended up with.

Rita Carbonari works in the development office of a liberal arts college, but in the early 1970s she worked the night shift in a bacon packing factory.

“My friends and I would go to the beach every day, and about 3 o’clock in the afternoon, I’d go home, take off my bathing suit, put on a big heavy sweatshirt, warm pants and I’d spend the rest of the evening in a refrigerated bacon packing factory,” she says.

Carbonari worked her way up to being a weigher, where she controlled the speed of the line.

One day while she was working on the line, a chunk of bacon got caught in the slicer. It was tough to see just how large the machete-like blade was.

“I was poking my finger in there trying to get that bacon out of the way, and one of the supervisors came up and asked what I was doing,” Carbonari says. “And he said, ‘Oh, well this is what happened when I did that.’ He held up his hand and he only had three fingers!”

She never poked her fingers into the slicer again.

We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.

Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.

In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.

Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.