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For the first time in my life things seemed to be looking on the bright side and then, just like usual, it was torn away from me by a selfish, ignorant Mr.Birling. I had been doing well at the works, had only recently been promoted as the leading officer, a head of a group of girls. I was in charge of them and got to know them well, there was Betty, Martha, Lucy, Agatha, Emma, Vicky and quite a few others. Martha’s the nicest. She’s an orphan, like me so I guess.
Well, during the short holiday in the summer, we got talking about our wages and how most of us were barely scraping by on the measly 22 & 6pence we got. I mean we were only just surviving and its no good just being able to survive, we wanted to live! Other people do so why cant we! So seeing as we shouldn’t be treated as cheap labour, but people we decided to go to Mr.Birling himself and ask for 15 shillings instead.
But as he is mean and penny pinching he refused blankly. Said he wouldn’t even consider it! After that it only gets worse. Stupid as we were we went on strike hoping that that would show him but of course how could we manage having just been on holiday. We were all even more broke then usual, so the strike having failed miserably we had no choice but to go back to the works. But No! It wasn’t as simple as that, life never is. Of course he wouldn’t accept us ringleaders back and came down himself and told us to clear out! I had a lot to say to that Mr.Birling but he wouldn’t even listen to a word of it! Sent us packing right on the spot. If only he would have listened to me, I’d have told him a thing or two!
God, there is so many thoughts and questions running round my head! There is so much I want to say to people, but no one will listen. There are so many others just like me out there, who struggle and suffer simply because of the conditions they work in and the measly wages they receive but no one dares do anything about it. Why shouldn’t we try for higher wages? It’s unjust that we should be sacked just for having a little more spirit than the others! But who am I kidding? I’m just lower class, cheap labour, scum. I’m meant to just accept that that’s the way it is. Don’t try and go against it, don’t ask questions, don’t do any thing but just take what’s given you. Maybe it is God’s will for me to end up like this, just like it was for my parents.
I’m angry and frightened and don’t know what to do. I have looked for almost 2 months for some kind of work but it is scarce and hard to get, I’m living in lodgings which I cannot do for much longer, I have no money saved, not one penny, no family, few friends, no home to go back to, I’m lonely and scared, stuck in a rut, unable to climb any where higher or better. No one to turn to for support or comfort apart from the ‘lord’ some may say. But when out of the many times I have begged him to help me had he answered my prayers? Never.
Enough of this miserable complaining. When has it done anybody any good? I guess Eva Smith is better than this (or I shall try to be). Just because some mean selfish man made me lose and job, that I hardly enjoyed any way, doesn’t mean I have to throw everything away and stop living! I will try! Tomorrow I will continue looking for a job although if I shall succeed I do not know, but it is better than sitting here counting the pennies in the dark.
I have never been so happy! Last week at last, my dream came true! No more cold nights, no more hungry bellies, no worrying if I’ll make it till tomorrow, I am at last safe! I have eventually found a respectable, fairly well paid, secure job at one of the best, and most expensive shops around. Milwards! Every body goes there. No, not only every normal body but every rich, prosperous noble body! It’s a wonderful stroke of luck, I really couldn’t of asked for a better job!
It’s lovely working there, I’m treated like a normal human being for once. It’s an amazing change from the factory where I would be surrounded by loud machinery drilling into my head, people moaning and sweating, horrible smells, shouts and cries, no escaping from it. But now it’s completely different. Everywhere I look I see beautiful, clothes hanging rail by rail and whereas before the most I could do was longingly stare into shop windows I can now actually hold these gorgeous dresses and if I’m lucky, try them on! I may even start saving up for one even though it would take a long, long time. Lovely people talk to me there and they’re ever so polite and gracious.
They no longer look at me as if I’m some piece of dirt but almost as if I’m one of them. I feel like I’ve entered a different world, a world with out suffering and pain. I see this as a good fresh start for a new life, a new road now lies ahead of me. This job is a lot better pay (I now get 95 shillings a week!) so I can now start looking to try and rent a place out for my self but the first thing I will do is go a buy my self a nice juicy steak with some of this week’s wages. It’s been so long since I’ve had a proper, tasty meal, I can feel my mouth watering just thinking about it.
Well enough about food. I have been thinking recently that it’s about time I tried to find my self a husband. I look around me and everywhere I see are happy couples arm in arm. I know my parent would have wanted me to find a nice young man and now I’m working in respectable job I can hopefully find one who isn’t too badly well off and quickly settle down happily. I can see myself, in a few years time, married to a work’s manager of some sort. He’d be tall and dark and have beautiful blue eyes. He’d be ever so loving and caring to me and would never treat me badly. We’d have two lovely children, a girl and a boy, and we would live in the biggest, most beautiful rose covered, marigold house, along pixmore lane.