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V. Grey

Shop Talks on Socialism

(31 March 1945)

From The Militant, Vol. IX No. 13, 31 March 1945, p. 4.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’ Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

Pile-it-high Patterson, that unappreciated genius of production, was over by the spot welder talking to Marjorie, and as usual, piling it high.

“I’m taking off a little early today, Marge” said he. From the tone of his voice you’d have thought the whole shop would go down if Pile-it-high didn’t give it every moment of his attention.

“Really?” Marjorie asked, trying to be polite. She hadn’t been, around too long. But she knew enough to duck when Patterson started slinging the bull. Still, it gave her a little excuse to dog the job a few minutes, letting him talk to her.

“Yes, I have a golf engagement this afternoon. I suppose you noticed my golf clubs in the time office.”

Of course she noticed. Everybody in the shop had noticed. Pile-it-high had put them right where you couldn’t help but notice them when you rang in on a job. And we were all making wisecracks about them. “First sign of spring” and all that. But Marge wanted to string him along some – so she let on she didn’t happen to see them.

Any ordinary guy wouldn’t have kept trying to impress a girl when she didn’t want to be impressed. But Pile-it-high was not ordinary. He was made of different stuff.

“I bet you can’t guess who I have the golf engagement with Marge.”

“With Rita Hayworth and Donald Duck, huh?”

“Ha, ha, ha,” he laughed a little weakly. “As a matter of fact –” he cleared his throat, and rustled his sheaf of important papers – “I’m going out with the Superintendent to the Park Crest Club.”

Marjorie didn’t fall into a faint at this exciting news. So Pile-it-high added his biggest bombshell. “I’m going to give his daughter a little golf lesson.”

“No kidding?” said Marge without enthusiasm.

“Oh yes, you see I’ve been at it quite a while. Had a chance to be a professional at the Happy Valley when the war came. But I-ah-felt my career was here.”

“Say, how old is this daughter of old sourpuss?” Marge asked suddenly.

Patterson’s face got red and he tried to be a little nonchalant when he said, “Oh I don’t know. About twenty.”

Making a Play for the Boss’s Daughter

“Teaching her golf, huh? Giving all the girls around here the brush-off while you make a play for one boss’s daughter.” (Pile-it-high figures he’s quite a ladies’ man, and Marge was rubbing it in.) “You’re not going to go and marry the girl are you?”

Patterson laughed his smooth, self-conscious laugh, and pulled in his pot belly a little. “Oh, no. Of course it’s nothing like that,” he said with a sort of pooh-pooh in his voice. After all, he was only trying to give the girls in the shop an insight into his true charm. He didn’t want to give them the impression he was going to be taken out of circulation for good.

“Seriously, though, Marge, it isn’t a laughing matter. You know Taylor C. Wilkins himself got to be vice-president that way. He married the president’s daughter. You’d be surprised at the number of the big executives who got their start that way. And even if they don’t get a big position, it’s a lifetime job, you know.” There was real awe in his voice.

“Is that so!” Marge exclaimed. “Well say I better finish spotting these brackets.” And she said to herself, “Can you imagine that? That little four-flushing pipsqueak thinks he’s going to marry Miss Millionbucks and be a big time four-flusher for the rest of his life. Well, it takes all kinds of people to make a world, I guess.”

But Pile-it-high is a pathetic sort of four-flusher, though. Running around shining the shoes of the higher-ups like he does, always keeping his eye on the main chance.

He doesn’t realize he lacks sophistication, poise, polish, “education” to marry Miss Millionbucks. He hasn’t guzzled enough cocktails or seen enough dog-races to make this grade, poor fellow.

It is done sometimes, you know. Richer girls do occasionally marry up-and-coming young executives like Pile-it-high. Yes, if you’re a smooth, smart young fellow, who’s been to the “right” college and knows the “right” people, maybe you can marry a boss’s daughter and be set for life as a big-time “Yes-Man.” Quite a future before you under the capitalist system.

But what a future ... for a MAN!

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