Mt. Rainier and Lenticular Clouds - Dec. 2008 copyright: JMM

March 15, 2008

1943 Guide to Hiring Women

The following is an excerpt from the July 1943 issue of Transportation Magazine.
This was written for male supervisors of women in the work force during World War II. Snaps to my friend Charlene for sending me this in an email last week:

Eleven tips on Getting More Efficiency Out of Women Employees:

There’s no longer any question whether transit companies should hire women for jobs formerly held by men. The draft and manpower shortage has settled that point. The important things now are to select the most efficient women available and how to use them to the best advantage.
Here are eleven helpful tips on the subject from Western Properties:

1. Pick young married women. They usually have more of a sense of responsibility than their unmarried sisters, they’re less likely to be flirtatious, they need the work or they wouldn’t be doing it, they still have the pep and interest to work hard and to deal with the public efficiently.
What about the lecherous married bosses? "Oh Mrs. Smith, could you come in here and take some....dick'tation?"

2. When you have to use older women, try to get ones who have worked outside the home at some time in their lives. Older women who have never contacted the public have a hard time adapting themselves and are included to be cantankerous and fussy. It’s always well to impress upon older women the importance of friendliness and courtesy.
"Cantankerous and fussy"??? Hell, I was cantankerous and fussy as a young woman!

3. General experience indicates that “husky” girls - those who are just a little on the heavy side - are more even tempered and efficient than their underweight sisters.
FAT CHIX RULE! In your face, skinny women! Go eat a sandwich.

4. Retain a physician to give each woman you hire a special physical examination - one covering female conditions. This step not only protects the property against the possibilities of lawsuit, but reveals whether the employee-to-be has any female weaknesses which would make her mentally or physically unfit for the job.
Can you imagine an employer making this suggestion today? Hello, EEOC? And what, exactly, are "female weaknesses"? PMS?

5. Stress at the outset the importance of time, and the fact that a minute or two lost here and there makes serious inroads on schedules. Until this point is gotten across, service is likely to be slowed up.
Oh shut up. Go away. I'm blogging.

6. Give the female employee a definite day-long schedule of duties so that they’ll keep busy without bothering the management for instructions every few minutes. Numerous properties say that women make excellent workers when they have their jobs cut out for them, but that they lack initiative in finding work themselves.
Oh because god forbid us ditzy broads just sit there filing our nails all damn day. Give me a break.

7. Whenever possible, let the inside employee change from one job to another at some time during the day. Women are inclined to be less nervous and happier with change.
I have yet to hear a woman say that she is happier with change.

8. Give every girl an adequate number of rest periods during the day. You have to make some allowances for feminine psychology. A girl has more confidence and is more efficient if she can keep her hair tidied, apply fresh lipstick and wash her hands several times a day.
Just a sec...I have to go reapply my face.....
But doesn't this one fly in the face of item #5, above, in lost productivity?

9. Be tactful when issuing instructions or in making criticisms. Women are often sensitive; they can’t shrug off harsh words the way men do. Never ridicule a woman - it breaks her spirit and cuts off her efficiency.
*sniff* "It's not what you said, but the way you said it!!"

10. Be reasonably considerate about using strong language around women. Even though a girl’s husband or father may swear vociferously, she’ll grow to dislike a place of business where she hears to much of this.
Oh fuck off.

11. Get enough size variety in operator’s uniforms, so that each girl can have a proper fit. This point can’t be stressed too much in keeping women happy.
Yes, I was thrilled beyond belief that the Dan'l Webster Inn had those lovely and flattering chambermaid smocks in various sizes. Actually, I think it was "one size fits all".


  1. Anonymous3:30 PM


    'Woman can't shrug off harsh words....' Maybe not, but we can grab a strategic point in your pants and squeeze until tears roll down your face boy ;0)

  2. I've seen these "pointers" before, but your commentary adds so much!

  3. Anonymous6:45 PM

    oh what a hoot...

    we all know that anything HE thinks he can do, we can do better

  4. that is too funny! it's hard to believe that people actually felt that way.

  5. and again, you've managed to make something mundane, interesting and hilarious...

    ok, i need to use the bathroom..and let me take this mornings newspaper in with me..ooooh, the crossword puzzle

  6. I read this list on my show 3/16/08 giving it a special little twist, this works perfectly for my voice so it was easy to tweak it with voice inflection.

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