Thursday, December 27, 2007

Don't Smell Me, I'm Here to Work

Blog no. 25 brings you a little gem from 90 years ago ...

In October 1917, the American Railway Bridge and Building Association met in Chicago for its 27th annual convention. Among the convention topics was a discussion on the feeding and housing of railway maintenance crews.

Association president S.C. Tanner of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad told this story to highlight the need for bathing facilities to convention goers:
It reminds me of a story of a little boy whose mother sewed him up in his underclothes and sent him to school. He had been going in a steam-heated schoolroom for about a month. Finally the teacher didn't like his smell, so she sent him home with a note which said, "Give Jackie a bath and send him back." Jackie came back all right, and written across the bottom of the note the teacher had sent was scrawled, "Jackie isn't a rose—learn him—don't smell him."
Fortunately, my experience falls to the positive side of the bathing equation.

As a tugboat and destroyer sailor in the 1970s, the captain always exempted the cooks and hospital corpsmen from water restrictions in the showers. The captain -- with persuasion from the ship's medical officer -- recognized the importance of hygiene for these key crewmen.

After all, smelling the food is much more pleasurable than smelling the cook!

No comments:

Post a Comment