- Paperback: 260 pages
- Publisher: Warner Books; Reprint edition (July 1, 1992)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0446394009
- ISBN-13: 978-0446394000
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 113 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #67,211 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Rivethead: Tales from the Assembly Line Reprint Edition
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I guess it’s hard for me to think that this person, Ben Hamper and others spent so much time mischievously causing chaos everyday they went to work without any concern about their job, co-workers or management. It was clear that Mr. Hamper’s ambitions went no further then quitting-time, whether it was 10 am, 1 pm, or 3pm. Him and his buddies would drink on the job, some did drugs and the management sometimes gave out warnings but mostly looked the other way because the workers would harassed them intensely. All their effort went into booze, drugs, and rock and roll music prominently in the lives of these men in the 70’s.
Most of the men wanted to get their thirty years in for their pension but in this time of auto making it was off, collecting unemployment and on the job working when the economy permitted. So, it was going to take years to be able to get that pension. I felt like it was a catch twenty-two situation for them so maybe their behaviors were warranted. Combinations of daily repetitious routine, lack of a clear sense of purpose, and guiltless self-destructive habits can make thirty years seem like an eternity. However, the life of Ben Hamper seemed like an endemic of downright insanity….His motto was, “to work less, make more money, and spend it all on booze and music“. The motto was the hard labor he did day to day.
Ben Hamper wrote an excellent description of the assembly line and American automobile industry but it was shocking to read how the workers behaved. However, this is only one man’s description of the blue collar job but there were plenty of reviews that agreed with his definition of the management and auto-workers at General Motors at that time. The umpteen stories, comical events, bad behaviors, and working on the assembly line kept the lives of these men surviving in order to receive their pay-checks. Yet, I have to say the authenticity to the blue collar voice Ben sometimes sounded like a fair stand-up comic with the intent of keeping the readers laughing through dry-irony and wisdom.
I also worked in a shoe factory for years in the 70’s and 80’s and I was on an assembly line; paid by piece-work and made good money, became one of the top stitcher’s, and created quality work. My co-workers and I had plenty of fun and laughter but we respected others and the company. I guess some men might have been friskier and thought a job is something you make the best of…and they did!!
Very interesting and, at times, humorous recounting of union, GM assembly worker life in the 70's to 80's.
Amazing how big Corp treats their workers. Really lousy...and I'm no fan of unions. I've been an office guy most of my career in Const.
Most recent customer reviews
Excellent read; truly insightful