The Factory Girls – Episode 19

Helen looked nervously around the group in Carol’s office. They were waiting for feedback on people’s suggestions, but she wasn’t sure how to put them into words. She glanced at Dana, who slapped her own notebook on her knee.“None of the suggestions are much use.”Helen caught Carol looking hopefully at her, but she hadn’t much better thoughts to offer.“There’s lot of enthusiasm,” she began carefully, “but not much concrete help. Most people just said things like . . .” she glanced at the notebook “. . . ‘Put it on Facebook’, or ‘Talk to the MP’, or even ‘Go to number ten’!”“Chance would be a fine thing,” Brenda muttered.“The other problem,” Dana put in, “is that no-one says that they will put it on Facebook themselves, or they will talk to the MP. They’re on our side and that’s definitely a good thing, but we’re going to have to do all the legwork ourselves.”“It figures,” Carol said, but her shoulders dipped. Helen felt suddenly very sorry for her feisty little boss.“Well, there’s all of us, at least,” she said quickly. “So let’s think about what we can do. Ina?”“I can’t do much but bake, love, and I don’t suppose a cake stall is quite what we need here.”“But you want to keep your job, don’t you?” Ina shrugged awkwardly.“I’m not sure I do, to be honest. My Stan is retired and he says that if I stopped work, too, we could do all that travelling we’ve been talking about for years. Sorry.”Helen saw her look nervously at Carol, who had visibly tensed, but now Brenda was speaking.“Same for me, I’m afraid. I do love it in Deveroe, but the kids are down south now and . . .”“You’re going to move away?” Carol asked. “Leave Deveroe?”“Is that so daft, Carol? Maybe you should.”“No!” Carol slammed a hand on the desk and they all jumped. Helen gazed down at her notebook to avoid looking at her boss.“I don’t want to retire, thank you, Brenda. I don’t want to spend my days playing bowls and watching daytime TV!”“You don’t have to. You could, you know, take a course. Go on holiday. Meet some new friends.”“I don’t need new friends. I have plenty already . . . or I thought I had. What I need is Cardill’s!”Ina coughed.“It’s just a job, Carol.”Helen looked up at that.“That’s not true,” she heard herself say. Everyone looked at her and she felt horribly exposed, but this was important. “It’s not true for me, anyway. My job here gives me purpose, a sense of doing something valuable. Of pushing myself, of . . . oh, I don’t know. Stupid, probably.”But to her surprise Carol leaped up and clapped her on the back.“Exactly, Helen, thank you. Now, Brenda and Ina, you may as well go. The rest of us have work to do.”Ina stood up. She was looking straight at Carol but her old friend would not meet her eye, and in the end she walked quietly out, Brenda in tow. Now there was just Carol, Dana, Dana’s mate, Shelley who Helen suspected was only here to get off the machines and Jonathan. It was hardly a grand committee, but it was all they had.Jonathan leaned forward.“I can set up a Facebook page and a Twitter account, and do some more posters directing people to it. If we could trend it would be a great start.”“Trend?” Helen asked faintly.“It means thousands of people would be talking about us.”“Thousands? How would we do that?”“We just need to catch the eye of a provocative figure or two, hit a vibe, you know, and then we’re off.”“Right,” Helen agreed, feeling old. But Dana was sitting forward now.“That sounds great, Jonathan! I’ll get on to our MP and I’ll pester Tommy Robins, too. He’s the ‘Deveroe Gazette’ guy who was here today. I know him quite well so maybe I can get him to push the story with the nationals.”“How do you know him?”It was Jonathan. His voice sounded odd and he’d gone a bit red. Helen looked at him curiously.“Oh,” Dana said, flicking back her hair, “he’s just a mate of our Pat’s. Bit of an idiot but he could be useful.”“I see,” Jonathan agreed hastily. “Yes, very useful. Great idea, Dana.”


Used to make posts more anonymous, eg a criminal case where you don’t want to expose the actual journalist.