The Factory Girls – Episode 40

“Jonathan, Jonathan, have you seen this?”Dana all but flung herself on him when he walked through Cardill’s old door on Monday morning. She pushed a copy of a leading tabloid into his hands and, when he looked down at it, he could see why his girlfriend was so excited she’d actually talked to him at work. Splashed all across page two was a huge picture of the girls in their bright T-shirts. Inset was a picture of the factory with the hills beyond, while above ran the headline Industrial Murder. He scanned the article. It was full of praise for the passion of the “honest, hard-working employees” and condemnation for the “corporate money machines who put profit over people”. It called for Britain to back its manufacturing industries and, even better, for Xion to give Cardill’s a second chance.“Your dad’s reporter friend has done an amazing job!” Dana enthused. “This is just brilliant, Jonathan.”For a moment he thought she was going to kiss him, right there in front of all the factory girls, but at the last minute she remembered herself and pulled back. She didn’t leave his side, though, and now all the other girls were piling in to offer their praise and share their views on the picture. Not all of them were positive.“I look fat.”“My hair’s all over the place.”“My teeth are squint!”Jonathan laughed. He’d never understand girls!“You all look fantastic to me,” he said. Everyone was smiling, though, especially Dana’s friend, Shelley.“Look,” she said, squirming to the front of the little crowd. “I’m quoted! Here ‘Young employee Shelley Michaels said, “Cardill’s means the world to the people of Deveroe. It’s not just a workplace; it’s a community”.’ How good is that?”Dana looked at her friend quizzically.“Did you say all that, Shell?”Shelley blushed.“Something like it. The reporter just jazzed it up a bit. Well, so what, that’s her job, isn’t it? I stitch seams together and she stitches words. Hey, I’m getting good at this! Better get myself down to the ‘Gazette’!”“No need, Shell,” Dana said. “Xion will be quaking at this. It’s terrible publicity for them. Look here, on page six there’s a whole financial breakdown showing how profitable Cardill’s is for the Xion group.”She spread the page wide and the girls leaned in. They stared at the charts and graphs. For a little while no-one spoke, then Shelley said, “Well, who is supposed to understand that?” and everyone laughed.Jonathan looked at Dana and saw her flush. She understood it perfectly, he knew, and he was proud of her for it. He didn’t understand why she insisted on keeping her accountancy studies secret from her friends but, then, he’d hardly been forthcoming about Moonbright, had he? He had shied away from Dana’s questions about his factory visit last Wednesday, merely saying he’d been looking at machine reallocation with Frank. He had even, if he remembered rightly, scoffed at the soulless warehouse for which they were destined. Dana had seemed to accept it all, and then his father’s reporter friend had called and everything had been lost in the excitement of photographs and interviews, and now the article itself.It was a very good article. The reporter had been clever, discussing both the human angle of Deveroe life and the political debate about British manufacturing as a whole. Not much was happening in the news, either, so it could well get picked up by the other dailies, and then they’d really be in the public eye. Jonathan wasn’t nave enough to think Xion would be swayed by a few journalists, but the pressure couldn’t hurt.“Let’s check out the Facebook page,” Dana was saying. “Come on, Carol’s got it loaded on her computer in the office.”The group turned, to be met by the figure of their boss herself, arms crossed and little feet firmly planted.“And Carol’s also got a production unit to run,” she countered. “How many seams will Facebook produce, eh?”Dana ducked her head.“Sorry, Carol. It’s just . . .”“Very exciting. I know. It’s not every day I’m in the national Press in a neon T-shirt! But if we’re single-handedly going to save British manufacturing we need to be actually making stuff. Right?”“Right, Carol,” the girls agreed reluctantly and they trailed back to their machines.Jonathan seized the chance to give Dana’s hand a quick squeeze as she went and she glanced up at him and smiled.“We’ll check it at break!” Jonathan nodded awkwardly and was relieved when Carol called him over. Raj from Moonbright had put in a friend request on his own Facebook page the other day and had then posted a message saying he had corporate tickets to the football on Sunday, and did Jonathan fancy going?


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