Whoa, now--that's not our title--it's the name of an unintentionally hilarious 1959 training film we stumbled across on the Web. Sit through the 6-minute presentation and, man or woman, we think you'll agree: We've come a long way, baby.
Produced for the McGraw-Hill Book Company, the film was one in a series on "plant supervisors' problems," and was based on material furnished by the education and training department of the Aluminum Company of America.
The film opens with a woman worker struggling at the controls of an oscilloscope. Her supervisor, "Mr. Bradshaw," is paternalistically trying to help her out when he is approached by a second woman, who tells him she is his new bearings inspector. Bradshaw asks her to take a seat and then goes storming into the office of the personnel manager.
"OK, now Walt--you've had your little joke," Bradshaw says. "Give her to somebody else! I asked for a man."
"We don't have a man with her qualifications," replies Walt (who does, in fact, seem to be enjoying himself). "Seriously, Brad, if you treat her right, she might make you a darn good employee. Get that chip off your shoulder. What's wrong with her?"
"She's a woman, isn't she?" retorts Bradshaw.
"You've got a lot of women in your department," Walt says. "What's wrong with one more?"
"Did you ever hear of the straw that broke the camel's back?" asks Bradshaw.
"They're good workers," says Walt. "Accurate, quick to catch mistakes, patient ..."
"Yeah, yeah," Bradshaw interrupts. "But that comes out of books. I work with them, mister. I know what happens."
Asked to explain himself, Bradshaw launches into the story of Myrtle Malloy, who, having already made her workbench look "more like her dressing table," had the audacity to complain about being relocated, with the prospect of more relocations to come.
But wait--there's more. Like the worker who told him that she would be leaving soon to be married.
"Marriage?!" gasps Bradshaw. "I thought you just got engaged!"
"Well, I told you about it 6 months ago," the woman replies. "We were only waiting until we could find a place to live."
Bradshaw expresses his congratulations by telling her "that will really put us in a bind around here. It takes time to break in a relief girl."
"All these things you've been talking about," Walt says, "Marriage, absenteeism, personality problems -- aren't they really just a part of life?
"Part of a woman's life, maybe," Bradshaw says. "But I can remember the good old days when there were all men in my department, and we didn't have these problems."
"Look, Brad -- you've got a new bearings inspector, who happens to be a woman," Walt says. "You need someone, and there isn't a man available. It seems to me that whether the gal adds up to trouble or not is pretty much up to you."
Like the final episode of the Sopranos, the film leaves us hanging as Bradshaw returns to the bearings inspector and looks from her to her résumé, eyebrow arched.
"What is Brad's trouble?" flashes on the screen.