I once had a job pouring greenware at a ceramic shop, working eight to nine hours a
day without a break. I donít know why I didnít get any breaks, I didnít ever break down
and ask. I didnít even get a lunch break! I stood on my feet till I thought they would
break down, or break out in a rash. Every day at 4:00 p.m., anxious to break free, I
would break out of there and rush home for a relaxing break dance.
I always ran late in the mornings. I never had time to break my nightly fast and Iíd just
grab a cold drink from the fridge, hoping I wouldnít break the glass bottle on the way. I
was never late for work though, because I learned to drive fast on those county roads. I
would break the law, driving seventy miles an hour on bumpy pavement, over hills,
hoping not to meet anyone on the narrow roads. I trusted my brakes would not fail,
which could have caused a terrible break-up!
When I first started, the boss had to break me in. She taught me how to pour slip, the
liquid clay, into an old agitating, washing machine. There was a hose with a flow control
to discharge slip into the molds. The molds were held together with straps, the bigger
the mold, the bigger the strap. I had to keep watch on the bindings to be sure they were
going to hold and not break. What a mess when the mold would break open. Slip
would pour out and flow all over the place. It would nearly break my back cleaning up
I had to be so careful not to break any of the freshly molded, wet, or overnight, dried
castings. And to break any of the expensive molds would surely have gotten me fired.
Some of the molds were tiny and some were huge. Some were so heavy I thought I
would break my arms lifting them.
Once poured each mold had to set for a determined amount of time. I then poured the
excess slip back into the washing machine. They had to set for a while again, after
which I had to carefully remove the mold, trying not to break the fragile piece. I had to be
careful because if I didnít do everything just right, the piece could break when fired in
the kiln. That would cause my boss to break out in a rage!
My boss fixed her husband lunch daily. It always smelled so good because I was
hungry since I had no break to eat. Occasionally I had to go into their living quarters
and break into their conversations to find out what molds I should break out next. Their
talks were often heated and flowed like waves might break on the shore. I had to be
clever to catch a break to break in.
My boss had a dreadful temper. When aggravated her voice would break into a higher
register as she would let the words fly, not caring whose feelings she might break by
her outburst. It made me break out in a cold sweat.
I undoubtedly got a break one day when she was gone and only her husband was
there. A big mold became unbalanced and started falling. I tried my best to break its
tottering, but I missed. Mr. Boss was as fast as a jet breaking the sound barrier. Fast
enough to break the plunge of that mold. I was sure glad or it would have been the
break up of my boss/employee relationship.
One night for supper I fixed ham, beans, and cornbread. I ate a lot since I wouldnít get
to break my fast until the next evening. I went to work the next day with a major
problem, I thought my belly would break up with the pressure. So I couldnít help but
break... Well, never mind.
I didnít stay with that breakless job long. The pressure was excessive and brought me
too close to the breaking point. I was so close to a break down that I had my husband
call and break the news to them. Yes, I had to break camp at the ceramic shop and left
to work at a college. I got to break new ground there working as a baker. Let me tell
you about the time I made pie crust. It was so tough it would break...
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