The main character in Deborah Boe’s poem “Factory Work”, is establishing her identity as a woman, in a factory job. It is noted in the poem, that it is an unsafe workplace for women. “Phyllis, who stands next to me, had long hair before the glue machine got it. My machine ate up my shirt once.” (Boe, 1988). Also, the author is portraying the character as extremely capable of doing the work. She notes the physical strength of the character, (It's simple, but the lasts weigh, give you big arms. If I hit my boyfriend now, in the supermarket parking lot, he knows I hit him.”(Boe, 1988). She also noted the daydreaming while working, as well as being the best worker there. “Last week they ran a contest to see which shankers shanked fastest. I'm not embarrassed to say I beat them all.” (Boe, 1988). What the author is doing, is noting the identity of the woman in a predominantly male workplace, and being successful l at her job. She portrays her as a very smart woman, who can exceed expectations in a male dominated workforce.
In my entire career, I have worked with preschool aged youth. The age group I work with, there are not many men. I have worked alongside women my whole life. I can relate to the character in the poem, of the desire to prove that I fit in a job, which not many men have pursued. Because there are not many men, it is very hard to succeed.
It has been a challenge to succeed in the preschool aged education environment, mostly because of the perception that men are not supposed to work with kids that young. When parents first drop off their children, and they see me, they hesitate. I am a big guy, with a beard, and a whole lot of energy. However, like the character in the poem, I proved that I belong, because of my passion for the work that I do, and energy to be the best at it.
Boe, D. (1988). Factory Work, Mojave. Retrieved from www.heydays.ws/?where=authors&author=Deborah%20Boe