Friday, August 11, 2017


While working at Rockwell, we were having a new Gemcor Automatic Riveter installed. The hole for the riveter had to be 12 feet deep because of the force of the equipment. The digging could be done only on second shift because everything had to be cleaned on third shift for the first shift's operation. Each morning, nearly everyone in the department would go to look in the big hole to see the progress. One morning, Eddie, one of my operators, came to me and said excitedly, "You're going to have to call an exterminator;  there's a rat down in the hole!" Eddie's riveter was right beside the big hole.

I went over and looked in the hole and there was indeed a rat in the big hole. I said to Eddie, "I'm going to climb down in the hole and you hand me a mandrel." I was on the third step of the ladder and Eddie handed me a mandrel which weighed about thirty-five pounds. I tossed the mandrel toward the rat and it missed the rat by about two feet. I said, "Hand me that bottle of MEK." [MEK: methyl ethyl ketone, a cleaner which is poisonous to humans if ingested]. By that time I had quite an audience including the Union Committeeman who was yelling at me that it wasn't my job. I climbed further down the ladder and started squirting MEK in the rat's face.

The rat began squirming and dropped over. I jumped down on the ground and picked up the mandrel and crushed the rat with the mandrel. I yelled at Eddie, "Do you need this mandrel for today's orders?" He said that he didn't so I left the mandrel for the excavators to bring up out of the hole. When I climbed out of the hole, I received a round of applause from the audience, except for the Committeeman who told me that I should not have have been doing that "work" and that I should've called some Union employee. I told him we didn't have any in-house exterminators so it wasn't a Union job. I also told him, "Besides, I just saved the Company $150.00 and resolved a safety issue with Eddie." I turned to Eddie and I asked, "Right, Eddie?' Eddie said, "I can't believe you killed it;  I thought you were a nice lady."

I asked, "Eddie, what are you having for lunch?'  He answered, "A ham sandwich." I asked, "Do you think they killed the hog before they cured the ham?" I told him I grew up on a farm and I gave him a demonstration of how to kill chickens and then I told him I didn't mind killing anything except the rabbits because they cried. He gasped, "You mean you killed bunny rabbits?" I said, "Yes, and I enjoyed eating them too." After that, my nickname was RK.

 (You figured out it was Rat Killer, didn't you?.

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