When I Worked In A Man’s World

Tonight I was watching a show called “One Of The Toughest Jobs.” As I sat watching this show about repairing a passenger jet.  I thought, right, you think that is a tough job?

There was this guy showing how it was being done. He seemed to be feeling like he was sort of a super guy. The one thing that most people do not know about me is that I once was an aircraft mechanic. I worked in a place that had ten hanger filled with aircraft.  We worked on military planes such as F-4’s, KC-135’s and 130 Cargo planes. Some of these planes were Air Force and the others were Navy.

I worked on two of those projects. The first job was on the engine crew working on the F-4’s. That was a tough job because of the size of the plane. Installing a part in a spot that can not be seen is a challenge.  We had to feel our way around in a lot of cases or use a flexible mirror with a flashlight.   I always had a partner. One held the flashlight while the other did the work. No, I was not always the flashlight holder.

Since some men resent women working in an environment, that they consider their domain, they didn’t like women working along side of them making the same amount of money. So, I felt that I had to prove myself. I worked hard and very seldom ask  for help.

Since we worked in pairs on that project, I did have help on occasion. It was necessary. Sometimes, I had the same partner and at others, someone else in the crew would work with me. The men in my crew came to admire me because they saw that I pulled my own weight.  That still didn’t keep me from feeling out of place at times.

It was a good job no matter how tough it was. I was able to afford to take care of my two sons without worry. We had excellent benefits which kept me from the worry of not having insurance for my family.

My point is that the show was about the toughest job. They were not doing anything that I didn’t do when I was an aircraft mechanic. Yes, it is a tough job. Did I mind? No.

Right now, I do not even want to think about the way that women were treated. I had my fair share of being jerked around because I was a woman. I managed to deal with it up to a point.  There are still places in this country where women are not accepted in a man world.  Believe it.

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