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  • Annmarie Throckmorton, M.A.

Greeted With A Shotgun

In other years long ago, I applied for a technical writing job at a cotton gin facility located somewhere out in the desert surrounding Phoenix, Arizona. I really wanted to work at the cotton gin because I like being in the beauty of the desert and I wholeheartedly support the product cotton. Cotton is comfortable to wear, looks nice, and it is a renewable resource. It is a great product.

My application for employment did not take long. I pulled up in my truck, got out, and took a couple of steps toward the office. But I was stopped in my tracks by a slim, silent, young man who emerged from the shadows in front of the office, swung a shotgun up from his side and crossed it over his chest. As he glared at me I got the message loud and clear, and I immediately left. It was one of the more frightening steps backward in my life journey.

If this happened today I would call the police and then the company headquarters, but this was before cell phones and women often were not believed when they reported aberrant behavior by men, so I sought employment elsewhere. Industrial facilities are inherently dangerous, even being in the desert is somewhat dangerous, so one must be able to trust one's colleagues to stay safe, which was obviously impossible there.

Caption: Pining For A Good Job—Broken Branches Broken Life Chances

by Annmarie Throckmorton 2019

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