October 29, 1909
"On and after November 1, all lady clerks and employes must discontinue the wearing of 'rats' in their hairdress. Please govern yourself accordingly. -- A. B. R., Supt. Dist."
Will the Postal Telegraph Company whose district manager issued the above order, insist that it be obeyed, or will it hearken to the murmurings and declarations of their female employes and forget it?
This is the question which is bothering the girls ever since they received copies of what is declared to be the most famous order ever issued by the local office. That the officials of the company will have no easy time enforcing his order goes without saying. In fact, one of the pretty wire girls declared last evening that she, for one, would resign, and that in a hurry, before she would permit the manager or superintendent to dictate to her the sort of headdress she would wear.
"Why, the first thing we know they will have us in blue uniforms with brass buttons, a la messenger boy style," she said.
The order was issued Wednesday. The girls, when they received it, took it for a joke, but yesterday when they discovered that it really was in earnest, and that the order meant what it said, there was excitement in plenty. If the ears of Superintendent Richards did not burn and buzz all day yesterday and until well into the night, it was not because the girls were not talking.
More than a score of operators are affected by the order. Half a dozen of these operate keys in various public places about the city, the principal branches being in the Hotel Baltimore, Coates house, Savoy hotel, New York Life building and the Chamber of Commerce. Then there are almost a score of girls employed in the main office of the company.
What objection to the wearing of "rats" can be is known only to Superintendent Richards and as one of the girls expressed it yesterday, "He won't tell because he doesn't know."
"It's nobody's business what is meant by the issuance of that order," said Richards last evening.
"I guess 'A. B. R.' will buy us all new hats. He will have to if he insists on us taking the rats out of our hair," said one of the operators as she adjusted a handsomely plumed beaver.
"Why, we never would be able to wear a stylish-looking hat and I know that I, for one, am not going to let any man dictate to me for a while, yet, as to the sort of hat I wear. Of course, if I get married I may change my mind, but I am still single."
"I threw my order in the waste basket," said another operator,"but on second thought I fished it out and took it home. I may have it framed, or I may send it to a friend in Chicago. I only wish I could say things like a man can. I would certainly talk to 'A. B. R.' "
"Lots of foolish orders are issued at times, but this is the worst I have ever heard of," said another operator. "I wear a rat and have to in order to wear a hat which is in style. If 'A. B. R.' or anyone else thinks that he is going to tell me how to wear my hair he will be disillusioned. If he asks me I will tell him my hair is natural and if he tries to get familiar and ascertain for himself there will be something doing, in which I will not get the worst of it."