Every two or three months I was worked on the spool conveyor and we made other little samples there. Mr Tusa came in and inspected them and he said “Well that seems to be alright we’ll give them a good group of work when they are finished”. All the sizes were large, the last two shoes were finished, except for polishing, and both Anger and Mr Tusa came to the table and started the inspection. He said “One pair of the shoes need new socks in them”. We were putting the shoes on and nobody had said anything about that. When Mr Tusa looked at the shoes, size eleven, he said “Who is a size eleven in here?” and before anybody could answer him he said “Come on Johnny, you can try these shoes, off with your shoes and your socks, put the other socks on and you will be able to take the socks with you for the service you are providing now”. “Oh thank you sir but I can’t take those shoes away sir” “And why not?” “Well sir I don’t know how to put it but I simply can’t do it.” Mr Tusa started to get angry. “I order you to do it and now.” There was nothing for Johnny to do but obey, and when he took his first shoe off Mr Tusa started to run away holding his nose and swearing. “What a man, what a …” and he said “I was thinking of making him a foreman”. When people looked at his socks, they were folded and had holes in them which did not show when he was wearing them. Also his feet, oh they were absolutely black between the toes on each foot and around the ankles. There was a lot of laughter, but Mr Tusa ordered “Open the windows at once, all of them” and he looked around and saw the cleaners and asked “Have you got any bowls here for water?” “Oh yes sir, yes sir” came the reply. He brought the bowls then Mr Tusa called Johnny down, “Mr ….. take this drop of water and go over there and wash your feet and you can do it with that” Johnny went and washed his feet then he put the new socks on and the old ones were put in the dustbin and Mr Tusa went out of the room and said “It stinks, how can you do it” and he came to the managers who were the floor managers and said “From today you will check every Friday morning to see whether your foreman have washed their feet and have clean socks on, I don’t want a stink like that”.
I was working on the spool conveyor and it was going very slowly so it was easy to do the job. At twenty five past ten approximately the phone rang and Mr Tusa was on the other end. The floor manager answered and then asked me to take a drawing of some sample shoes from the 3rd floor to the Conference Room in the Administration Building . I was told to go carefully as they were all exhibit samples and they were going to Africa . I had to wait a couple of minutes for the last shoes to be cleaned and polished properly so that they were shining like new.
was told not to run with the samples in case they fell off the trolley. As I was going to the Administration Building somebody shouted “Hurry Up” but I still did not run as I knew it was not Mr Tusa;s voice and I had to be careful with the trolley because if anything had happened to those shoes Mr Tusa would have been very angry with me.
When I reached the Administration Building I was taken in the lift to the Conference Room, as I came out of the lift I heard a voice saying “Stop it, stop it, you stupid idiot”. I risked a look, Mr Tusa was standing there in his best suit, well I wouldn’t say his best suit but a suit that fitted him well, but both his suit and lovely white shirt were completely black. I then heard the angry voice of Mr Rumsey and the laughter stopped. I asked what had happened and Mr Checo said that the room had been too hot, Mr Tusa had asked why the blower was not working and had been told that in the winter the men who worked there complained that it was too cold and somebody had suggested that they put a few rags there to stop the draft. “Take them out and start it now” Mr Tusa said, and the next minute he was as black as a black man, When the laughter stopped Mr Tusa was asked what would happen next. Mr Tusa said “I will tell you what is going to happen, I am going to go home, wash and change then come back here. We will go on with this conference this afternoon. It’s Friday and I know what I need to do on a Friday but that will have to wait until this is done first.”
Vaclav with his children and Anton Klapka in the garden at East Tilbury.