GLF, Suspicion

[A short anecdote about one segment of my relationship with GLF]

[Charles E. Page November 2003]

After we "sold out" on the farm at Butler's corners [1950's] I took a six-week long vacation. Alberta and I with the three kids traveled and camped all around New York State and the mid-west. Then I had to hunt up a job.

A relative had been working at the farmer owned cooperative known as G.L.F. [now Agway] at the Oneida mill. He was leaving, so there was a vacancy. I had worked for GLF at various locations years before when I was single. [Oswego, Pulaski, Munnsville] The mill foreman in Oneida at the time, Chet Yeager knew me from before and later as a customer. After I was hired I found out my relative had left the job under a cloud. It was alleged that in writing up sales to customers he would tear up the sales slips and pocket the money.

The manager at the time, Ernie Charron, didn't know at first of that family relationship, but soon found out. I hadn't worked there very long, but everything was going well until one day when I returned from a feed delivery route, and found I was $5 short on the money I had collected.

I could feel what was going on in Ernie's head. Two of a kind in the same family! Well, he said, "You will just have to make up the five dollars".

In a way I could see how this was a reasonable request, but then I thought it would lend credence to the idea that I was admitting I snitched the money, and being caught at it, agreed to return it.

So I said, "I don't steal. Obviously there was a mistake, and I don't know where, but I'm not returning any money. If you want any money returned, you'll have to withhold it from my paycheck. That's up to you. As long as I work here, I'll probably make more than one mistake." He looked at me thoughtfully, and said nothing.

Being under suspicion is not a pleasant feeling. However, apparently he believed me for nothing was ever withheld. I must have proven my reliability, for my integrity was never again questioned. One day a year or so later, he selected me to take charge of the office and bookkeeping while he went on two weeks vacation. He was to leave in a week or so.

It was something new to me but I learned the system in the time he had to teach me and acted as temporary bookkeeper/manager. Each day at the close of business I cashed up and took the several thousands of dollars to the bank for deposit in the night depository. The following morning I would post the ledger, take care of customers and help with the mill work. When he returned he congratulated me on the fine job I did in his absence.

I worked for GLF in all about nine years, leaving to take a job as a Farm Representative with New York State Department of Labor.