The Summer Of The Year Before
The Monday that Michelle Williams started work at Marine Electronics was a scorching hot midsummer day. From the fourth floor wall of glass on the west wing of the seven-storey building owned by Marine, Jeremy and his fellow engineers were treated to a panoramic view of the landscape stretching all the way to Portsmouth Bay where the waters lay out in the sun and made light ripples, too lazy and too content to get up and make even the occasional wave. The bay was thus greeting the day cheerfully shimmering in the mid-morning sun when Steve, the QA team leader, brought Michelle over for a quick introduction to Jeremy’s team. Quality Assurance essentially meant “testing”; a QA team sat next to each engineering team and ran many series of rigorous tests after Engineering was done with the research, design, and development of various stages of a product.
Engineering was a male dominated field. There was only one female, Sally Trotter, in Jeremy’s team of one physicist, one mechanical engineer, and ten electronic engineers. He could see that Michelle’s long bleached hair, sleeveless low-cut blouse, endless legs tanned from a bottle, three inch stilettos, and hot-pink claws—so long they were surely retracted in for typing—did not go unnoticed by the boys.
. . .