The Swing Shift Shuffle is a radio program of swing, big band, jazz, boogie woogie and other popular music from the 1930's and 40's that airs every Wednesday from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. (US Central Time) on WEVL 89.9 FM in Memphis, Tennessee, with a live webcast at In addition to the radio show, this blog is dedicated to all aspects of the Swing Era, including art, automobiles, cartoons, comics, history, movies, music, news, science, technology, and anything else that happened during that time. It also includes announcements about events in the Memphis/Mid-South area related to the Swing Era, such as classic movies, concerts, dances, lectures, etc. If you see something that fits the description, send it to me at If you would like more information about the radio show, just go to the Radio Show FAQ page.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Ropes At Disney

Having worked at the WEVL Music Factory for some time, I am familiar with personnel manuals, policies, etc.  I can safely say that this employee handbook from Disney Studios in 1943 (posted on How To Be A Retronaut) is one of the most human Human Resources resources I have ever seen.  The terms and conditions of employment were nowhere near as Dickensian as I would have presumed for 1943, especially considering that Walt Disney was engaged in war work making training films, etc. for the military.  In fact, I would wager that these policies are better than many present day employers, with one obvious exception. 
While this manual is certainly light-hearted, it depicts rather ardent gazes by the male employee at his female co-worker that might not survive a modern sexual harassment policy.  The same would go for the fact that female employees got twice the number of sick days as male employees, although to be fair, the women were not eligible for membership in the Penthouse Club.  "Men only!  Sorry, gals. . . ."  That is a direct quote from the handbook on that point.

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