As I sat there listening to the boss, a man in his 50s with a body-builder physique, berating and screaming at a female colleague—I froze. I didn’t know how to react. A room full of adults didn’t know how to react. My mind kept replaying the same question: “What’s happening? What’s happening?” It felt like we were all strapped to a runaway train with no hope of getting off.
This brought me back to a time long ago when I worked as line worker in a meat-packaging factory near South Boston. It was mostly immigrant kids and women working at the conveyor belt while a couple of older men were moving the pallets.