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#26391 - 04/10/01 02:00 PM Help the Smithsonian
Bobyoungbalt Offline
veteran

Registered: 11/22/00
Posts: 1289
In this morning's paper which I read at lunch, there is an article about a curator at the Smithsonian who is looking for a pink slip. (Must be a slow news day -- this started on p. 1 below the fold.) This particular area of the museum has objects etc. related to work. They have actual samples of red tape, and other articles, but no pink slips. The curator in question (forget the name and I threw out the paper before I came back to the office) knows quite well what is meant by the term. He has tracked down the earliest usage of the term to ca. 1915 by a writer of pulp fiction. However, in spite of searches everywhere he can think of, he is unable to obtain an actual pink piece of paper which is a dismissal notice. With all the researching we all do on this board, perhaps we can help him. If it were possible to zero in on the use of the term to a specific industry or company, then one might be able to obtain a sample of the actual piece of paper. Failing this, we might be able to establish that there is some other meaning or derivation to the term and there never was any such paper. How about it?


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#26392 - 04/10/01 11:44 PM Re: Help the Smithsonian
Geoff Offline
old hand

Registered: 11/12/00
Posts: 819
Loc: Portland,Oregon, USA
Failing this, we might be able to establish that there
is some other meaning or derivation to the term and there never was any such paper. How about it?


Another meaning for pink slip was common in California years ago. The title to one's car was pink. To have a pink slip was, to a car owner, a good thing.

How about it, B96, or Dr Bill? Are they still pink?


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#26393 - 04/11/01 05:02 PM Re: Help the Smithsonian
Anonymous
Unregistered


Another meaning for pink slip was common in California years ago. The title to one's car was pink. To have a pink slip was, to a car owner, a good thing...Are they still pink?

It's actually kind of rainbow-ish; pale green on the left, changing to yellow then to pink on the right. i do seem to recall a smaller, all-pink slip years ago, but i may be thinking of one of the DMV forms that you fill out when you sell the car.

Your Smithsonian curator must not google. i found this with minimal effort:

http://www.nacufs.org/services/publications/journal_1999/woods.asp

"The use of some form of appraisal or evaluation of employee performance is not new. Supervisors at Henry Ford Model T Company conducted daily performance appraisals in a very direct manner. At Ford, when employees finished their workday, they walked past a wall filled with cubbyholes. Each employee had a cubbyhole, and managers put a blank piece of paper in each daily. If a worker was given a white piece of paper it meant that his performance for that day had been acceptable. However, if an employee was given a pink piece of paper it meant that he was not invited back for another day of work; he was fired. This is the origin of the term "pink slip."


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#26394 - 04/12/01 01:47 PM Re: Help the Smithsonian
Bobyoungbalt Offline
veteran

Registered: 11/22/00
Posts: 1289
He already had that; it's quoted in the newspaper article. The problem is that no specimen of such a pink slip can be found and there is no real archival evidence of the veracity of this; absent some evidence, it would be taken as anecdotal only. Of course, if the papers were blank, there would be no hope of someone having saved one. (And why blank slips anyway? They couldn't put it into words if you were being fired? Makes the whole story sound unlikely.)


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#26395 - 04/13/01 03:23 PM Re: Help the Smithsonian-pink slip
wow Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 11/25/00
Posts: 3439
Loc: New England, USA
Perhaps the parsimonious Mr. Ford re-used the slips of paper?
wow


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