Farah Oral History Project
Summary of Interview
Margaret Mendoza, born in El Paso, Texas on October 22, 1934, worked for Farah for three years. Shortly after graduating from Bowie High School, she married an army soldier and left El Paso for Brooklyn, New York, but her marriage was not successful and she moved back to El Paso with her children. Because Mendoza needed to support her family she worked as a receptionist in several offices in El Paso. Later, her friend recommended that she work for Farah. She was hired at Farah and she earned twice as much connecting calls for the company, but would also tape record calls. Jimmy Farah typically recorded any call coming from salesmen, executives, and stores. One of her unofficial duties was to organize and play music from records for the entire factory. Mendoza received many benefits working for Farah such as, free transportation, lunch, eyeglasses, and medical care. Mendoza claimed that people did not leave work if they were sick because the on-site clinic would provide them medicine. Another benefit Mendoza received were regular raises for good performance, which others received just as regularly. While employed at Farah, she attended social events organized by Farah, for example Farah’s Christmas parties were usually held at the El Paso Coliseum due to the size of its workforce. There were also parties organized by the Farah employees mainly by Piña Family, or Los Piñitas as she called them. The parties were held in Juarez and gave liquor bottles as prizes. Margaret Mendoza left Farah, after she married Mike Mendoza who also happened to work for Farah, despite leaving she mentioned her experience at Farah as fun and educational.
Date of Interview
Length of Interview
Interview with Margaret E. Mendoza by Ariana Ornelas, 2010, "Interview no. 1608," Institute of Oral History, University of Texas at El Paso.