She started her career in journalism by rebuking a columnist in the Pittsburgh Dispatch who called working women “a monstrosity.” Her fiery rebuttal impressed the editor. Hired under a pen name, she produced investigative articles about terrible conditions for female factory workers. In 1887, Bly talked her way into an undercover assignment to get herself committed to an insane asylum so she could report on conditions there.
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After an embarrassing dressing-down by a powerful boss, some employees are shaken to the core. Scarred by the experience, they never recover. Irwin Simon bounced back—and then some.