Doreen Lindsey was a newly-employed door-to-door saleswoman for Charm Cosmetics in January 1971 and Elsie Howard was her area supervisor. Elsie was told by her boss, North West divisional director Dawn Painter, to go out on her rounds with Doreen to help her settle in. Elsie agreed but also wanted to do the same with more experienced colleague Mavis Sidlow who was having personal problems. Mrs Painter disagreed and the conversation grew rancorous. Elsie was fired on the spot and Doreen gained a new supervisor.