Friday, January 11, 2008

Blue Collar

In the clothing industry specifically the skate/boutique category of the biz there are numerous jobs one can have. If you're lucky you can land a job as a designer or get a gig at retail working in a "cool guy" store. Granted both of those gigs are as easy to get as it is getting into the mafia, but you can do it if you don't suck at life.

If you can't make it there you can work as a sales rep, maybe a production manager, or as a shipping/receiving employee, or in the marketing dept.

I however am blessed to have fallen into the vile and dark position that is the "warehouse" guy. I think it's fair to say that warehouse work is the least glamorous or least desirable of all the previously mentioned positions within the business.

Warehousing is it's own world. There are visible differences in speech, dress, music, and all around attitude between the warehouse "dudes" and the office employees.

It is a thankless job, but it is a job none the less and I have it a lot easier then some other warehouse dudes.

I call this picture "Monday".

There are a lot of perks working at a clothing distribution warehouse when you own a brand yourself. For example, I see everything from almost every brand before it comes out. This allows me to make sure that anything we're planning on doing doesn't look like everyone else. For instance, did you know that every men's line (the good ones even) will have at least one cardigan in there line?

That's how saturated things can get. Essentially, one piece, fit, or printing technique catches on and it's a dog pile between every brand in the world to have the biggest and the brightest "product" ever made. Now I could probably have told you that even without seeing it first hand, but when you see it day in and day out then it really hits home how saturated things are.

Needless to say we will opt to pass on cardigans if the pattern continues. It's a shame seeing as cardigans are fresher then a virgin in a refrigerator.

The warehouse I work at will be the clothing distributor for the return of Alpha Numeric. A lot of people have been hyping Alpha's return on the internet, but we'll see what they actually do. I liked Alpha when I was younger and do remember them sticking out from a lot of brands at the time.

The dirty photo shoot area. All the product that gets put into magazines, web, catalogs, are shot in these dodgy little studios that smell like ass and peanuts. Ironic.

I was doing inventory all this week. Real talk. I looked down at the clipboard I was using and noticed a Supreme sticker. Big whoop. Then I noticed the o.g triple o.g Street Machine bridge sticker was right above it.

How would that even be possible?

And if that wasn't random enough I flipped it over and there's an original Union LA sticker and another Street Machine sticker graphic I never saw in my day. WTF? So somehow someone from San Diego ended up in my warehouse in Kent, Washington and popped a couple STM, Supreme, and Union stickers on this damn clipboard 10 years before I worked here?

The world is a small place my friends.

I digress...

My morning starts with a cup of coffee and a donut. I am a fitness freak by any measure. Then it's off to receiving. During that time I usually i-pod through those couple hours.

Currently getting play on the i-pod:

- Bad Brains "Self Titled" (at least once a day all the through)
- Minor Threat "Complete Discography"
- Tappa Zukie "Man Ah Warrior"
- Lord Finesse "The Funky Technician"
- King Jammy "Jammy At The Controls"

After checking in everything from Stussy, Obey, 10 Deep, Modern Amusement, Bench, to women's lines, sandals, Nike, Reebok, Vans it's lunchtime.

Lunch can be sort of sh*tty. I don't like fast food that much. I mean I will eat it so don't make me out to be some food snob, but I can't hang with Wendy's everyday.

After lunch it's usually photo shoot junk which is a lot easier then the run of the mill warehouse labor. On other days I make store runs to 3 different stores whilst listening to throwback mixes of Positive K's classic "I Got A Man" or Whodini. Those are the good days.

After all that it's back to the warehouse and then clock out time. If I'm not too exhausted I will work on Heavy Manners stuff with Justin through video conferencing Seattle via London. We're worldwide if you didn't know. Other times I work with our intern on a whole bunch of busy work or with the sales rep. All the while Baby Zeus is trying to pour juice on the carpet and has to get bath time. It's a full day folks.

So if you're a blue collar joe and have thoughts about getting a side business going or are thinking it is not possible just remember:

Excuses are like assh*les, everyones got one.

After 9 hour days in the "fun" factory I get to go home to this:

Look at that devilish grin. He's plotting all right. You can tell. Baby Zeus will wait for Dad to shut his eyes and then he will strike. Grrrraaaaaarrr!!!!

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