Saturday, November 27, 2010

More cat action

I've just bottled a batch of alcoholic ginger beer.  Thought I'd have a bit of fun with the label and here it is:

Can't quite work out what to call the vintage, but Cat Piss is looking like a good one.  I've just set up a new brew of stout and am thinking about the label and the name already.  Perhaps this is more interesting than the brew itself!

Have also been drawing new bits of cat.  Here's one I prepared earlier (Ha):

I'm not sure if this one is finished.  I'm pretty fond of it.  She looks determined, which is very much her character.  Think I might frame her and keep her for myself.

Working at the sweatshop is proceeding as expected.  I'm treading the path of being very nice and very polite to everyone to see if I can have an impact on the culture there.  I say 'Excuse me' whenever it's appropriate and 'Thank you' pretty much all the time, particularly when people deliver more work to me.  I'd really like to see people being nice to each other in that work place.  I'm really surprised that the place has existed for so long with everyone hating each other.

The interesting thing this week is that I met with a representative of the Union - Textile, Clothing and Footwear Union of Australia (TCFUA).  He was great and very informative.  I don't really want to make trouble, but I think there could be many improvements made that wouldn't cost management a great deal of money.  I just want everyone there - management and workers - to be treated with respect. At the same time I'm looking for work elsewhere, so I don't want to make too much of a ruction when I don't believe I'll be there for long.

Joining the union is an interesting thing to do in my workplace.  Apparently the management has threatened to shut the place down if anyone joins.  I think that's complete bullshit.  I'm going to get a sticker for my car and a badge for my jacket and put those on display and see what happens.  To be continued....

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Another work week

Discovered that the woman who was dissapointed with my work is nick named "Moaner" (outside of her hearing).  I think the reason is fairly obvious.  This week at work was fairly painless.

Finally am back in the studio tonight.  Have just done a bit of a scribble, and here she is:

That's a sleeping Dusty who needs much more work, but it's great to get my hands dirty again.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Working in a factory

Crumbs.  Some people get their thrills at little expense.

Yesterday, at 4.21 pm (nine minutes before finish time) one the machinists came in to complain that one of my prints was about 3cm off.  Then her boss came in with the same message.  Then she came in again.  I couldn't help myself.  I had to say: 'It's great to finish the week on a high note.  Thank you for that.'  Probably bitchy, but neither of them have been particularly welcoming to me in the last five weeks, so I don't care.

These two are the queen bees.  If one (by one, I mean anyone other than them) chooses to eat or drink in the tea room, one should not speak until spoken to by one of these shockers.

I've also discovered that the staff are paying for the cleaning products for the bathrooms and the tea room.  I can't believe this place.  I'm also a bit annoyed with myself for not doing anything about it.  I've been a unionist for years and this place is a shocker for bad treatment of staff.  The thing that stops me from calling attention to it is that there are lots of people employed who, if the place was run according to the award, might lose their jobs.  It's terrible.  There are women there who complain constantly about the work environment, but they've been there for 20+ years!  When I ask why they stay, they tell me that they can't get any other job.  This tells me that they've been so beaten down by their jobs that they don't have the confidence to try anything else.

Yesterday, I was using the computer in the office (the only one that works properly) to look up some stuff for my print work (probably infringing copyright but this is not an issue for management) and while I was there, the daughter of the owners was talking to her mother on the phone.  There was some quite detailed discussion of mothers bowel movements.  I really don't know what to say about that.  I suppose it means that I was invisible to the daughter.  A positive reading would be that she felt comfortable with me.  I don't think so given the way she treats me - I'm a serf!

Have just applied for another job which is walking distance of home.  Would love to get it.  It's less money, but for an organisation that I respect.  Fingers crossed.

Here's a random shot of me from the mid nineties just for a bit of a visual because I don't have any other photos of work or anything to post....

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Long time no blog

Have been busy of late.  This full time work business sucks up one's time.  I'm getting used to it, but after a year of holiday it may take a while.

I'm working as a printer for a clothing company.  The equipment is pretty crappy and temperamental and the pay is the lowest they can legally get away with.  The factory is positively Dickensian.  I can't help remembering Scrooge in his office overseeing his business and scrimping on every possible penny.  The owners of this place have a very similar approach, right down to the 'Bah humbug' at Christmas - but only at the factory.  At home they have an entire room dedicated to Christmas junk and apparently decorate the whole house.  All very tasteful I'm sure.

Here's a glimpse of my 'office':

I've cleaned it up since then.  Chucked out tons of dried up or rotten inks. Now we have a whole shelf of blue and another of green.  With lesser amounts of black, white, red and yellow.  Now I can actually find stuff.  Whoopee!  This means I will (hopefully) not get in trouble for using the 'wrong' blue.  I've tried to get the requests to be made being a little more specific about colour, but my employers are not trained in colour theory and are just assuming that my psychic skills will allow me to understand which of the 30 blues they mean when they say blue.

On a very happy note, I've recently had a visit from my marvellous friend and fellow artist Kate Ward.  She blogs too, here.  She's doing beautiful and delicate print work and establishing a business .  She's been very successful of late being selected to purvey her wares at some very selective markets.

Last weekend we visited the Tasmanian Craft Fair at Deloraine, which is about 40 minutes from here.  It's a gorgeous little town and the fair is held all over the place.  There were 14 venues with buses ferrying people from one venue to the next.  We saw lots of fabulous stuff and even bought some of it.  Kate was researching how other people run their marketing businesses and collected loads of cards and other promotional material.  It was a really good trip and energising.  When work settles down a little, I'll have to get to work on producing some new work to market.  Kate and I are talking about being exhibitors at the next Tas Craft Fair in 2011.

It was great to have Kate here.  She's a bundle of positive energy and an inspiration.  The cats also really appreciated her company:

I thought that as there are two cats, we could have one each.  The cats clearly had oher plans.

Life is settling back down now.  I'm concentrating on the house and garden at the moment. It's great to have a job so I can pay the mortgage and buy a few bits and pieces and have fun with friends when they visit.