11 October 2011
YOU'RE BEAUTIFUL AND YOUR BOSS IS AN ASSHOLE
Cause of ambivalence:
Chabanel - The fashion district
We’ve had many great years together, but you were never that good to me, and a year later, I still don’t miss you. ❤"
On Chabanel Street
During the last six years, I have worked for four different fashion companies, three of which were all within a two-block radius from each other, in Montreal’s fashion district, located around Chabanel street. Don’t be fooled by the terms “fashion district,” there is nothing glamorous about this area of town, which is comprised mainly of out of business textile factories that, having lost the price war against the Asian market, now house small to large scale fashion design houses. The Chabanel area, as it is often called, may just be the ugliest part of the city, yet it is filled with the most well-clad men and women, who strut their way to the top end of St-Laurent street and spend their days working in a field that is notoriously high stress, underpaid, unfair, and demanding.
Last month marked not only the one-year anniversary of my departure from a particularly oppressive workplace, but also the resignation of my last close friend who still worked there. I have no doubt that I wouldn’t have made it out alive had it not been for all of the amazing men and women I have worked with over the years. Our ability to join forces against our tyrannical employers became our biggest ally, proving the power that come from friendship and communication, rather than fierce competition.
To honor my dear friend’s new-found freedom, and to commemorate our survival (and the survival of many of our ex co-workers) in this crazy world we call the fashion industry, I created a series of handmade stickers that I posted all around the Chabanel Area. The words: “You’re beautiful and your boss is an asshole” are lyrics from the song TGIF by feminist band Le Tigre, which is the song I listened to when I left Chabanel for the last time, after quitting with my head held high. I hope that these lyrics, written in felt markers and pasted onto benches, bus stops and walls, can provide to others the same inspirations that they did to me.
Do you work on Chabanel, or in the fashion industry, or wherever? Do you hate your boss? Do you still work there? Did you leave? Either way, I’d love to hear from you.
Labels: MY AMBIVALENCE