[the Writing of Kuypers][JanetKuypers.com][Bio][Poems][Prose]




........

Magnum Opus

Here’s the story... I had saved enough money for a while, and then I was told I should become a model, so I applied to the first place I saw an ad for. And they wanted me.
And I know, I know, this sounds like a good story so far. But I was there for a photo shoot one day, and they needed someone to start working in their ordering department, because they sold clothing too. So I said I could do it and I was hired on the spot.
This is where this story gets more interesting, I guess, where the screwing over appears. Because being on the inside of this company, I saw how things were run. First of all, I WAS their ordering department, and I got to see (while working there) how much of a scam this place really was. The building, all the offices, the changing room, all the clothes for modeling shoots and the runway for the models were just one big room. The owner was there only half the time, otherwise off to work out. or to a luncheon or a country club. And he kept the air conditioning blasted, I think because when he sometimes took pornographic pictures of models, the women would have hard nipples.
And the boss would pay his employees next to nothing (it was never more than minimum wage). And he cared more about the cables for his camera equipment that he left very unsafely strewn about in the main room floor. (I’m sure O.S.H.A. would say that was a safety hazard.) But as I was saying, he cared more about his camera equipment — these inanimate objects — than the people that chose to work for him. He once told me that there was a six hundred dollar cable on the floor, and I wanted to tell that sorry bastard that I actually had the money saved to buy this whole damn building, and if O.S.H.A. saw this place they’d snag his ass, and that if someone was late, his policy of paying them two dollars an hour was illegal, and anyone with balls could get a team of lawyers on him and take this whole scam —
I mean, excuse for a company — away from him.
My coworker Chantene said she wanted to quit, and Joanne from work said she was going to quit, and then I found out that he hired and fired Juanita in a two-week span. Everyone working there was unhappy. Chantene talked repeatedly about taking a magnum to the boss’ ass; I mean, she’d talk about shooting him repeatedly.
So I decided then to keep my mouth shut because he could still keep money away from me as a model (I mean, I was still a model). He could still choose not to use my photographs in their magazine or on the web (where the models made money), but I could get electronic stills from my photo shoots with Chantene, and I figured, Hell, I can at least get the electronic copies of my photos; this pointless, irritating, inexcusable, childless, dehumanizing, humiliating, backwards, scam of an inane, insane job has to have some utility for me...
Working at this company, I lost my time, but didn’t get enough money or any peace of mind for it. When my near full-time job couldn’t even cover my rent, I decided to put in my two week notice and quit...
I learned about the company while I was there — like that they’re the most unorganized, disorganized bunch of clods I have ever worked for, because the boss’ back-ass rules that we had to follow make no sense.
I mean, when they interview models, they videotape the interview — and act like their video camera works. So an employee of his, during the interview, acts like they’re using the camera so the models feel like they are being video taped.
On my last day of work, I was scheduled to do a modeling shoot; I hoped to get electronic stills... But on my last day, with the boss there with his precious camera equipment, I probably wouldn’t get the chance...
I also found out at this company that if the boss takes the pictures in a modeling shoot, then there’s a chance of getting into the catalog (where models make the money), and if the employees take the photos with the smaller cheaper camera, then the model’s photos aren’t ever even considered for use. So, like how I said employees act like they’re videotaping people in modeling interviews, they take pictures of models who come in for modeling shoots, knowing the photos will never be used for anything, just immediately deleting the images from the digital camera. Great system.
So on my last day of work as their entire ordering department, I took a break to be a model. I was putting on make-up and curling my hair as he was getting his glorious camera equipment all set up.
I know that his camera is more valuable to him than the people that work for him, so all I could think was... Go ahead and get all the glorious camera equipment all set up and take the glorious photographs with your digital camera and make me look just fabulous. Because after my last day as their entire ordering department, I’ll be glad to be known as just a model. They say that models don’t need brains, but I can tell you first-hand that you don’t need brains to do anything else at that company, so... I may as well just be eye candy to them. I may be smart, but at this company, I just want to be known for my looks.
After leaving that company, I heard later that models were suing him for leading them on and ripping them off as models, and it just made me laugh. Television news shows had him on video in a tux leaving his offices and stepping into a limo, and I thought about how I knew all along what a scam his whole operation was.
...I hope my ex-boss got all the punishment he deserves.




U.S. Government Copyright
Chicago poet Janet Kuypers
on all art and all writings on this site completed
before 6/6/04. All rights reserved. No material
may be reprinted without express permission.

........