I work at a Danish Sweatshop
I work in a sweatshop, in Denmark. We have to put magazines in plastic wrapping together with other magazines or sometimes advertisements or refrigerator magnets. A machine does all the work, but you have to take care of the machine. They beat us with tiny silk whips to make us work faster, but they apologize afterwards if they have struck us too hard.
It’s located inside a warehouse, south of town. I work 8 hour shifts, with a fifteen minute paid break and a half-hour unpaid break to have dinner and tea. They also give us free apples and warm cocoa. Sometimes they expect me to work up to 15 hours a week. They pay us just enough to cover rent, food, holidays overseas and a beer once in a while.
If you don’t cover your quota of magazines wrapped in plastic together with other magazines or sometimes advertisements or refrigerator magnets they get angry at you. The overseer will sigh and tell you that you didn’t cover the quota, but that it was probably due to the machine malfunctioning. Last Friday a girl dropped some magazines on the floor; the overseer told her to pick them up and she had to pick all of them up, even some that fell underneath the machine and were hard to reach.
Sometimes we have to work night shifts or on Sunday. They ask you first if you can work those shifts, but I always say yes because they pay you more. The overseer leaves at 17.00 and he doesn’t come at all on Sundays, but he leaves his tiny silk whip hanging by the wall, so you work hard anyway.
When I have to work a night shift I take a nap in the afternoon and draw the curtains so the light won’t disturb me. When I wake at 20.00 or 21.00 it’s dark outside. I ride my bike to work and it’s dark, so I pretend I’m a vampire, who for some reason has to put magazines in plastic wrapping together with other magazines or sometimes advertisements or refrigerator magnets. I hiss and bare my fangs on the way to work, but its dark and no one sees me. When the night shift finishes at 07.00 in the morning, the sun is coming up. I’m very tired, so I keep on pretending I’m a vampire and I ride my bike really fast to get to my bed before it’s light outside, or else I’ll die. I hiss and bare my fangs on the way back, and it’s morning, so sometimes a lady will see me while she tends to her garden or gets the paper. She pretends she didn’t see me hiss at her, but I know she did.