The First Two Weeks

For those not aware, yours truly got his wish. Now, the real work begins. #worklife

On Sunday, December 30th, 2018, I started a new job at Goodwill E-Commerce in Hillsboro, OR. I was offered the position after being with the company for about 3 1/2 years, and initially applying for a previous position in the department, which I ultimately did not get.

Day 1. Welcome to 2019!
Amazing what you can find at thrift stores and everyone thinks you’re so suave bolla.

I chronicled the absolutely crazy 24 hours before that day last July in two posts, “Be Careful What You Wish For” and “Be Careful What You Wish For, Part 2”. I was actually happy I didn’t get that position, as I believed it wouldn’t challenge me enough or utilize my various skill set enough, either.

My title? E-Commerce Operations Training Specialist. This was a previously unfilled position that has been radically altered, so I am literally the litmus test for this position at this organization.

Solid Gold Dancer is no longer a career choice.

So, here we are: I have the job I have always wanted, creating print materials and digital content, outreach and training to people in an organization that focuses on people with barriers to employment that provides free community-based programs to assist those who might not have access to them otherwise. Best part yet, 99 percent of our funding comes from materials that are donated that would probably end up in a landfill; also, my paycheck isn’t exploitative, like using women and children in so-called third world countries for cheap labor.

I mean, honestly, I had to do something , since Solid Gold Dancer is no longer a career choice. Neither is Pony Express mail carrier, but we do what we have to do.

In 1980, when asked for a school library project in the 6th grade, this was my career choice.

Things are moving very quickly along with the new position. I am so very happy for everyone’s enthusiastic support on the projects I am currently working on, which are literally at least four years past needing to be updated in some cases. Yes, this is what I was told just this week about my priority project.

Even though conditions are not yet ideal, and won’t be for some time regarding some of the more technical parts of the position, I am taking the Toulouse-Lautrec concept and applying it. (For those not aware, he basically used crayons to create the first modern posters, and are considered masterworks, enough to be hanging in the Louvre. Yes, crayons…so whom am I to complain if my software isn’t exactly top notch currently.)

Aristide Bruant in his cabaret (1892 by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. The cabaret was Mirliton (84 boulevard de Rochechouart, Paris). 

I was originally wanting to have my desk on the production floor to be more accessible to everyone. I am coming to the realization that this may not be ideal, and may not be for some time, as much of what I am doing right now requires more workspace and focus than I believe I may currently receive in order to get things moving, very critical things that affect very real amounts of money to run the business and the wonderful programs that we provide.

Henri de Toulouse -Lautrec not only had a profound influence on my design style, 
but obviously my choice in clothing as well.

It has become a philosophical question: how does someone whose position is meant to be directly working with a large group of people, internally at my location, externally at our over 52 stores and externally with various members of the public while at a workstation that is upstairs and away from where these people are and still meet the requirements of several critical, time-sensitive and long-gestating projects?

They still wore mini-skirts.

I know there is no simple and easy answer to this. If any of you at E-Commerce read this, know that first and foremost, you are very much heavy on my mind and very much the reason I took this job. Because reasons.

And, in response to a coworker about my current “homesteading” and less than ideal design platform, I offered this: The original Star Trek series had women doctors, women engineers and even a Black woman on the bridge in a critical role, all groundbreaking for television at the time. But they still wore mini-skirts. You don’t get everything all at once.

Ultra fabulous Nichelle Nichols as Lt. Uhura on the original Star Trek television series, 1966. For those not aware, the show’s costumes were designed by Bill Theiss, an openly gay designer.

For those wondering, I will also still be doing freelance commissions, but on a case-by-case basis, and not as many as before.

See you all soon. Please be safe on the road.

Love to you all.

Ben “Bear” Brown Jr.

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