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TALES OF AN ORANGEPEELER

an archive of pleasures, wounds, sublimations
& other curiosities :: elsewhere :: profile


02.28.02

The present job market is supposed to be the worst one in decades; I marvel that my parents could feed and clothe us, since they didn't speak English very well, not at all, and weren't educated here.

...

But I don't really have to wonder. To employers, they were cheap immigrant labor, whose rights could be dispensed with at leisure.

...

As a little girl, I slept as my mother sew piecemeal night after night, poundfuls of dyed cotton that she would bring to the factory in black Hefty garbage bags. On those trips, I would play among women sewing, islands of noise and flying cloth, scraps that seemed like flayed skin, Mummy's hands worn raw with too much labor, not enough pay, so unlike the hands of the factory owner, which were plump and well-oiled, the wrists clicking jade bracelets.

...

I don't have enough money to pay you now. Come back later.

Mummy was mad. She's Asian, why would she want to try to take advantage of me?

Mummy got so fed up, she pur/sued the owner in small-claims court; eventually, she was awarded the wages owed. The other women are scared of going to court. They don't know English very well. I did it. I had to feed you. Look, I don't know English like you, Na, but I won.

...

Executive Paywatch.

...

I don't have enough money to pay you now. Come back later.






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