the novelty job that turned into a real dick experience.

3 posts

el greco

At first it seemed like the ideal workplace. “My boss looked like she belonged in an ’80s hair metal band. The owner of the company had a pot leaf hanging in her office,” he remembers. “My friend Ryan, who helped me get the job, plays guitar in a very heavy stoner metal band. It was a cool scene—very creative, young, cool folk working there. I figured I’d fit right in.”

Charlie asked us not to reveal his last name, as he makes public for the first time his true story of the terrible working conditions he and other employees were subjected to. The physical stress endured by Charlie and his colleagues led to one-third of the company receiving workers’ comp at the same time.

Read up as Charlie relays his dildo nightmare to FRANK151 via IM below.

How does one find oneself at a dildo factory?

I guess it begins with me graduating college in Portland, OR. I was working that summer after I graduated selling popsicles out of a cooler on a tricycle, Icicle tricycle was the name. All the while the city of my birth (SF) was calling to me, urging me to return.

So I move back in with my parents in SF, no job, kinda depressed. I'd just broken up with my longtime girlfriend who stayed in Portland. I had been back about two months, still no job, when I was talking to a good ol’ pal from the city. He said, 'Hey you remember Ryan? The guy we used to kill mosquitos with? (I’ve held a lot of odd jobs). Ryan told me there’s an opening at his work, but it's kind of a weird job. I said, “You know I’m okay with weird. What is it?” Enter: the dildo factory.

So I wrote a resume that highlighted the sculpture classes I took and stuff that seemed to be important skills for a dildo factory.

How much did you know about dildos before that?

I knew zero about dildos.

Nice. So how many products did they have on offer?

We had a wide variety of dildos (which are just solid phalluses), vibrators, vibrating dildos, butt plugs, vibrating butt plugs, and double-sided dildos. We also sold the harnesses that could hold the dildos.

Who came up with the designs?

The manager (hair metal lady) was the main designer, and if you walked by her workstation, it looked like the notebook of that guy from Superbad who drew dicks all the time. Seriously, all types of dicks were drawn out.

So what was your job at the factory?

My job was in production (pouring and pulling and trimming the dildos). I oversaw about ten different models, so I was in charge of the production of them from start to finish. Then I send ’em over to shipping and they wash ’em, box ’em, send ’em out, so the dildo process starts with big barrels of medical grade silicone.

Then a chemical catalyst is mixed into the color silicone, this is what makes the silicone start to harden. Once the catalyst was put in, you had to keep track of how long you were taking, and try to do things quickly because the reaction was taking place already.

So we pour all the silicone into the molds, wait for air bubbles to rise to the top (there’s always at least a few bubbles). Use an air gun to pop 'em once they rise to the top, put in an insert to make it so the dildos will dry with a suction cup at the base. That way it can stick to a floor or wall for easier use. Then the next morning is when we get to pull 'em from the molds. The whole morning is spent twisting and pulling these dildos to get them out of the molds.

Was it quite difficult?

It's kinda hard with some models because there will be an air vacuum in the model that you have to break before they come out easily. The bigger dicks were always tougher.

So then I have a table of pulled dildos. Now they have to be trimmed because there'd usually be a lil over pour so we want to make sure the little tabs of silicone don't start a rip that will become larger as they are used.

So we trim a couple hundred dildos a day with tiny scissors. Lots of wrist torque to go along with the wrist/elbow torqueing of getting the damn things out of the mold. Trimming was when I felt the first tinge of pain in my left wrist.

I felt this pain in my wrist that I didn’t want to ignore because my coworker had just filed a workers’ comp claim for similar wrist/forearm pain that had gotten really bad, so everyone was at a heightened state of awareness about that kind of stuff.


Was this the first coworker who had filed for workers’ comp?

Yes first worker who filed for workers’ comp, however, not the first worker to file a report on the factory. About a year before I started working there, a group of workers had all left together and filed a class action suit against the company for failure to pay overtime that they eventually won. That should've been my first red flag.

But you didn't know that when you started, right?

Not when I started, but I found out within the first couple weeks I was there because the company lawyer came in and had everyone sign an agreement that we wouldn't join in the class action claim...

Whoa. So it was all hunky dory until when?

I had been there a year and a month when I got hurt. Around the same time, another big fiasco was happening. There had been an anonymous whistleblower who called OSHA [Occupational Safety and Hazard Admin] on the factory. They regulate safety in workplaces and whatnot.
So OSHA came in one day for a surprise inspection and found out that the factory was breaking all sorts of safety codes, the most severe being that my friend Ryan (who had become the boss's right hand man and was in charge of making the actual molds) found out that he had been working with extremely toxic chemicals with no safety training or precautions for the chemicals he was using.


And the worst part was, the only way to test and see if he had in fact been sensitized to the bad toxic stuff was to expose him to it and risk killing, or at least severely hurting him. So suffice it to say, all loyalty we had to the company and especially our manager (who it seemed had knowingly exposed Ryan, and possibly the rest of us to this stuff) was gone.


What happened after you guys found all this stuff out?

Anger, confusion. Oh, I should also mention that at the time of the surprise inspection the boss was not even in the state! There was talk of moving some operations of the company to Austin, TX (where the owner lived). So the boss was in Austin during all this.

Did you all quit en masse?

Well, no. My coworker had just gone on workers’ comp and was on temporary disability. My hesitation to file a workers’ comp claim vanished with my loyalty to the company and I filed one and began visiting the workers’ comp doctors who eventually put me on temporary disability too. So I was getting paid 2/3 of my pay and I didn’t have to go to work, just doctor’s visits.

What condition did the doctors diagnose you with?

They called it tendinitis from a repetitive stress injury. It eventually started hurting in my right wrist and then moved up both of my arms to my elbows. I basically had a bad case of tennis elbow in both arms. A couple more coworkers then got hurt in the same way.

Ryan’s condition was the most serious though. He was coughing up blood from whatever it was that he was using to make the molds. He might still be on disability. He moved to Portland a month ago interestingly enough.

So basically I was told by my doctor that I couldn't go back to work there. This was only after being on disability for over a year, still collectin' paychecks.

Still now, to this day?

No, I got a lawyer to help me because dealing with the company's insurance was so frustrating, and he eventually got me a settlement. The settlement came a good year and a half after I stopped working there. Maybe two years? I dunno, time started blending together because I was getting paid and not having to work, I started partying a lot.

But at the same time, I’m a drawer and a painter. This arm shit was affecting my passion, not just my job.

So how is your arm feeling now?

I still get tightness and soreness to this day, nowhere near as bad as it was but I definitely have to stretch a lot. Usually in the mornings if I’ve been sleeping with my arms bent I’ll wake up to some discomfort.

Well, you've definitely got one for the memory bank.

Yeah. I learned a lot about an industry and a world I knew nothing of before I started—some of which I wish I could unlearn. But at the same time I met some really close friends there, had a lot of fun in the factory while the boss was off in Texas hiding, and got to date one of my coworkers.

All photos and captions courtesy of Charlie and his former colleagues
Niccolo and Donkey

bwahahahaha eat shit striver libarts faggots

I 'studied' sculpture in kollege and all I have to show for it is TENDONITIS FROM MAKING DILDOS ALL DAY IN A TOXIC WAREHOUSE!!!! hahahahahaha