1. The Repro Trap.


reprographer re·prog’ra·pher n.
reprographic re’pro·graph’ic (rē’prə-grăf’ĭk, rĕp’rə-) adj.
The process of reproducing, reprinting, or copying graphic material especially by mechanical, photographic, or electronic means.

What did you want to be when you grew up?
Astronaut?
Nurse?
Teacher?
Stunt man?
Maybe.
Lithographic reprographer?
No.
Nobody did.
Nobody ever walked into their careers office and loudly declared in a bold voice;
“No lecture for me, Mr Careers Adviser! I already know my destiny.
A Lithographic reprographer I will be!”
Nobody.
Ever.

Me, I wanted to be an artist.
Correction.
I knew I was going to be an artist.
I just knew it.
There was no question.
It was so nailed on that I didn’t even need to try at school.
All I needed was my art GCSE.
Everybody said I was good at art.
“Man, I wish I could draw like that, Lucifer! It’s ace!”
Yes. Yes it is.
Imagine my surprise when I didn’t get it.
I didn’t get anything.
D, D, E, E, Unclassified, etc..
Now get out.
That was a bit of a wake up call.

What now?
There’s a job going at the printers where my dad works.
“How do you fancy a job in reprography, son?”
Any port in a storm…
“I’ll give it a go…”
…until my art career takes off.

I took the bait.
I got the job.
It was nailed on, to be honest.
I didn’t have to do a thing.
I was trapped.

I was in a studio.
That’s a bit like being an artist, isn’t it?
No. Not in the slightest.
That’s the thing with repro.
There’s a lot to learn, a whole shit load of knowledge you have to remember.
But there is no skill.
Or passion.
Or creativity.
Or soul.

It was here that I discovered I was pretty shit at art.
I can draw.
I can cook, but that doesn’t make me Raymond fucking Blanc.
I wasn’t going to be an artist.
I took this little revelation pretty hard for a while.
That and the fact I was stuck in reprographics.
It would have to do, for a while…

I work in direct mail. The most loathed print medium imaginable.
You look at the finished product, and you can never be satisfied.
Ah! That shiny brochure pedalling credit cards to the desperate is finished!
Let’s pop it in the post and fuck up somebody’s day.
While fucking the environment at the same time.
Mmmm! I feel all warm and satisfied!
Not.

I remember asking my old manager, Soulless Boss, what to do with a big barrel of evil smelling chemical from the film processors.
“Chuck it down the sink.”
“But..”
“I said chuck it down the sink!”
I chucked it down the sink.
You really would be shocked at what goes down the sink in a factory.

But I’m not going to go on about reprography.
I’ve endured twenty years of it.
Why should you suffer?
It’s the other stuff that caught my eye.
The things that happen in between the work.
The stuff that fills the cracks in the boredom.
Stories.
Anecdotes.
Rumours.
Bullshit.

Truth or lies, you decide…

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6 Responses to 1. The Repro Trap.

  1. Looking forward to more stories. I love your turn of phrase and those characters.

  2. edmundro says:

    woop woop gl
    good luck with the blog. been keeping me going for days
    ed – ldnfgss

  3. e-train says:

    great little reads

  4. Jamesiw says:

    Brilliant work GL! keep it coming

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