PUBLIC complaint against #familyindustries #juxtapoz

update: To my #understanding at least owners at #FamilyIndustries has read this statement and tho haven’t officially #apologized yet to my “standards” I will consider them to at this point have been #schooled or “served”
Furthur more here is a lecture on #smallbusiness I #discussed using #drawings #animation #prettyfaces and even #beyonce
Don’t judge a #book by just it’s #cover. You actually have to fucking #read the thing.

Public Complaint against
#familyindustries and #Juxtapoz

Again, in order to sue me for #slander the company #familyindustries in question and its business owners Max Hellman and Alex Meiner would need to prove in a court of law that all the information I am posting is untrue and I am stating to my knowledge and first perspective experience, as well with documented proof that everything I am saying is in fact 100% true. And yes I have already been warned “You need to chill” and “That’s a big company, they are gonna sue you” so I am making perfectly clear that I believe if such an action were to take place and I am provided the same capable law that #familyindustres and the Hellman Family can afford (and to make it perfectly clear I can not I am living paycheck to paycheck) I can in fact prove nothing I am saying is false.
If you were to call this a #cryforhelp I well say you are right, as I am not in the position to understand what legal steps that is required to file a #lawsuit on the owners of this company, Alex Meiner and Max Hellman ( ) for the charges of #abuse #workharassment #bullying #manipilation #deceit #fraud #fearmongering even #theft of creative property if possible.
By making this statement I am requesting investigation into the operations at #familyindustries to implement clear written policy and an #HRdepartment to protect the human rights of their employees no matter class, social standing, race or personality and legally required to provide training to the long-term employees who perhaps could not afford to go to college but are perfectly capable to learn the skills needed to perform any duty done by the people in the “office”. I will state on record that the origin of my project, was a direct reaction to the working conditions I saw at #familyindustries. Such skills I have used to make my “brand” more visible on social media, have been made publicly available so in which somebody who is unskilled in the act of marketing could learn and use my strategy. I would even go as far as to suggest @familyindustries hired the Social Media Expert (which I have in fact confirmed has been hired) after seeing how successful my strategy is. Not unlike how they toured the company @hnrcrew which claims to be “Originators of Live Screen-printing Since 2005” then according to HNRCREW “quit their jobs and started the exact same company”. The only reason I discovered the existence of @HNRCREW was because I saw the exact same print I saw many times at @familyindustries on their instagram profile (which I stumbled upon when it was suggested by my feed) and asked them if they were in some way connected to the company I worked for. Their response was “You are referring to Family Industries or INK”, and after I said “Family Industries” they said “Yukkk Those guys sukkkkk” and “They stole our business model and now they try and act like its all cool”. Something I was shocked and infuriated to discover as this “business model” was held over our heads, as if the people in the office had a special skill only they knew, perhaps learned in business school. I was shocked to discover that this skill which was involved in #familyindustries to make me feel such feelings as inferior, stupid, useless was not even respected within their own industry as the owners of #familyindustries are considered knockoffs of another successful live silk-screen company,
The key-difference in how not only the social-media for my project @thegremlinquartly and their project @familyindustries is that all information regarding the policies, standards needed to work with me as well real depiction of those involved have been made publicly and none of the lives of the artists involved are glamorized to appear “fun”. Being an artist can be fun but it is a extremely hard life and I believe the level of integrity I am not only providing as study but coaching made publicly needs to be protected. A level of artistic integrity I believe is not being respected by all parties involved in this complaint, let alone basic human rights.
By @familyindustries using similar tactics to glamorize their work environment to appear “quirky” and “fun” is extremely misleading to the working conditions I found, where again I personally was only making $13 an hour w no benefits and was called “bitch” repeatedly, even jokes made against my level of strength and body. And my complaints to the owner himself were dismissed as me being “confused”.
By creating a transparent atmosphere with my project @thegremlinquarterly I have also effectively created an open forum for anybody to have the potential to contribute/have input, and I have even been actively coaching and encouraging contributors and future contributors to meet my standards in hope they can be successful in their own career. I will state I have been known to have extremely high standards, something I am not only providing myself but have been coaching certain artists to meet. I have made long and detailed blogs about how I was able to get my foot in the door in the “art world” in hopes to not only inspire but coach people who could be considered as “weird”, “punk”, “nerd” “lost” etc., people IMO were not given the same equal treatment the “cool kids” in the office were given at #FamilyIndustries. Basically I felt the need to create an environment where intelligent original thinkers are able to speak their mind without the fear of being “shunned”, “cut off”, “fired” “unfriended” “blocked” and in my case at #familyindustries verbally abused and finally fired when I did not like the band #Grizfolk that my boss’s band #hotelforstrangers opened for.
I will state I have spent a good amount of my adult life frustrated with what I would call the “bro-system” in which qualified people are overlooked for opportunities because they could be considered “weird” or “eccentric”. I do not want to live in a world where I or any other “weirdo” have to be in constant fear of not having financial security, a sense of community, even taking on desperate working situations such as the 1+ years I spent working as “QC guy” at Family Industries to avoid the more corporate jobs they do not have the self-esteem/look/personality to be successful in. I felt the same frustrations as when I worked at the bank. I thought I would find success in a company that appeared to welcome creativity. I would much prefer to live in the world that everybody is able to think and say how they feel without the fear of being shunned or dis-included.
I will state on record I thought working at a “fun” looking screen-printing company would be a great environment for somebody who has been called “talented”, “creative” but found it to be anything but. But again, I only saw the working conditions in the “shop” the entire span of time I worked at #familyindustries, I was never in the select class that were sent to fun or exotic areas, instead was conditioned to stand in one spot the entire time behind a giant heater where my coworkers were allowed to call me “bitch” and “weird”, while even the owner, Alex Meiner will verbally abuse me. I will again state, this is the only thing I did the entire time, even told to not “move from my spot”. In case anybody was curious these are my qualifications
I am clearly capable of handling work much more complex than standing in a single spot staring at an endless line of mass produced screen prints for companies such as #honda. In fact I could have without being too “cocky” done every job that the employees in the “office” had, perhaps even better than them if given an hour of training. I would even as bold as to say I could have been an incredible asset to their company if they made any effort to use my talents and intelligence to not only improve conditions but even make a profit for them as a business.
Having said that I well say there were several employees at #familyindustries who IMO treated me as an equal/human being, those were all found working in the “shop”, their names would be Nick, Antwon, JOJO, Johnny, Zack and eventually Richi and though he is now as I understand it happy to be working in the “office”, Angry Ryan too . There was am an named Adam who in the office who was extremely warm and friendly to me, even bonded over music but still I do believe he has been “sucked” into the glamour of the “office” and can be neglectful of who is selected to be sent on “Live Gigs”. In fact I still hear complaints on this matter, complaints that could be easily ratified. I will say I got no such treatment from the employees in the “Office”, I would be bold enough to state were extremely rude and disrespectful most of the time, which is better than not being looked at all.
The typical interactions I had with the people in the “office” were like this. Bobby who wouldn’t even look up at me for the first 5 months (eventually seemed like a nice enough guy at least when some connection was made, though conversations were very brief), Andrea who would wave her arms when she wanted me to get out of her way. Again, as a man who is clearly more qualified to do more than stand in one spot behind a heater I found it extremely insulting when a girl I knew nothing about was waving her arms for me to get out of her way. She had no idea who I was, where I come from, how intelligent I may be, all she saw was somebody with a beard, dirty clothes and clearly confused as to what was happening. Sometime later, perhaps 5 months into my working at Family Industries did she realize my name is Japanese and that I was Half-Japanese. She asked “can you speak Japanese?” and I said yes. She spoke her adequate but not particularly impressive Japanese and I responded fluently. She was surprised. I would have loved to let her know that any number of the employees in the “shop” might have secret talents if she were to talk to them like a human being not wave her arms for them to get out of the way but I felt it could be considered “rude” to the person who is my “Superior” .
I will say the owner Max Hellman, rarely looked me in the eye or would utter entire sentences to me other than on my departure “What are you doing tonight, just hanging out?”, without any indication he actually wanted to hear what I was up to that night. I do not go home and “chill”. I go home and “work”. I do not chill because again, being an artist is hard work and I think I have clearly demonstrated I am willing to do the work. I do remember a night where I attempted to make a connection with Max Hellman, in went in and requested a meeting. While we waited for Alex Meiner to arrive back from his break. In this at typical awkward moment between me and my former friend now boss Max Hellman I asked him “Have you been practicing?”. I forgot what his response was but I then asked “I was talking about your music”, to which his buddy Bobby snickered and Max said “oh, yeah. I don’t know I just after I get off work don’t wanna play these songs over, lets just write some new songs”. I did think it was a bit odd again because everybody I know who is a musician can easily explain to me what projects they are working on and what it means to them but I did not ever hear such words from Max neither verbally or in text (email). This would add to the stress of the Bat-Face Girl music video I was working on because I personally will state that I had feared this band was not a work of passion and in working on this project I would now have this project associated with the other projects I have made that were IMO created by passionate artists.
I will state on record in all honesty that working on the BAT FACE-GIRL music video was the most challenging creative experience of my life. If you watch it isn’t as involved as some of my other projects. it isn’t the work that was hard. It was that I didn’t understand it. I didn’t understand what the music meant. I listened to the album over and over and tried to understand what the words meant and I didn’t get it. And having worked with Max Hellman I could still get no clues as to what his thought process was while writing these songs.
I will state on record in all honesty I spent many nights lying on my couch after-work unable to work on the music video saying to myself “what does it mean? What does it mean??” Meaning, what is the point of this music? Is the sole purpose of this music to make these people appear “cool”? I didn’t get to know any of the other members except perhaps Drew who was a bit frustrating but at least engaged and interested. I am sure they are all very nice people. But making people “cool” is not what music is about. “cool” people do not exist. It is an illusion. Just like the company in which Max Hellman is owner of, it appears “fun” and “cool” but it is anything but. And again this is coming from my own personal experience standing in one spot as a QC guy in the “shop”. Perhaps other employees got to see how “cool” and “fun” this company is.
A theme actually explored in said music video where the character Bat Face Girl does not relate to her “cool” friends. Though this was a storyline outlined prior to me working at #FamilyIndustries once I began working there I could not help to drawl comparisons and felt like a “phony” as the concerns of Bat Face Girl were not at all the concerns Max Hellman appeared to have as far as I could tell from any engagement I had with him. So it was a clear contradictions and would again send me back on my couch saying “what does it mean? What does it mean??”
In fact I will state the one time IMO Max Hellman made any effort to make a real connection with me the entire time I worked at #familyindustries was the day one of their employees committed suicide. Max came out to the office, appearing to be in grief, though honestly from my perspective he didn’t appear to be very emotional, and announced this employee who I actually never had the pleasure of having a conversation with had “passed away”, in that one sentence he looked me dead in the eye, and I even thought “is he letting me know he has feelings?” as again he had made no actual effort to make a real connection with me except for a few small talk phrases that I did not know how to communicate in. I am an intelligent, some would even say well spoken person (given the chance) and do not know how to engage in “small talk” well, I did not think it was a requirement of any kind to be excepted in a work environment but I have found it can often be the case.
That very night on my way out, and I will state I would usually leave with my head down because the working environment at #familyindustries was so flawed I was often extremely confused and stressed while employed there. I was leaving with my head hung down as usual when owner Max Hellman, called me in by saying “Hey man, come in here”. I went into the office where his dog Penny began to bark at me. Max Hellman has a pet dog named Penny who he allows to bark and nip at his employees (yes please confirm, this dog Penny barked and nipped at me on a daily basis and Max did nothing but sit at his chair saying “pennnnnnny.” but like if I were to forget to clock in the time card he would say to me “Tepppeeeiii” a repeating theme I found extremely insulting. Max Hellman would even go as far to train the dog in your presence as he did that night onto me. For 2 minutes I stood awkwardly as Max Hellman trained his dog, Penny, by saying “stop Penny. Stop. Stop. She’s gotta learn. Stop. Stop”.
The situation was incredibly awkward to say the least, but eventually Max Hellman broke the tension by saying without looking me in the face “hey man…. Remember the time we went to go see Elliot Smith?”.
I responded, “What? back in High School?”.
“Yeah” Max responded while still looking to the side, as if he were standing looking cool and thoughtful.
I responded with my actual thoughts “Yeah,, I remembered he was super wasted and forgot al his ly….”
“Hrrrgh!!” Max Hellman interrupted. I thought I perhaps interrupted the special moment he was attempting to bond with me over.
It grew silent again so to break the awkward tension I asked “is this because that guy killed himself today?”
“hrrgh” Max said again and another awkward pause before eventually Max said “Have a good night, man”.
It was an awkward situation because he was acting to me in a way a friend of mine would act after a great heart to heart was had, but in fact no such thing that occurred from my perspective.
two things I should make clear. 1) Elliot Smith is a very famous and influential song writer who killed himself and most likely at the time me and Max saw him together in High School he was on the verge of his mental breakdown and later suicide.
2.) Max Hellman is a friend from high-school, even could have considered him a close friend in those times.
During High-school it was apparent to me Max Hellman lived in a completely different environment than me, his parents were incredibly wealthy and he had a MOOG and a POOL TABLE and me and my friends would hang out in his very nice and cool house. We had common interests such as music to bring us together, but I will honestly say even then there were clear indications than the priorities of Max were different than ours, and it is fully understandable. Max grew up in an environment that had a whole different set of social standards than the rest of our “crew” whose social class could be described as middle class, in my case growing up with a single mother who would buy us payless shoes at times. So though you can say I had a very open minded household we could never be described as “spoiled”. And I am not saying that in any attack on Max, who I am sure had his own issues of dealing with pressure from his family to be “successful” in the upper-class society his family belonged in, his family who of course are founders of the famous Hellman Mayonnaise. So I would theorize that during the 14 years that has passed since last “hanging out” with Max our priorities have completely shifted. I remained poor. But I have worked extremely hard working various day jobs at coffee shops, bakeries, and even a bank for 6 years where I learned how a business is supposed to operate with policies and procedures in place for workers rights. Again, Max Hellman was fully aware that I have had this experience and skill. Perhaps given a bit of inspiration he would have hired me as an “HR” representative as clearly I am very sensitive and aware of other people’s feelings. Yes even Max’s which I’m sure he was himself very confused as to how to handle the situation. However, I make no excuses for him, he is a business owner. He has responsibilities that I do not as an employee, responsibilities that I do not think are still to this day fully comprehended or at least acted on in a responsible manner. That’s neither here or there, I am just stating clearly something was wrong with the situation handled at this company.
I will state on record IMO there are several employees at this company whose self-esteems I believe are so low they actually have trouble believing they can aspire for more, in fact I was accused of “lecturing” them several times to attempt to coach or suggest what “standards” Family Industries may have to allow highly capable and intelligent people who could be considered “weird” to have access to the same training and work opportunities provided to the other more “cool” employees. I suggested to employees such as Johnny that he dress more “hip” or “cool”, and he responded “Dude you don’t know how many times I have tried to talk to them!!!”, he was clearly extremely frustrated that he was constantly belittled and made to feel inferior, I would even say “But you can do it. You’re smarter than you think.”
IMO such a tactics like hiring a professional film crew to make the factory look “cool”,meaning filming the going-ons of the office but not filming the “shop” could be used to keep an employees self-esteem low, something I would consider to not only be of poor management but unethical and lawfully wrong. From my understanding Johnny Erentreich has been spending a lot of time working out, losing weight, even bought a new car but still was not allowed to be sent to the “live gig” at COMIC-CON, even though his FB feed is full of photos of him dressing up like CARNAGE and VENOM. If I were in charge of management at a company in which employees could be sent to Comic-Con to do “live gigs”, the first person I would send is the guy who not only has a Venom mask but a Carnage Mask.
Full disclosure again, for public record I am fully aware by posting on Facebook that my post is being seen in a public setting therefor would consider any posting I Teppei Ando, make regarding the working conditions at #familyindustries as a public statement that I would be willing to include in any #lawsuit against #familyindustries .
If my information appears scattered it is because the information I am stating is so complex it would take somebody in the profession such a #lawyer or #counselor to fully comprehend how to handle in a legally binding way.
I am fully aware that owner Max Hellman has made statements to his employees who were my friends while working in the “shop” at his company in the position of “QC” that I, Teppei Ando “was supposed to get help and didn’t”, a tactic I would compare to how perhaps Napoleon and Squealer used in the novella, ANIMAL FARM by George Orwell in which the leader in this case, Max Hellman is telling his employees that the person they fired was “crazy”. Basically stating to not consider the thoughts feelings, philosophies oh that individual that did not belong at #FamilyIndustries. I would draw many comparisons to my experience working at #familyindustries to those depicted in ANIMAL FARM, where a select group lived in glamour while the un-selected were kept at the harder less undesirable even socially un-respected positions despite their equal ability to learn and perform the same duties the “office” employees had.
I will state publicly all this information has been made available to owners at #Familyindustries a company, I, Teppei Ando worked for over a year. If I seem #upset #distraught #angry in any of my posts those are feelings I had when I was fired without notice from this company and events that transpired during the year 1+ I worked for this company and the details connecting me to the going-ons at #familyindustries are still effecting and interfering with the work and projects I am currently involved in which I am required to maintain a very sensitive level of standard and skill that I believe #familyindustries is even trying to borrow from. I have made my feelings known to owner of the company that employed me several times to be responded in such ways as “it is what it is” , “we’ll talk” “sorry it had to happen” and finally “I don’t have to explain it to you”, “you’re not going to win any points with us” and “You have burned bridges with everyone I know” by business owner, Max Hellman.
I am stating as a business owner, Max Hellman is in fact 100% required to explain it to me in writing the policies of the company which allows his employees to call me “Bitch”, “Crybaby” “weird”, and ignores several requests to be given an assignment better suited to my experience and IMO was fired when I stated that I did not enjoy the band #grizfolk that my boss’s band, Hotel For Strangers opened for. Also that his company #familyindustries is using a social-class platform in which to hire the poor/uneducated and keep them in the “shop” which is where I worked the entire duration I was at #familyindustries, while using glamorous marketing strategies to make his company appear “cool” and “fun”. I would drawl such tactics again to comparisons with the book, ANIMAL FARM, and in fact the slogan for Family Industries posted in the walls of their company is a their company mascot stating “Big Family is Watching You” posted all over factory. No I am not making that up. That is actually plastered all over the walls.
I personally did not experience those things as I was not among the lucky “cool” people who were sent to exotic areas as pictured nor were my direct co-workers who often voiced complaints that tho they were long-term & capable employees were overlooked for “live gigs”. A “live gig” is a job that you would be rewarded if your supervisors liked you which is not only advantageous because you are sent to “fun” areas but also because you were paid more. As many employees employed by Family Industries are “poor” a “Live Gig” would be considered highly desirable. I will state my coworkers often stated that the marketing handled at Family Industries were misleading as they “make it look fun to work there”, I too felt this way when I was invited to work there, even excited to work there when I did the research for the company but found my experience working at #familyindustries to be not that at all as I was among the unlucky who spent their experience working at #familyindustries in the “shop” side of what I would call a “factory””, a factory where there is a clear line between social classes. I even heard jokes in the “office” making fun of the people in the “shop” saying, “notice how they all huddle together. Must be lonely”. I thought that was a weird thing to say as the people in the “office” are constantly hanging out and broing out with each-other just the same.
As an introductory, I am somebody who is considered “poor” but have earned all the experience and skills I have at college, day jobs such as (coffee shops, bakery and 6 years working at a bank) as well as my countless hours volunteering at community- art spaces such as… in Oakland and in Los Angeles. Feel free to follow up with owners/managers of both locations as well as the Bank I worked at for 6 years in Oakland. While working at the bank I developed the skill of #research and preventing #fraud, an action described as #whistleblowing All these experiences were fully available for #familyindustries to understand but choose to ignore just as they repeatedly ignored my requests to be trained for a position better suited for my qualifications, and was only responded by things I would suggest are “cold shoulder” even called “weird”. Again, there was no HR system in place the only person I could voice my concerns to was my direct supervisor, Tobias who took no action beyond perhaps understanding, even stating “I know there’s no training here.” and would only then ramble on about his own frustrations with the way the company is run.
Around this point is when I began my own project with a philosophy that talent can come from anywhere as all my friends that I have made in the “Art-World” are extremely unique and original thinkers from different paths of life. With this project I have brought together members of all creative communities, Fine-Art, Underground Comics, Illustration, Literature and music, with only 1 thing that unites them. They all can actively work within their fields in a professional setting. And I have made no false statement as to what any of these people actually do in their lives. Whether they are an illustrator/designer at Google, a film critic at La Weekly, a completely unknown underground artist if they meet my standard of integrity and discipline in their craft they have a place at But is not exclusive to the creative people it is a community space where our fans can come and talk to me, ask for advice even make jokes at my expense. No one will ever be blocked or unfriended without very clear reasons to which can assure you I would be able to express just as well as I am now if needed. I sure hope not. All information is public and anybody is entitled to understand whats going on at all times.
Here is another strange thing that occurred while in correspondence with employees at #familyindustries. This company enjoys having a certain “indie rock” vibe and seem to be extremely proud to be friends with such people like Matt Sharp of The Rentals as several times Max Hellman owner name dropped him in ways like “Hey man, let me know if you want to get on the list for Rentals” and “Matt Sharp, party”. These were not conversations these were quick sentences blurted out to me as he walked by.
I did not know how to respond to these things because I am not at all interested in meeting or becoming friends with Matt Sharp of The Rentals. I will say full disclosure, I loved the first 2 Rentals albums but again I was in highschool the years in when last time I was friends with Max Hellman not his employee.
I have since worked with such musicians as Sonny and the Sunsets, Social Studies, Shannon & the Clams, The Sam Chase, real struggling musicians working today so somebody who I would consider hasn’t done anything of interest to me personally since highschool doesn’t impress me. I have heard the last Rentals album but I don’t think I need to get into my feelings on that..
Here is an important fact I need to state. Prior to working at #familyindustries Max Hellman let me know that his band Hotel For Strangers needed a music video made. I have created several music videos and the offer was welcomed, I was even excited to work on it because I was broke. I hadn’t explored the music but from what I had heard of Max Hellman now as an adult in Los Angeles he was very successful, referred to as a “machine” by a mutual friend.
It wasn’t until I accepted said project and begun story-boarding to the song “Bat-Face Girl” did I do my research, confused as to what the band has done. What it turned out to be was a project that was in the beginning stages and the band hadn’t begun their performing.
It struck my ego for a moment, I have yet to ever do a project for a band that hasn’t earned their “street cred”, but at times as a professional artist I have to remind myself to take jobs and accomplish them as an animator/designer, like it were a job. It was fine.
The problem with this particular project came when I began working at Family Industries. All this behavior expressed above in the working environment made it perfectly clear that Max Hellman did not meet my own particular standards of being an “artist”. He was unable to answer any questions regarding it, he would say things like “Oh yeah, just sending it off to the mastering plant” and “We got a promoter, we’ll just see how it goes”.
These words were confusing because, I personally have never spoken to any musician that had hired a promoter. My friends have all built their followings by playing shows and engaging in the community perhaps a completely different community that Max Hellman and his music friends engage in I am not sure. I will say I never once saw Max at any art show or music show I was intending except for the 3-Mile Pilot show I invited him to, even made a big effort though I was extremely uncomfortable whenever I had to go into his “office”.
The BAT-FACE-GIRL project was a constant struggle as I am somebody who takes pride in his work so felt frustrated in myself that I wasn’t doing a good job, I didn’t want to fake it, I just didn’t understand it. And yes any number of my personal friends can testify I was extremely frustrated while working on it. But whatever. Eventually it was completed. And after several edit requests (by several I would say about 8 adjustments where I’m used to a band being quite satisfied with my work the project was complete and we could at last move on.
Finally Max Hellman’s band Hotel For Strangers played a show, and not too long after played a 2nd show in which he opened for and #grizfolk who we constantly printed shirts for. I had seen this image so many times it is still burned in my head. I used to wonder, “who is this GRIZFOLK band?” and at last I was about to find out…
I will have to clarify when I say I have what somebody might consider very particular tastes in music as can be noted in my personal instagram account @teppeiando in which I often note what band I am listening to and why.
I will say not in anyway to be “mean” but Grizfolk was the worst musical experience I have seen. And no, I am not being “mean”, watching this band perform was everything I hate about music and the hierarchy of being popular. On stage a bunch of extremely arrogant looking men playing “cool” music. I will say just personally I loathed it.
I will say tho, during Max Hellman’s performance in Hotel For Strangers he did look me directly in the face and genuinely seemed happy to see me there. Things were looking up. In the shop I was actually getting along with everybody except for a man they referred to as “Little Ryan” who in my opinion was extremely racist and sexist and I did not like him and he did not like me. But aside from that particular gentleman I was getting along w everybody, even came out of my “slump” and was doing well as I was just about to print the first issue of The Gremlin Quarterly my free to public paper. I was still extremly frustrated that I was still after a year and multiple “meetings” still standing in one spot catching shirts and sticking them into boxes. But on that night Toby, my direct supervisor who I had been extremly frustrated with for his lack of management and leadership skills (to my standards) told me the guys in the office wanted to talk to me.
I actually even thought perhaps they were finally going to give me something else to do. I had gone into that office weeks before to request to be interviewed for “office assistant” position, which I will again state I am clearly qualified for. They said they would consider it, even seemed to be “proud” of me in a way for coming into talk to them like a “man” and not like a “bitch” as one of their previous employees, who I was told is the drummer of the band, O.C. did. I do not know anything about that particular man but apparently he also did not enjoy his experience working at Family Industries and made several complaints outloud to the annoyance of his fellow “shop” workers whose livelihoods depended on this “shitty job”. I could even say I perhaps was feeling the same way when I first began there because everything that was going on in this company confused me. I was confused that I would be invited to parties my coworkers (by coworkers, the employees in the “shop”) weren’t. I felt contantly confused as no training was in place, there was not one single person spending anytime with me explaining my job except Nick Perry. Who it was quite clear to me had been a while that there was another employee at the “shop” that could understand and communicate at the level of his intellect, which I will state is very high. In fact much too high IMO to be employed in this factory but a humble man like Nick Perry is quite content to make enough money to pay his rent.
Back on to topic, things appeared to be going well. I thought perhaps they had seen the “buzz” surrounding my upcoming project and wanted to get involved in someway. I was completely wrong.
I waited while they awkwardly mosied around their “office” as usual looking “cool” as I waited patiently for their audience. Finally I was awarded the audience of Max Hellman and his business partner, Alex Meiner. I can tell you I can still feel the shock when they told me “we’ve decided… We’ve talked… and today is going to be your last day”
“what??” I was extremely shocked, even panicked, I will remind you I had no other source of income. I practically “begged” as Max had once refereed to in the situation of the drummer from OC for my job. I stated that no warning had been given. Yes there were issues in the past, mostly due in my opinion to complete lack of structure in this company, complete lack of training, complete miss-fit of duties.
The offered me no notice, and suggested to me that by giving me 2 weeks pay that was being taken care of. No, I would not agree that is a reasonable amount of money regardless of the fact they had no written explanation of why they were “letting me go” as I believe would be required by law. My suspicions were that because I didn’t enjoy and think the band #grizfolk was “cool” they were tired of my “weird” qualities. I will state, IMO to anyone who may or may not read this, not thinking your boss is “cool” is not a legally binding reason to fire somebody. If that were the case. That is the act of somebody whose mental capacity is still that of a teenager. As is running a business where the “cool” kids get special treatment that the “weirdos”, and please do follow up they are all capable intelligent people who could do any of the jobs that the “fresh” employees are hired for.
It became clear that it was Toby my direct supervisor who was too frustrated with me. We had been butting heads, but again I will state I voiced my concerns to him several times and his only response would be to ramble on about his own complaints of how the company is run, not take any action to meet my needs. IMO he was not acting as my supervisor in any way, he was not teaching me or telling me anything I did not already know. If anything I found him extremely frustrating because he would constantly speak to me like a child. I even at one point, after he had previously said to me “Woah man, when you come out like me like that” in a situation I will describe as me working on something and him coming up to me and telling me it was “break time”. I will say, every-time it was “break-time” I was the only one who was told to stop working by Toby. There were 2 other girls around me who would be working, but he would constantly interrupt me. I well honestly say I felt Toby was threatened by me, and he was constantly projecting his need to be “alpha” in the shop and didn’t understand why I didn’t respect him as such. I will not say Toby is a bad man. I will say I did not respect his intellect in any particular way the way I did perhaps Nick. So yes it could get a little tiresome to hear him talk for even up an hour at a time about his complaints and how everything’s “gonna change” and they’re gonna do away with the “meatheads” as he referred my immediate coworkers such a Zack and Richi. I will honestly say I respected Zack and Richi more because they were very aware of themselves and would never call either one of those “meatheads” as Toby referred to them as not “full of shit” or “arrogant”, I would say once I connected with these gentleman both were extremely thoughtful and sensitive whether they wanted to admit it or not by making fun of my “salad boy” music.
I was so shocked and confused, I didn’t even know where to grab my belongings, even was described as “Lost his shit” by Alex Meiner in what was described to me in a mocking way.
I even grew angry at my friend Nick Perry because he did not seem to be disturbed at to what was happening. I was being “bro-ed out” for no legally binding reason, and he was joking like nothing odd was happening. IMO view of this situation I would relate this experience to the scene again in ANIMAL FARM where Snowball is cased off the farm by Napoleon’s dogs.
Whatever. I am broke. I do not have a job. I did however spend my entire time working at #familyindustries saving up to buy a newish Mazda3 from my brother who is employed by MAZDA in Japan and is just as intelligent and driven as me. So after a couple days of shock and process of what happened which I am still confused about, but besides the point, I apply to be a LYFT DRIVER. In fact for a moment I think maybe it’ll be okay. Forget the fact that I spent an entire year standing behind a giant heater catching shirts and sticking them boxes to never even be allowed to try another position, told to “stand in place”, called a “bitch”, “pussy”, all these things were apparently for naught. At least I had worked there long enough I had a means to earn money.
Months go by. I am actually quite good at being a LYFT DRIVER as it turned out, as I am very friendly and people seem to enjoy not only my taste in music but my philosophies on life and even are impressed with how “smart” and “funny” I am. All things I most definitely enjoyed hearing after spending a year being called “bitch” and “pussy”. I am almost past the moment all these horrible things happened to me…. Almost….
Until one day out of the blue, who but messages me on FB. Max Hellman, my “friend” who hired me for a job, and did not speak to me “like a man” as he stated it once IMO the entire time I worked at his company, rather making a few “grunts”, a few meaningless sentences that I did not know how to respond to. And again I am not saying that to be “mean”, I honestly can say the sentences (that is being polite as he would rarely say more than one to me) had no intellectual Merritt in which I could respond. It was constantly frustrating that I was unable to speak to my employer in an intellectual way without him looking visibly annoyed at the words I was saying. Max Hellman did not like people saying things he didn’t understand, and would even be referred to as “swinging his big dick around” by Little Ryan. I would often be confused when Max Hellman would talk to me because it did not seem he had any interest in what I had to say. Again, I do not respond in small talk, I am somebody that needs things expressed to me in some clear way. If Max is perhaps an introvert I would gladly except a letter to express his thoughts just as I am doing now.
So this man, Max Hellman who in my opinion directly involved in all the information mentioned thus far messages me out of the blue and asks me to vote for his band on a popular LA MUSIC BLOG, I forget which one. Naturally I was offended that he had the sheer audacity to even ask me such a thing after all these things. But looking on this blog, I notice that another band Susan (on Volar Records) is on the list. Susan is a band that has been playing in LA for years. Susan is a band that Jessica Owen who contributes to my magazine is singer/guitarist of. How could this man, Max Hellman be so insensitive and arrogant to ask me to vote for his band, which I will remind you had only played twice, over SUSAN. It made absolutely no sense.
When it became clear that Max Hellman wasn’t going to get my endorsement he said, he said, “Hey, you’re not going to win any points with us like that” As if Max Hellman and #familyindustries again, who has been directly involved in all these things previously mentioned had any points I would want.
I will state it again, “fuck your points”.
He then stated before his the music video BAT-FACE GIRL in which I spent months animating, and his only input was “I like the colors”, was about to release and now perhaps fearing I would publicly embarrass him, perhaps because I was humiliated by all these actions described above , and I will say even an old high-school acquaintance saw me standing behind this giant heater with a humongous stack of corporate shirts, I was humiliated time and time again by Max Hellman owner of #familyindustries told me “Don’t burn your bridges with your supporters”
Again, somebody would have to explain it to me in depth as I would not understand how a man who I have personally never seen at a single art-show, a single music-show of our friends, only spoke to me in one sentence expressions, allowed his employees to call me “bitch”, “pussy” could dare call ME
500+ likes on Linkedin, All these experiences ( kept at a $13/hour least desirable and respected position at #FamilyIndustries for over a year my “supporter”. Perhaps because he gave me money? Or at least one of his band members did? I still would not consider that actual support, but if that is the way he sees life then I guess it would be okay for him to say but definitely would not convince me.
But then he showed me this review.
I was fooled for a second, even an hour. One of my life goals came true. My name mentioned in Juxtapoz Magazine. I even read the article and found it to be only about me… He said “See?” or something of that nature. Was I being selfish. Is this a necessary evil? Was I again acting like a “bitch” and this man who allowed his company to do all things above a good guy?
But then I realized. This is again playing into the Bro-Deal system that I absolutely despise and think is a plague in the art world. How was this band even reviewed by Juxtapoz Magazine? What is the going on in that again I will state is a internationally renowned magazine that I and many other struggling artists would only dream of being in, how did this magazine ever even hear of Hotel For Strangers, a “LA BAND” as only described. They mentioned Sonny and Sunsets on the review a band for which I have made 5 music videos for. So in a way directly connecting Max Hellman’s music to that of genius songwriter Sonny Smith who I know personally and most definitely does not share Max Hellman’s philosophy in life and would most definitely be as equally disturbed at the happenings in the company that produced the money in which was paid to make said video and music. That is not right. I refuse for them to be associated together, I refuse for this project that caused me so much mental anguish to work on because of all these things mentioned above, I refuse to share any “indie-cred” that Sonny & The Sunsets might have with Hotel For Strangers a band that I again will state has only played 2 shows. How did this happen? How were these things connected? Who does Max know at Juxtapoz Magazine, or who has Max Hellman hired that knows somebody that works at Juxtapoz magaine. This is not how the music industry should work. Money can’t buy respect.
I told Max exactly what I thought of what I would call this another elaborate “sham” much like the marketing strategy used to make his business #FamilyIndustries Family Industries @Familyindustries look “fun” and “cool”. He told me that everybody that works at Family Industries likes “music and art”.
Prove it. Prove you actually understand how insulting all this is to us struggling artists who are living paycheck to paycheck to support our creativity, we do not have a company in which our parents gave us access to a trust account to purchase, we do not have a legacy rooted to Hellman Mayonnaise, we play in punk venues, warehouses, anyway anyhow we can, for this man to somehow have some advantage to get his “band” a “boost being reviewed on Juxtapoz magazine something many of us would only dream of. How did it happen? I would like it explained just as clearly as I have explained it now.
Jose Galvez is employed at Family Industries and you could consider him a minor-celebrity as his band OZMA is well known, Weezer associated band. Again, I will state I listened to an Ozma album in High-school though I have never owned one but I will say Jose was an extremely warm and nice young man. I think so nice he made the big mistake to invite me to a “song writing club” that Max Hellman and his friends were involved in. I had no idea of the existence of this club as it is an exclusive FB group. Which again is the complete opposite philosophy I am implementing in my project where anybody can partake from any part of the world. I can’t promise I will like it, I will only feature or writer about bands/art/comix/films that I in fact have studied, researched and am capable of writing about. There is no such thing as a “exclusive” club for cool kids in the real world. In the real world you play music live, you play in anyway you can I most definitely can assure you from not my only my personal experience but of bands like Latakedown, Susan, Sonny and Sunsets it would take more than 2 performances to be discovered by Juxtapoz Magazine.
I don’t know if anybody noticed that I have been playing songs out in the open on FB for months. Do you know why I did that? I am making a point. This is the secret FB club and anybody can be in it. Not the rich or privileged or well connected as one of Max Hellman’s phrases “LA’s all about connections!” would indicate. I was also making connections in LA by volunteering my time at Real connections in what I would consider the “real art world”
Whatever, again time has passed. My project is doing well. We have made connections with very interesting people with very interesting walks of life, some I could only have dreamed of working with before. Integrity.
My use of social media on @thegremlinquarterly though teased by my friends is in fact working, it is in fact creating a “safe” community for “weirdos” “nerds” “punks” to say whatever they want and be accepted. I notice that throughout Los Angeles many other creative people have become more active in using their social media to link each-other, which is a technique I have been using on @thegremlinquarterly to indicate how connected all these artists are. Not unlike that game “5 degrees of Kevin bacon” or whatever, yes even somebody like Sam Hepburn a syndicated cartoonist in Malaysia, Shannon and the Clams from Oakland, my friend Aaron Olson who has been playing music his entire life, undiscovered artists I genuinely believe with the right level of coaching and encouragement could be just as popular as the other more well known artists can also make money with their creativity. This is the opposite stradegy that I saw implicated while working at @familyindustries where I belittled, where I was made to feel inferior, unworthy of this secret knowledge, I could even call a “secret society”, though I never would have believed such a thing truly existed but maybe in the ramblings of Fat Mike (from NOFX). Maybe Fat Mike from NOFX who is actually a man I greatly admire for his intelligence and contribution to the punk community by creating saw something like I saw while I had my first glimpse at how the LA MUSIC/ART scene operated. Perhaps he was also invited to some sort of private Facebook Song Writing Club. Did he see rich privileged men buying their way into the music industry like I have just detailed above and wrote the song “Secret Society”?
Over the weekend I was using my Social Media to do my work, when I stumbled upon a print company, @HNRCREW on my instagram feed. I saw a print that looked highly familer, we had printed it hundreds of times, I had seen it hundreds of time coming down the conveyer belt of the gigantic heater in which I, Teppei Ando stood for over a year catching shirts for #Honda #comiccon #TMOBIL , I saw the exact same image being printed.
The Company’s profile states “the originators of Live screenprinting Since 2005”. The orginators? I had no idea the company I was working at in which Max Hellman was the “sucessful business man”, the “machine” was not the orginal. I honestly thought Max Hellman and Alex Meiner must have been truly brilliant businessmen and though I did not respect that they used screen-printing in a way merely to make profit I did respect that they figured out a way to use “art” to make $$$, something that is quite difficult to accomplish actually/sadly/unfortunately….
This company that made me feel like an “idiot”, “pussy” “bitch” is not even THEIR IDEA.
“I assume you’re referring to FAMILY INDUSTRIES or INK+COTTON (nice name) who are the biggest biters I’ve ever seen. Good to hear they are shitty on the inside. Yuk those guys suuuuuuuuuuucccckkk” . And yes I can prove they said that. And they also said, “We took those guys on a tour once and they quit their jobs to copy us. Now when we see them they act like its all cool but they are clueless”
I was so infuriated by this discovery that I had to look onto @familyindustries SM media page and to my absolute #horror I found that they were not only using the exact same Social Media strategy I was using linking all these companies they work with together but even have gone as far as tagging “cool” bands like ISLANDS to their company. Yes. ISLANDS is most definitely cool not “cool”, IMHO. Nicholas Thorburn is a genius . I am absolutely in love with every single music project he has been apart of. So why would this man be connected to @familyindustries in any way which I have clearly expressed above does not meet my personal standards of artistic integrity let alone has demonstrated the understanding of basic #humanrights. How are they connected? Are they not? Doesn’t matter? Does nothing matter?
So in closing, my complaint suggests that
A) #familyindustries needs to take legal action to implicate strong workers rights policys to protect employees like Johnny Erentreich, Antwon Jackson, Nick Perry, Zack, Richi JOJO the employees who treated me like a human being, and make sure they have just as right to the “connections” that every single employee has or at least access to train with actual management in place to make sure they understand the standards their company #familyindustries apperently has but do not discuss with their employees in any intellectual way, like again clearly weren’t things offered to me during my 1+ year working there.
I do believe legally Johnny should have just as much right to be sent to Comic Con as Karen or Bobby or whoever it is that does meet their standards. Yes even Adam who was I will state very warm and friendly to me needs to understand he can’t keep these “Live Gigs” as some kind of system to reward some, keep others in the dark, that is most definitely not an okay way to run an internationally successful company.
I would like a real apology from Max Hellman coowner of this internationally sucessful company whose only words to me were “it is what it is” “sorry it had to happen” and finally “I don’t have to explain it to you”
I am legally requesting that Max Hellman owner of @familyindustries that he legally is required to explain it to me, to Johnny, to Nick, to anybody else that makes him uncomfortable because they have thoughts and feelings he apparently cannot understand or at least has zero interest to. Yes he does need to “explain it to you” and to me and anybody else that has been hurt/humuliated/abused by his brand which now using “indie rock” to make his place appear glamorous and cool when again I will state from my personal experience is anything but. That is #fraud that is #manipulation that is not how it actually is.
I have spent the past year, past months after being fired, I’m sorry “let go” from #familyindustries for reasons not expressed in any legally binding way, then told to “get help”, given no form of counseling provided by company in which caused and is still currently causing me emotional and mental anguish, and I assure you I am not being “dramtic” when I tell you I am actually losing sleep over all these things that transpired, working on my own project, @thegremlinquarterly
to now be further insulted when the company hired as “Social Media” which I can’t promise but I bet could potenitally be proven has seen my @thegremlinquarterly instagram feed and is now using it to make their company look “quirky” and “cool”.
Have I explained in depth why that is troublesome to me? this company that apparently has the complete opposite philosophy of me as far as I see it where the “cool” and “chill” employees are rewarded and the intelligent employees who perhaps feel like they have nowhere else to go are kept in the dark left in the “shop”, wondering why their employees do not like them. Believe me, if I don’t like you, I can clearly tell you why.
No you do not belong in the same community as I until you are willing to accept us. And by us I mean the poor, the weird, the strange, the quirky, the desperate. The real art world as I see it would not only accept these people but reward them.
So in closing I will remind you again for #familyindustries, to sue me for #slander as I have already been threatened by several people who probably are only protecting me from myself , Max Hellman and Alex Meiner owners of #familyindustries would have to prove that everything I have outlined here and can prove is not true. Or am I again “confused” as Max Hellman put it in our final conversation?
#familyindustries needs to take legal action, the federal goverment perhaps needs to investigate how this “La is all about connections” logic actually works, and Juxtapoz magazine would have to explain how they got mixed into this. And yes because I have spent the past year publishing this free-to-public paper much like my philosopies would suggest, everybody who contributed to thus far are directly connected to me and can act as character witness to whether I have the ability to work at a level higher than “QC GUY” and whether I am a man of my word, flattering or not should an investigation to any #slander charges should arise. And I will finally state I have accomplished this without anything more than my brain, my “connections”, my insight and money I have made while driving as a Lyft Driver around LA .Does this make sense? The guy that was making $13 hours as QC guy did all this and now he can legally request for you, #familyindustry to take action.
And yes anybody can join conversation at anytime and I will respond to you nothing but the whole truth.
-Teppei Ando, editor of thegremlinquarterly former QC guy at #familyindustry