Wednesday, July 13, 2005

The rise of the fluoro collar worker.

They are everywhere.

Walk into a Western Sydney pub on a Friday night and what was once a sea of dark blue and greens has transformed into a colourful almost garish display of workers in Day-Glo gren and orange. The green is used on clothes that were once dark green, dark green still being used in places as contrast. These are usually worn by landscapers, lawn cutters, groundsmen and the like. Orange seems to be used on clothes that were once blue, again the blue being retained in places as a contrast. These are mainly worn by factory workers, truck drivers, road side workers and the like.

Managers, engineers and the like are spared the indignity of wearing the colours full time opting for the take it off and put it on fluro waistcoat (or vest).

However the blue collar woker hasn't become the "fluoro collar worker" the collar remains the same.

Above is a pic of my jacket with it's collar still blue. I refuse to wear it outside of work. It's main purpose being that of a passive safety device, standing out to guys driving 6 tonne forklifts which tend to squash human beings in any type of encounter.

Paradoxically there's an article at the Guardian where the fluoro worker has been turned invisible. There's a history regarding the invention of fluoro paint and its adoption by the army and then to the working class. A mention of a holdup and private investiagtors in big cities using fluoro jackets and vests.

Stephen Gill likes to photograph things so insignificant they barely exist - the backs of billboards, cashpoint machines, and so on. Now he calls me and says he's been photographing invisibility. He shows me some of the pictures. They are of rail and street repair workers wearing bright, fluorescent "High Visibility" jackets. Stephen says he got the idea for the series because he wears a fluorescent jacket when he's taking photographs and doesn't want to draw attention to himself - when he wears his fluorescent jacket, he says, nobody gives him a second glance. ::more::

So to turn invisible I have to throw on my "cloak of invisibility" jacket!


  • The US has a bit of a problem with people hitting roadway workers. People don't like to slow through constrction zones.

    I still say the rise of AWDs (SUVS for us Americans) is the manifestation of a militant culture festering out of control.

    Thanks for the look into Australia =)

    By Blogger tetricus, at 12:25 pm  

  • I used to have to wear a safety orange vest. It was company issued, mandated and it sucked. I was always conscious of it getting snagged. I finally bought a bunch of dye and treated a couple of t-shirts. The foreman looked at me fishy-eyed the first time he saw it, but when the company man came on site and had a whine about my lack of vest, he said he could see me just fine, thankyouverymuch, and that was that.

    By Blogger Deleted, at 1:01 am  

  • Which reminds me Tetricus I'm going to swipe your "Hummer as a recruiting tool for the DoD" piece.

    For a little more of a look into Australian culture, SUV's that are expensive and have never seen a dirt road are known as "Toorak Tractors"..... Toorak being a leafy well to do suburb of Melbourne populated by captain of industry types.

    Alas, I'm unable to use the tie-dyed day-glo idea. Company policy in regards to corporate brandnames being visible on the clothing...... and that sort of thing.

    By Blogger Johnno, at 5:15 am  

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