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Stanley Q. Woodvine writes eloquently in the Georgia Straight about a tiny woman named Linda  carrying a very large sign advertising the dispersal of an American Apparel store.Mr. Woodvine notes “Partly it was simply the ridiculous disparity of scale. Here was this petite young woman with bright auburn hair, tromping around in oversized gumboots and gripping in big yellow work gloves a garish plywood and corrugated plastic assemblage that towered over her comparatively diminutive frame—that was a striking enough sight by itself.”

Mr. Woodvine is a homeless writer and graphic artist. He saw the irony of  a person making $12.50 an hour to carry a sign for what was a clothing store that tried to be fashion forward with shock advertising and high prices. “The woman’s name, as I’ve already mentioned, was Linda and the huge red, black, and yellow sign that she carried was for the American Apparel store, located just around the corner on Granville Street. It read like an ad for a closing out sale: “Entire store 70-90% off…Nothing held back. Everything must go!”

“More than anything else this was a sign of just how desperate things have gotten for the American Apparel clothing chain, with the U.S. parent company now having filed for bankruptcy protection a second time in a little over a year.But it also arguably signalled the difficult economic plight of all the 20- and 30-somethings who staff these low-paying retail store jobs—if they’re lucky.I’ve been given to understand that quite a large number of well-educated millennials spend their days scrambling between various retail jobs and even lower-paying blue- and white-collar casual-labour jobs—apparently one e-transfer and a college degree away from being evicted and having to live on a friend’s couch—if they’re lucky.”

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