On January the 7th are group went to the vanilla moon shoe factory. This experience was very different for me. I have never been to a manufacturing factory. So I did not know what to expect, but when we got there it was eye opening. We first sat in the conference room and had a meeting about the company and its values. The Vanilla moon is great. I love the quality of the shoes. The materials they use are high quality and the craftsmanship is remarkable. But what I did not realize about these beautiful shoes is the work behind them. When we took a tour of the factory it was really interesting. The floor where the conference room was located seem to be for the higher position employees. There was only one room where there were men doing handwork on that floor but the other men were in offices. The men doing the handwork were doing more of the technical work. So when we went up stair we saw the factory workers. From the two floors you could really see the status difference. The factory workers seem to be working a lot harder then the people working on the conference floor. The working conditions were not terrible at the factory but the workers did not seem happy. There were also a lot of chemical smells in the factory and most of the workers were not wearing mask to protect themselves from the chemicals.
Seeing this in the factory made me really sad because I felt like I was invading their space. I hated to come to their workspace and treat it like an experiment. I also felt like their boss talk to them as if they were servants and I was a little unsettled about this. This is very different for me because no matter what position someone holds in the US they have the option to grow. Whether it’s seeking education, a new job or growing in the company. I feel in India it’s hard to come from being very poor to wealthy. This saddens me to see that those factory workers probably will keep the same positions their entire lives instead of advancing. But then I think maybe in Indian culture its not the position that matters to the lower class but instead just having a paying job is good enough for them. Also reflecting on the fact that owners in India treat their employees like servants, this could just be a way to be taking serious by their employees. Although the employees may have not seemed happy to me they could have a different way of expressing their happiness. This overall visit was a great learning experience about manufacturing and the work that behind creating high quality shoes.