Bucks guard Bell stars in "Hey, Charlie! Do my job!"
Bucks guard Charlie Bell might have been the busiest man in Wisconsin last week.
Training camp is more than a month away and the National Basketball Association season doesn't start until the first week in November, so Bell occupied his time by trying out a handful of different occupations.
As part of the "Hey Charlie! Do my job!" contest -- which was conceived by Bell and co-sponsored by Bucks.com, OnMilwaukee.com and Mindpool Productions -- Bell spent time working at a post office, a retail store, a dairy farm, a manufacturing company and a fast-food outlet.
You can see samples of his adventures here and full episodes will begin airing next week at bucks.com and here at OnMilwaukee.com.
As he finished his final task and prepared to take his family on a fishing trip, Bell sat down with OnMilwaukee.com to talk about the experience and the upcoming season.
OnMilwaukee.com: It's interesting that you volunteered for this "Hey Charlie, Do My Job" promotion. What prompted you to do that?
Charlie Bell: I was sitting around watching TV one day and you see all these different shows, like on Discovery Channel where the guy goes and does the dirtiest jobs. Then, they had "New York Goes to Work," or something like that on VH-1. I just said, "You know what? I would like to do that." It started off as a joke. I passed it on to our PR people and they said 'That sounds great. We're going to talk about it at our next meeting.' I told them I was ready.
OMC: The next thing you know, you're raking manure at a dairy farm in Valders.
CB: That was a lot of fun. It was different. You always ride past farms and being here in the Dairy State, Wisconsin, with a lot of cheeseheads, I got a chance to go up and milk some cows and see where the cheese really comes from.
OMC: What was the toughest part of that job?
CB: It was cleaning up the cow droppings from the ground. I got to clean that up with a Bobcat and a rake. The smell was something that I will never forget. It was bad. I went straight home and jumped in the shower with my clothes on.
OMC: I think the best part was when you were pushing manure with the Bobcat and splashed Bucks TV announcer Jim Paschke.
CB: He was in the way. I was just doing my job.
OMC: You also worked at a Wendy's franchise on the South Side. What was that like?
CB: I got my name tag, and it says "Manager." I think I'm going to wear this around the country. I'll go into Wendy's and, hopefully, I'll get an employee discount.
OMC: What other jobs did you try?
CB: I was a postman (in Hartford). I had my dog spray. No dogs attacked us, so everything was OK there. I worked at Crate and Barrel, and that was cool. I was working on my interior decorating skills, and getting into the softer side of Charlie Bell.
OMC: You also worked at a factory in West Allis. As a native of Flint, Mich., I imagine you have friends and family members who worked in manufacturing.
CB: Definitely. A lot of my uncles and aunts worked at at the auto plants. It's a little different than what I did, but they were in there.
OMC: There is a pretty good chance that other NBA teams are going to copy your idea and send players into the workforce. What would you tell those guys? What was your favorite part of this promotion?
CB: It was fun, just getting a chance behind the scenes to see how things are done. You go to the store all the time and buy things like milk and cheese and butter and you never know the background of where it comes from and how it gets made and the hard work that people do to get those products on the shelves.
Even at Wendy's, when I was cooking up the food, I was sweating a little bit. It was hot back there, but it was fun.
It was all fun. It was a chance to get my hands dirty and get an appreciation for other peoples' jobs.
OMC: Let's talk about your real job. You wore a name tag at Wendy's and you might have to wear one with all the new players on the team this year.
CB: We have a lot of new faces. I think Andrew (Bogut), Mike (Redd) and Danny G (Gadzuric) are the only guys who have been here with me every year that I've been here. It's always somebody different. In the five years I've been here, it's been three different coaches, two general managers and a lot of new players every year. But, I like the direction our team is going in now. I like our coach (Scott Skiles). I like our general manager (John Hammond). I think they're doing a good job getting us on the right track.
OMC: When you have so much turnover, is it hard to develop chemistry on and off the court?
CB: It's tough. That's one of the things -- everybody kind of made a commitment to get here early in September -- a month before training camp -- so we can work out and get used to each other. All the good teams, the Clevelands, San Antonios the Bostons have been together a long time. They're building and building and adding pieces. We're just trying to find the right pieces right now. Once we get those pieces in place, we're going to be OK.
OMC: There are going to be some young players on the team this year, which means young legs.
CB: We've got some long and athletic guys we haven't had in the past. (Rookie) Brandon Jennings is a fast, quick point guard. He can get up and down the floor. We've got guys that can run the court. Hakim Warrick and Andrew (Bogut) can run the court. Mike (Redd) and myself. We're going to be an up and down team. I really think we're going to be a fun, exciting team to watch this year. We're going to do a good job getting in shape so we can run some of these teams off the court.
OMC: How will you help Brandon Jennings adjust to life in the NBA?
CB: As a rookie, you're going to be hard on him. Nothing will be easy. He's going to be carrying bags. He'll have to make sure he brings donuts to the first practice. We'll make sure he's ready for what he has to do as far as his orientation, his rookie hazing. I definitely want to be there for him as a soundboard, someone for him to talk to. We have to pass on the knowledge. He's young -- one year out of high school. It's going to be tough. It's going to be a learning experience. He's going to go up against some top point guards in the game and he's going to have to be ready for that. As a team, we understand. We're going to be there to help him out.
OMC: What do you do to stay in shape, aside from doing other jobs? Where do you find players to play against?
CB: I stay in shape all off-season long, working out a couple times a week. When I'm here in town, Marquette has their guys playing and I'm going with them once or twice a week. At home, us Flintstones (friends from Flint) play and guys at Michigan State. I like to work out with people. It's one thing to run up and down the court yourself, but it's different when somebody is guarding you and you're out there banging. It's a lot tougher.
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Hey Charlie, if i were you id worry about your own job! Work on your game so you can earn the contract you once complained about.
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