Monday, January 20, 2014

Flip That Minimum Wage Job


We spend way too much time in the car. Let me just claim it. Most often, my co-pilot is my youngest son - who I shall call Gonzo (because that is not his name). Observations of human behavior are rampant on the road with us.

With all our red light/stop sign/traffic jam combined stagnation experience, we feel qualified (nay, compelled!) to make this proclamation: Some jobs just stink and are done purely for cash. The target of today's informal study of human employment is the lowly sign shaker. Without further explanation, most of us will agree that this is a bad job. Here's the thing: Some employees get out there and just rock it. This may be the worst possible job for a young person, I'm sure they know it! Yet, they do it with gusto.

I believe that I could assemble a top notch team of employees just by plucking from the pool of passionate sign shakers. Face it, few people are sitting at home right now and lamenting the lack of sign shaker jobs. Frankly, it appears to be a position chock full of humiliating potential. You have to stand by a busy road, dressed in a costume, and flail around in a manner that will call attention to a business. My middle son, who I shall call Magoo (because that is not his name, either), was blessed with a brief stint of sign shaking in his past incarnation as pizza boy extraordinaire. He informed me daily of the vast number of items thrown at him while dancing and prancing for your pizza dollar. Insightful, and sad.

Our local pizza joint had one of the stars of the art form. I'm not saying their name because THEY MAKE THEIR EMPLOYEES SHAKE SIGNS. However, the young man at the curb was by far the funniest thing I've seen for a long time. Many times, we turned around and drove by again, laughing till we cried. He was awesome, like a dance-a-thon of all the worst dance moves from the past twenty years skillfully punctuated by moments of stop-frame frozen poses. Weeks later, I saw him inside the pizza store working the counter. Inquiring about his alter ego, the pizza-sign-shaking-john-travolta, I had just realized I had missed recent performances, so I asked if he still was shakin'. He was not.

He had gotten a promotion! Of course, he has, I thought - he did a lame job passionately. Flip that kid up to the next level, he's wasted at the curb.

Today, while driving in South Knoxville, lightening struck once more in the form of a bearded twenty-something dressed as the Statue of Liberty. Dancing and smiling, making eye contact, giving it all he had to give - destined to be blogged. Harnessed passion will make this guy worth his weight in gold, if someone sees that potential - and flips him up to the next level. Then it's up to him to make the connection between a job well done and advancement.

[This post is sponsored by a documented flipster who has hired college educated young adults who graduate with a triple dose of pretentious entitlement, sandwiched between a lack of motivation and a poor work ethic. If this description resembles you in anyway, and I was once your boss, just remember this: Clearly, I meant the that other guy.]



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Love, Cherdo