I have a job! I decided to join the ranks of the employed, and found part-time work as a marketer for the local franchise of a national income tax firm (think H&R Block). While on the job, I occasionally canvas local neighborhoods and business with pamphlets and other leave-behinds, but mostly I am a costumed “waver” who stands at the street corner, holding signs and waving at passersby whilst dancing a jig or shaking my booty. The goal is to get people to smile, honk, or wave back (and maybe visit our shop to have their taxes done). Here’s a pic of Yours Truly in company colors. How do I look?
It isn’t a bad job as these things go – the work is not hard and the hours are flexible. The pay, as it happens, is atrocious, and the whole gig ends after Tax Day on April 15th, but in my two months on the job I’ve already amassed several quirky stories. Here they are, in bullet point form. Happy reading!
- Veterans and senior citizens are the most likely to wave; cell-phone-using young women are the least likely.
- I receive more waves and honks on rainy days than on sunny days. Sympathy acknowledgments perhaps?
- “Vols” fans – that’s the University of Tennessee Volunteers, whose fans are most easily identifiable by the orange “T” on their license plates – are quick with a wave and a smile. Go Vols!
- I always motion at oncoming semis to honk. Many truckers humor me, but the omnipresent Coca-Cola delivery truck drivers almost never do. Bastards.
- Sometimes I play air guitar or mime the “YMCA”; kids in particular love this.
- I’ve been known to blow kisses to female drivers.
- My record for the most consecutive drivers to honk or wave at me is eight.
- I get some funny reactions from time to time. Once, when I was doing jumping jacks, a guy rolled down his window and shouted “Do you wanna buy some more crack?” at me. My reply: “No, but I’ll take some for free!”
- Another time, I rolled up my right pant leg and was flashing some skin/shin at the passing cars. An old, straw hat-wearing grandpa gave me the stare of death as he drove past and I could distinctly hear the words “What in the tarnation?!” coming out of his mouth, in his best Yosemite Sam voice.
- The weather this week has been positively spring-like – including lots of rain – but there were several days where it was downright chilly. I’m talking morning temps of 21 degrees, face-burning winds…or both. I never thought I’d need long underwear in Tennessee.
- Speaking of cold weather gear, “Hot Hands” is a genius invention. Literally, Hot Hands (direct order website http://www.hothandsdirect.com/) are glove inserts that release warm air upon contact, and stay warm for ten hours. During one cold day, I stuck a second pair of Hot Hands inside my shoes.
- I lost six days of work – and pay – as a result of The Great Tennessee Snowpocalypse of 2015.
- I have some interesting coworkers. One of my fellow wavers is just 28 years old but has, in his words, “six kids with three different baby mamas.” Ricky Bobby (not his real name) is a nice enough guy – and I normally try not to judge people – but he’s something of a dope, and his accent is so thick that when it speaks it sounds as if he doesn’t even have six teeth, let alone the sex appeal needed to convince three different women to bear children for him two times each! I guess I just don’t understand people….
- I was busted by the cops one afternoon “for standing too close to the road.” Apparently, the law mandates that I stand at least ten feet from the road. I didn’t know this – and I thanked the police officer for making me aware – but I also wondered why she was hassling me and not chasing gun runners or busting any of the literally hundreds of meth labs in town.
- Even though I live and work roughly 400 miles from the nearest ocean, the parking lot at my place of work is the daily gathering spot for a large colony of seagulls. I haven’t been pooped on…yet.
- According to my boss, 50% of our customers credit marketers such as me for the reason they stopped by! Maybe I should negotiate a commission? 😉
- Somewhat surprisingly, I’ve only been flipped the bird twice.
- I have a college degree, 12 years of corporate experience plus almost two years of living and working abroad…and yet this job was the best that I could find. I’ve been humbled.
Have you ever had such a job? Share your stories in the comments section below!