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WANTED: One Sad and Bored-Looking Worker

Not that it matters, but this post has pretty much nothing to do with real estate.  It's just something that bugs me, and I thought it warranted mentioning.

Today, I was out with my family for awhile - we had lunch at a new Mexican restaurant, then went to Fry's Electronics to return a couple of items and buy better versions.  "You get what you pay for" appears to still be alive and well with regard to electronics.  Note to self: a $20 webcam may seem like a stellar and wise purchase, UNTIL YOU ACTUALLY USE IT.

At any rate, when we were approaching Fry's, we stopped at a light and I looked over to see a guy holding what appeared to be a large cardboard poster of an oil can.  It had some stuff written on it for the oil change/lube place behind him and he was shaking it around and gesticulaing wildly, as if to say, "You are crazy not to use Jiffy Lube!".  Okay, so I am exaggerating.  He looked bored to tears and he had headphones on.  If he had a free hand, I'm pretty sure he would have been picking his nose with it.

This led me to make the best improvisational joke I have made in weeks:

"Pam, look at that guy over there.  When did the sandwich board concept make a comeback?  Maybe we are entering the Great Depression again after all.  (using my "old timey" voice) - 'Hey mac, check me out, with my handlebar mustache.  You can buy mustache wax and a cherry phosphate right here for a nickel!'"

But seriously, why is this concept popular now?

I see home builders hiring folks that appear to have come straight from homeless shelters in order to advertise new communities.  While I find the concept of hiring the homeless to be very admirable, couldn't they find something for them that would be a bit less:

  • degrading?

  • hot?

  • pathetic-looking?

Although I will always notice the guy wearing the gorilla suit doing aerobics outside of the discount clothing store, or the person who is wearing any type of mascot uniform (such as a large lightbulb, or a sack of groceries, or a Rubik's cube), it doesn't compel me to do business there.  Well, unless I happen to need a spare Rubik's cube.

There are probably ways to effectively drive traffic to your business or model home with this technique, and they might not even require nudity.  I have a few suggestions:

  • Pay enough to get someone who smiles or at least doesn't look tired/bored/psychotic

  • Give them something compelling to hold as a sign - "FREE ICE CREAM" or "FREE EKG" or something similar.  I sometimes see one of the car-wash workers near my office just standing there in his uniform and waving in a disinterested and vaguely angry fashion.  "WOW! That guy looks irritated.  I better get my car detailed here so that he won't kill anyone today."

  • Give them water and an umbrella, or station them in the shade.  I once bought a sunhat and took it to a guy working for a sandwich shop in 100+ degree heat.  I have never experienced such gratitude.

If all else fails, and you are tied to this method, use a rainbow afro wig.  I bet it would work, and it evokes some great nostalgic memories of 1970's football games.


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