In what might become the American job of the future, curbside sign carriers may be the work force standard in the 21st century.
Wisconsin State Journal: In an attempt to cut through the advertising clutter, and sometimes with a bit of recession-related desperation thrown in, more businesses are sending employees to the curb with hand-held signs to attract customers. Deborah Mitchell, executive director of the Center for Brand and Product Development at UW-Madison, said it's "definitely a trend" and attributes it to businesses reverting to old-fashioned methods to get attention amid a digital advertising onslaught. "If everyone is looking at a screen, and suddenly you see a guy in a chicken suit, it stands out," she said.I'm not against another way for young workers to make some extra cash, or get that first job, but it does recall the Great Depression days of sandwich boards. This should create a societal knot in the stomach of parents who's children are facing a future not seen since the mid 30's. The lower expectations are already resulting in a "happier" workforce:
At a South Side Little Caesars Pizza, employee Cinnsye Ly, 19, said co-workers call it "shaking the board" and alternate 30-minute shifts. "I enjoy it," he said. "It gets me out of the store and into the sun." Other Madison businesses that employ the technique include Domino's Pizza, Liberty Tax Service and Sport Clips, a hair-cutting business that often has its sign waver dress in a gorilla suit.It may be a job, but it's also a sad commentary of our socioeconomic slide, foretold to us by the guy who coined "that great sucking sound," Ross Perot.