Saturday, February 5, 2011

What makes working fun? Maybe it's the outfit.

Those crazy mascots who advertise on behalf of everything from sandwiches to tax services look like they're having so much fun!

Can we people who don't wear such conspicuous outfits say as much when we punch into work?

Which begs the question:

What's the true measure of success as it relates to employment during these troubling economic times?

Ideally, success is measured by being paid handsomely for doing something you're already passionate about.

Next down the tier, success may mean making enough money to create a comfortable world that you experience while you're not at work. This involves having passions that exceed the mundane melange of responsibilities that may confront you from 8 to 5.

Further down on the Ideal Job scale are professions which provide neither soul food nor a comfortable amount of cash. But these jobs offer certain future creature comforts. Health insurance is good, in case you get sick. A 401k might be nice, once you retire. An occasional raise is pleasant.

And then there are those folks who really have to dress up to go to work, and for the most part, depending on the level of disguise, they look like they might be having a whole lot more fun than the rest of us.

The person dressed as a Quiznos beverage cup.

The Grease Monkey monkey suit person.

The more identifiable person, dressed as the State of Liberty, schlepping a company in a nearby strip mall that can do your taxes.

That completely identifiable guy spinning a sign that advertises some new apartment complex that's free for the first month.

Apparently, this street corner advertising works. According to, businesses see a dramatic increase in their bottom line when they spend their advertising dollar on someone who spins a sign; someone who's willing to dress as a cup, a monkey, a national monument.

So interesting.

I feel a certain level of compassion and curiosity, and just a touch of envy when I drive by these folks.

I don't have a hankering for a toasted sub, I don't wonder about my last oil change, and I definitely don't consider a tax company as being a touch more legitimate or trustworthy because it chooses to hire someone to dress like Lady Liberty.

But based on my research, I imagine I'm in the minority.

And based on the level to which these folks choose to invest in what they're doing, I think they might be having more fun at their jobs than I do at mine.

Who's the smart one?

I'm sure these animes wish they were doing something else. But there are some who look like they're having so much fun, what with the dancing, the role-playing, the spinning.

There's probably not a whole lot of short- or long-term comfort in the Dress As Something That Will Catch an Eye job, especially depending on the weather. Who wants to be dressed as Lady Liberty when it's snowing? Who wants to assume the persona of a beverage cup when it's 95+ degrees outside?

And there's probably no 401k. There are few performance-based raises in your future when you're dressed like a human-sized beverage. There are, most likely, not a whole bunch of stories out there about how "once I was spinning a sign, and now I'm the CEO."

Long and short, these prospects may not be a great addition to the resume.

Based on what I've read, these conspicuous, entertaining jobs don't seem to hold a whole bunch of job security.

But when it comes to the bottom line - for both employer and the employed - getting dressed up for work in their world looks like a whole lot of fun.


  1. I actually did the whole "spinning signs on a corner" thing when I was in high school, for my friend's dad's company. I worked 5 hours a day and got $20 an hour. It was fantastic.

  2. That IS fantastic!! Sounds like a good deal all around!