Monday, March 14, 2011

A taxing job

With a month until April 15, tax preparers with storefronts pull out gimmicks to try to draw business. For example, on a street corner the train passes each day a person in a Statue of Liberty costume waves a sign to promote the service in the adjacent strip mall.

I'm not sure what specific association the costume is supposed to elicit regarding paying taxes—perhaps it's supposed t suggest liberty from having to figure out your own taxes—but that's how the owner has decided to go. It may be merely that it's a leftover Halloween costume that was readily available; I can't imagine, given the location, the store has a big costume budget.

It's an intriguing strategy: Hire someone who's willing to work for what I presume must be only minimum wage to attempt to draw attention of passing motorists. I'm not sure if the idea is that people will have their W2 and other paperwork in the car and see the costumed sign-waver and spontaneously decide to get their taxes, or (perhaps more likely) to build an association in the mind of the passing drivers that when they're ready to have taxes prepared they should head to that spot. And I suppose the teal hue (that's supposed to approximate the rusted brass) gown and spiked crown would serve to attract more attention than someone adorned in regular clothes waving the same sign.

On a recent morning the train passed as the person walked out to the corner, with only the gown on, a backpack on, a bottle of water in one hand, the crown and sign in the other. The train paused at a light just long enough for me to see him set the bottle on a post and remove the backpack, at a pace that clearly suggested he was in no rush to get started.

The pause also allowed me to notice as the person put the crown over his head that rather than being a young person (as one would expect for such a position) the man looked like he was easily in his 30's.

Now, one might look at that and feel pity for the man, or anger at those one considers responsible for the economic woes of the country where a person of that age would accept such a job, but I found myself applauding him for doing what he needed to do to try to get a paycheck.

Nobody dreams of waving a sign to promote some business, and in a better economy it's almost certain that the person who'd be doing that job would be much younger, but somehow it seems laudable that he was not so prideful as to sit around being out of work but took what he could find.

That's someone who deserves to get hired for a better-paying position.

1 comment:

  1. I agree, I'm thankful those people have the willpower to work that job, rather than sit home and collect unemployment money from me.


So, what do you think?