Driving around this weekend, I’m sure most people were struck by the holiday decor in every shop widow…the wreaths, holiday lights, piped in carols…but what caught my attention was this sign affixed to the telephone pole. It reads:
College Student. Willing To Take A Few Hours Out Of Demanding Social Schedule To Do Odd Jobs for Generous Pay.
Call Eugene at 662-6045
Given what we do here at Hourly, I not only had to leap out of the car and take a picture, but I had to give Eugene’s Dad a call to learn more about the origins of this post and what response he has received so far.
To make the whole story even better, Eugene is not the son’s real name, nor is he aware of the posts. “Dad” as we’ll refer to him, clearly did not want to embarrass his son around town, but the plea for work is very real. As Dad puts it, “I have three sons, who are very capable, but have no interest in working.” Like all kids, he says, they are busy with schoolwork, sports and their friends, but “I think it’s important for them to earn their own money, and not just come to us everytime they need something. That’s the way I did it.”
Clearly, in this economy, this has become a consistent theme we’ve been hearing from people. That said, even we were surprised when we recently exhibited at the NY XPO for Business just how many people took our information (cards & bracelets) not just for their business, but to give to their sons or daughters, in the hopes of finding them a job. Some were recent college grads, but the majority of the kids mentioned were still in school, making us wonder if Dad’s post was pointing to something more systemic.
In speaking with Eugene’s Dad it is not that the kids are lazy, but that a lot of the manual labor jobs typically done by “young boys/men” in the past (ie. shoveling snow, mowing lawns, moving furniture) are being done by local laborers, who are hungrier for the business, and “finished with their rounds, by the time my boys are getting out of bed.” It would seem that teenage girls can often find great work as babysitters or at a local shop, but it doesn’t always translate as well for the young guys.”
So what to do?
“You have think outside the box today and get resourceful”, says Dad. Turns out he’s right. In addition to the sign posted above for Eugene, there is also a sign floating around town called “Muscle for Hire” aimed at finding work for his teenage sons, that advertises helpers who will “Push, Shove and Schmooze”. “I think people are responding to the signs because they are funny, and human, and show a tenacity for finding work.” And clearly Dad must be onto something, because not only are his boys finding work, but are often paid well above market rate.
Great example for us all in getting out there, and in absence of having Eugene’s Dad, there is Hourly.com for being able to market yourself effectively and find great local jobs!
PS….We had said we would obscure the phone number on the above photo for this piece, but Dad called back and asked us to not only keep it in, but let people know the area code is 516, in case they have work