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Friday, October 19, 2007

Assignment: Hire This Guy

posted by on October 19 at 9:45 AM

Steve Haber worked at Costco for fifteen years as an IT specialist. But Steve was laid off when his office moved from Canada to Seattle and he was unable to secure a green card. Now legally settled here, Steve contacted me because he needed help finding a new job.

Steve and I met on 5th and Columbia in front of the Bank of America food court during lunchtime. Steve had laminated a sandwich board for me to wear with a large picture of his face and the words “Hire This Guy” written out in big black letters above his email address and phone number. I put the sign on. Then a big gust of wind came and lifted the sign up, hitting me in the head.

Steve and I stood side by side in our sandwhich boards and began to pass out flyers with his contact info. Steve was very gregarious. He approached potential employers in business suits, smiled at passersby, and said “Hellooo there!” to the thuggy looking guys waiting for the bus.


After a while I tried a different approach. Pedestrians hated the awkwardness that came from staring at my sign while I stared back at them. I turned my back to the pedestrains and then spun around right before I offered them a flyer. “Caught ya lookin!” Most pedestrains found the whole dance unnerving, but it kept me warm.

A short asian lady waiting for the bus pointed and laughed at my attempts to get flyers into people’s hands. Every time a pedestrain rejected my offer, the asian lady laughed a little bit harder, covering her mouth. One older woman wearing a teal pea coat looked at Steve’s picture on my sandwhich board and said to me “Ohhh that’s the man who just won the Nobel Peace Prize. Al Gore.”


I told her that I was actually wearing a picture of my friend Steve who needed a job in Information Technology, and I asked her if she knew anyone who might be interested in hiring a nice Canadian man with a hearty laugh and 15 years of IT experience. The woman looked confused. “No, this is a picture of the man who just won the Nobel Peace Prize.” she said. “Ok.” I said.

I began to wonder what would happen to the flyers. Would people throw them away, thinking we were protesting Al Gore’s Nobel Peace Prize? Would anyone call Steve for an interview? How long could Steve last on food stamps? If I moved slightly to the left would my sign twirl around in the wind and hit me in the head again? Yes.

We ended up passing out over 100 flyers—mostly to transients. Steve told me 1% of people usually respond to flyers they recieve on the street.

Hi, one person. Please call my friend Steve. He really needs a job.

Steven Blum
Public Intern

RSS icon Comments


A green card?

Um, haven't you ever heard of NAFTA or the FTA? You don't need a green card if you're a Canadian citizen who's a professional working in the US.

Check with the local Canadian consulate.

P.S.: Ask them about holiday dual ski and wedding packages while you're there, nothing like dropping some tourist dollars and getting a nice same-sex marriage, and the Canadian dollar is way cheaper than the Euro.

Posted by Will in Seattle | October 19, 2007 10:30 AM

Your friend Steve is clearly a retard.

Anyone stupid enough to move away from Canada to this godforesaken banana republic is obviously too brain damaged to work in IT.

Posted by Providence | October 19, 2007 10:30 AM

Public Intern cracks me up, and it's an idea such as a public intern that keeps me reading The Stranger way beyond the time when I was in its target group.

He's The Stranger's own funny, helpful, cute What-Me Worry? kid.

Posted by Bauhaus | October 19, 2007 10:32 AM

Oh, poor, poor Public Intern. In the year of partying between college and grad school, I did distribution jobs, jobs in which you hand out flyers or free samples, and those jobs were the lowest of low among the jobs at the temp agency that employed me.

On the bright side, on the day we gave away thousands of boxes of Tic-Tacs outside Safeco Field, the fans got pissed and hurled them onto the field.

Posted by Gitai | October 19, 2007 10:48 AM


Slog commenters are bastards.

You people need to lighten the fuck up and stop being so argumentative to *EVERYTHING*.

Posted by Apparently in a Better Mood Than Everyone Else | October 19, 2007 10:51 AM

public intern, you are straight up adorable!

Posted by Kevin Erickson | October 19, 2007 10:54 AM

@ 5,

I'll second your sentiment, thank you. And that goes double for Freaky Friday.

You're doing a fantastic job, Steven. Rock on : )

Posted by Original Andrew | October 19, 2007 10:56 AM

Fifth and Olympic? The Bank of America tower is on 5th and Cherry and 5th and Columbia.

Good looking out for your friend intern. He should apply with the city, county or state. They have huge IT/IS departments.

Posted by SeMe | October 19, 2007 10:59 AM

Did your friend show you his Nobel?

Posted by NapoleonXIV | October 19, 2007 11:28 AM

I love the public intern!

Posted by Clint | October 19, 2007 11:44 AM

@7 - Original Andrew is still pissed because everyone made fun of his dog.

Back to topic ...

Aren't there a gazillion IT jobs? It wouldn't be as fun for the Public Intern or the Slog, but Nobel guy should get his ass off of 5th Ave and on to Craigslist.

Posted by Mahtli69 | October 19, 2007 11:45 AM

I love the Public Intern. And I loved Original Andrew's dog.

Posted by genevieve | October 19, 2007 12:09 PM

It's always a good day when we have a story by and pics of the Public Intern.

Posted by Mark | October 19, 2007 12:18 PM

Will Know-it-all,
The temporary TN visa does not apply to all IT jobs. See, for example, the table on this web page.

Posted by No drybacks | October 19, 2007 12:19 PM

Maybe he can get a job impersonating Al Gore.

(I love you too, Steven! Keep on truckin'.)

Posted by Gloria | October 19, 2007 12:52 PM

What a loser.

Posted by Mr. Poe | October 19, 2007 1:47 PM

What's the deal with Original Andrew's dog? I must have missed it

Posted by Lake | October 19, 2007 2:01 PM

Original Andrew's Dog Slog

Clearly, he was expecting comments like @4 ...

AAAWWWW!!! Wook at de widdle puppy dawg hed!

But, since this is Slog, he got @1,2,3,5,7,8,11,13, etc (see for yourself)

Posted by Mahtli69 | October 19, 2007 3:20 PM

Hehe, thanks for digging that out for me Mahtli (18)


(but otherwise I usually like Orig. Andrew)

Posted by Lake | October 19, 2007 4:34 PM

Oh please! Try finding a job in Seattle that's not IT specialist. That pays more than 25K?

Posted by anna | October 19, 2007 4:35 PM

I still heart the public intern. When are you coming down to Portland???? I'm trying to steal you away from seattle, but i'm not having good luck! we have a pullout couch you can sleep on, but that might be too weird, so maybe the stranger could spring for a nice stay in a topnotch hotel downtown! actually i don't even live in portland...anyway, you are welcome any time!

Posted by Kristin Bell | October 21, 2007 6:36 AM

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