Assignment: Hire This Guy
posted by October 19 at 9:45 AMon
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.