Monday, March 05, 2007

I'll have to think about it.

How much does it pay?
(To be read in the style of George Costanza)

Hey! Great bumping into you the other day!

Thanks for looking me up. I know, I know .... REALLY hard to track down these days. Lucky you caught me when you did.

Yeah, you could probably tell that the job offer caught me completely off guard. I mean-- Wow, whew -- didn't see that coming, ya know? Actually, I should be used to it by now, because .... it happens a lot. But it's just like they say: you think your prepared for it when it happens, but you really never are. Funny. Funny.

And thanks for not being a hard case and asking for a resume or references or anything. Because, after all, what business is that of potential employers, what my "employment history" has been like? Screw them. If they don't want me as I am -- they'll just have to do without me. And those references ... let's face it, they don't mean anything. All politics really.

Skills for the job? Well, you know I could do it; would be perfect for me actually. I mean, I'm out there anyway, so I DO know that market. And the salary IS $2.85 more than minimum wage right now. But, ... you see, ... I'm not too sure about the long-term viability of the position. That's the thing. It IS March already and tax day is April 17, and what then? You see, I'm not sure I'd be gaining anything, plus look at all I'd be giving up!

And, if I may, it's just, well, it's a bit on the confining side, wouldn't you say? A bit. You know, having to show up at a particular time, ... on a particular day. Standing there, waving at these people -- on their way to work or to the GAP or wherever. All caught up on their busy little lives. Yuppie scum, I hate 'em.

But you say the uniform is provided? Hummm. I DO look good in light green velvet. As an aside, you know, if it was socially acceptable, I'd drape myself in velvet.

And I'd have a dedicated territory, you say? Good, cause right now you wouldn't believe how nervy people are these days. Damn insensitive commuters. Pesky church "do-gooders." And insolent teenagers! Disrespectin' my space and, uh, .... Oh, sorry about that -- forgot about that little incident. That WAS your guy, wasnt' it. Whoopsie! Open mouth, insert foot. Geez, THAT's embarrassing.

Anywhooooo, ... Actually, despite what you might think, I'm really not that much of a "hard" salesperson. Hate that. I mean, other than that "I'm Homeless, will work for food" pitch I use now. Was never really comfortable with that.

But you obviously get it; so you understand. OK, I'm unemployed and have no prospects. Since I AM wearing this "homeless" sign, you can tell I have no home (which is, you know, mostly due to that unemployed and no prospects thing). But since you asked, I'm actually in a sort of "transitional period" right now, trying to balance my art and my career goals. I've got this "be-my-own-boss, work-for-my-self" sort of thing, going here. Don't know whether I'm ready to give all that up, you know?

But hey, uh, about your offer. Gonna, ... gonna need some time. Little time. And, uh, I'll have to check on some things I've got going and stuff. Really wasn't what you'd call, "l-o-o-k-i-n-g" looking, but it's aways flattering when it happens. So let me think about that.

I'll have my girl call your girl... we'll do lunch. Thanks again.

Monday, March 5, 2007
Tax service owner is true to his


You wanted to know what happened after the sad tableau in last Monday's column.

Remember the homeless woman taunted and ridiculed by a
costumed sidewalk Uncle Sam hawking for Liberty Tax Service's Burien branch?

Did the franchise owner really track her down, apologize and
offer her the job of Lady Liberty as he said he would? Did she take it?

Yes and no.

Jean-Claude Valsaint, who owns the franchise with his wife,
Edith, scoured the streets the very next day. He found the woman with the
"Hungry" sign on a nearby sidewalk, and he stopped, parked and approached her.
"I told her who I am and how sorry I was about what happened to her,"
Valsaint told me late last week. "I pointed to another Lady Liberty waving
nearby so she'd be sure what I was talking about. I gave her my card and some
money and offered her the job."

The woman asked how much the gig paid. Valsaint told her eight
bucks an hour.

She said she'd think about it so he gave her his address and
said he'd keep the offer open. He's still waiting and says he won't give up.
He'll go to talk to her again. "I was a little disappointed that she wasn't more
eager to work, but I felt sorry that this guy did this to her."

Photo: Gilbert W. Arias / P-I
Liberty Tax Service franchise
owner Jean-Claude Valsaint helps Maria Del Villar Lopez with her Lady Liberty
costume at his office in Burien. A homeless woman he offered a job to has yet to
take his offer.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Then again, perhaps not.

One thing I'll say for Lefties, they are determined.

When they think they really have something that works, they'll ride that horse till its dead--no matter how far-fetched. (Sorry, the animal cruelty reference is by my suggestion) .

In this case: the war in Iraq. (Note that its not "the war against Terror," probably because that didn't test as well in focus groups. Who could, after all, be against a war against terror; no, it's easier to remind people about where we currently are fighting, not what we're fighting against. But I digress....)

Today, our Lefty of choice is Staurt Elliott, the New York Times’ Marketing & Advertising columnist. Although -- perhaps -- a bit detatched from the World News or Op-Ed page, nonetheless he IS eminently qualified as a serious war critic given this particular milieu (isn't he?).

[I promised myself no references to the Seinfeld episode where Elaine attempts to re-name her current boyfriend because of its similarity to an infamous serial killer. I promised not to recall her taunting voice as she angrily rejected “Stuart” as a possible replacement name. Guess I just broke that promise. Again, I digress…]

In the pages of today’s NEW YORK TIMES:

"Super Bowl Ads of Cartoonish Violence, Perhaps Reflecting Toll of War"

Perhaps. Let's do read more, shall we?

In this story, gentle readers, we find the renowned observer of world events and geo-political commentator, Mr. Elliott, opining that Mr. Bush’s folly is so grievous, and the acceptance of this fact so pervasive throughout our collective consciousness that it is even coming through in our advertising. Gasp! And if that indignity wasn’t enough, Mr. Elliott goes on to lay out his case for the striking connection between American society’s angst, dissatisfaction, and overall pissy attitude with the “Iraq war” and of all things sacred – Super Bowl advertising!

Gasp, again!

(Stay with me on this.)

Mr. Elliott rapier-sharp perception instinctively saw through the fatalism, violence and foreboding present at the very core of Sunday’s collection of light beer, job-finding web sites, overnight delivery, and erectile dysfunction and soft drink ads. He observed that such negative energy, apparently reflecting the feeling of our national body politic, “… linger(s) just below the surface of many of this year’s commercials …” but that “often came across as cruel or callous.”
As proof, Mr. Elliott proposes this example:

“For instance, in a commercial for Bud Light beer, sold by Anheuser-Busch,
one man beat the other at a game of rock, paper, scissors by throwing a rock at
his opponent’s head.”

Why, any fool should surely see the connection, except of course Rummy or Condi. It’s a plain as the nose on your face. (Editor’s note: Dripping sarcasm here.)

But Mr. Elliott still holds out a small bit of hope for those of us that 2008 is just a few years away…..

"Those who wish the last four years of history had never happened could find
solace in several commercials that used the device of ending an awful tale by
revealing it was only a dream."

Yeah. And they probably used permanent ink putting those spots on that white dog in that Bud commercial, too.

Damn this war!