Even a Superhero Can Do It

A few months ago when I was planning on buying a new mattress, I happened to drive by a person in a sheep costume holding a sign announcing a huge sale at a mattress store.  I don’t know if it was the fact that this poor guy was stuck on a street corner in the middle of the summer wearing a sheep costume and I felt sorry for him, or if I just wanted the thrill of an impulse buy, but I decided to follow the pointing arrow and ended up buying a mattress less than an hour later.

Now, as unappealing of a job that must be, and although the human sign holders can be kind of annoying, that anecdote is proof that they do indeed work (sometimes).  Slowly but surely, various industries, including apartment communities, are catching on to this laborious form of marketing, yet no one on staff really wants to be the one to stand outside and dance around with a sign for hours.  This is why companies generally outsource to pretty much anyone off the street who is in desperate need of work.  Of course, that leaves open the possibility of hiring people who…let’s just say, aren’t extremely professional…

riding apartment sign

Now, I understand that it probably is not the most interesting job in the world, but REALLY?  You’re riding the sign?  This person obviously has not thought through the potential consequences of this somewhat hazardous form or entertainment.  Hopefully he already has children. 

In addition to being unprofessional, oftentimes the sign holders you hire do not have the best educational backgrounds.  After all, what sort of skills do you need for sign holding that you haven’t learned long before you graduate high school?

upside down sign

I would have to say this is patriotism at its best.  He may be holding the sign upside down, but gosh darn it, he’s an American!  The hat alone gives him immunity from any criticism regarding his reading skills.

One of the greatest dangers of hiring sign holders is that you can never be quite sure what you’re gonna get in terms of general weirdness.  From minor quirks to just plain crazy, a job application isn’t particularly going to reveal a person’s mental state.  Maybe to an apartment manager looking for someone to hold a sign announcing today’s open house, mental state isn’t an immediate concern, but do you really want this guy representing your company??

crazy sign holder

The cape is really a nice touch.  My question is, did he make the shield himself and decide to use that instead of the company provided arrow-shaped sign?

The next time you see a questionable sign holder advertising for your apartment building, take a picture and send it to blog@beyondwineandcheese.com!

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2 Responses to “Even a Superhero Can Do It”


  1. 1 Chad October 30, 2009 at 10:06 pm

    Cate – I actually hope the first guy has no children. But maybe I’m wrong and he’s out earning some extra cash for a birthday present? Hard to tell these days . . .


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