I would only hire Bums and Sign Twirlers…

If I owned my own company, I would only hire Bums and Sign Twirlers. I’m sure that just by making that statement, it’s already pretty obvious as to why, however I’ll let you in on a few of my reasons. First of all, they seem to be pretty easy to please. Sign Twirlers get really excited when you just wave to them or honk your horn while they are ‘performing’ their art, and a lot of Bums are pretty grateful if you drop them a few coins every now and then.

It seems like neither are too picky on their work environments as they both stand out in the heat, the cold, the rain, and the wind for hours at a time without even seeming to notice. I think this particular quality makes them almost super human in that, most office workers complain if their buildings are “a little chilly,” or “Ned Jenkins drank the last bit out of the water cooler and didn’t bother to put the new bottle into the dispenser.”

I’m almost certain that I could get them to wear whatever I gave them. I mean who hasn’t seen the guy that so happily wears the piece of pizza costume while spinning a sign touting ‘Little Ceasers Pizzas for $5!’ And let’s face it, Bums don’t seem to be too picky on their wardrobe either. I just saw a guy on the corner wearing a t shirt which was held together by tape and what I can only guess to be some sort of binding chewing gum.

I can’t even begin to tell you how much excitement they both have too! I went running the other day, and as I passed two Bums sitting on the sidewalk, they cheered me on and gave me high fives when I passed them, as if I was running with the Olympic torch. You can’t teach that level of excitement! I don’t think I even have to tell you about the hypnotizing artistry that Sign Twirlers hold either. They go for hours at a time, flipping, dancing and smiling, all while hoping, you’ll pull aside to take advantage of the ‘Free Tax Assistance With H and R Block!”

Sure they both may be free spirited types, hating to be tied down to a schedule, or to have to listen to any sort of authority figure. And there’s a chance that they may or may not show up drunk, drugged, or maybe not even show up at all, I think that when they did decide to bring themselves in, there would be no limit to the creative quality of amazing feats of whatever work I have hired their soaring spirits to perform. All of this being said, I believe I have come to the conclusion, that, although I would be constantly entertained by my hiring choices, I probably should not own my own company.


  1. Sign Spinner 4 Life on Dec 11th, 2012, 4:58pm (Reply to this comment)

    I have gotta say your article was funny as hell man! As a professional sign spinner and coach, however, there are a few things I feel the need to clear up.

    #1 A “good” sign spinner is hard to find. I train them for a living, and new spinners come in and out the door almost weekly. It’s not that the pay is not good ($10 / hour starting), it’s just that it takes a self-motivated individual to withstand virtually any weather condition for long stretches of time, and to do so by themselves while also keeping a smile on their face. Also the learning curve on actual sign spinning tricks (above a basic spin) is steep and takes a lot of discipline. To illustrate my overall point: for a large campaign we once hired several people through a temp service to be sign “wavers” for the weekend. Left alone on the corner, we came back around to the numerous locations to find — the signs, and no trace of the people once holding them!

    #2 Appearance is EXTREMELY important in the company I work for (hint: it’s the world’s largest sign spinning company). Spinners are audited based on not only their interaction with the crowd and performing tricks, but also how clean and attractive their uniform and style is, down to details such as accessories (headphones, bracelets, sunglasses, even shoelaces).

    #3 You seem to suggest with a wink and a nod that sign spinners ‘performing’ is not actually art. I know it’s in good humour, but it’s also quite a bit condescending to the REAL sign spinners who dedicate their lives to street performance. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PhwF82TNk8M

    Again, hilarious article. Your pontifications about sign spinning are leavened by a good sense of humour about the people who actually do it. Sure, we are enthusiastic! Our jobs are really really fun, I mean, how many jobs let you work outside and make people smile for a living! I just hope my response gives someone a better understanding about what it takes to become a professional sign spinner.

    And as for the “bums” you speak of, I will let them defend themselves!


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