Thursday, December 3, 2009

A Job In The Hand Is Worth Two In The Bush…

One thing I've noticed this Christmas Carriage Driving Season is the increase in the numbers of "Street Performers" out early this year. I guess it's a sign of the economic times. Usually the people who position themselves around Temple Square, playing holiday songs on an instrument and setting out a kettle for spare change appear much closer to Christmas. This past weekend, besides Patrick, who is out year round sitting on the sidewalk playing Mormon hymns on a harmonica (badly) I witnessed the following:

Jason, bagpipe player (an a good one, too) decked out in his Kilt, socks with Scottish garters, Santa coat and hat. Okay, he's a regular and occasionally comes out the rest of the year.

A girl playing Christmas carols on a violin.

A young man singing acapella.

Three middle school aged boys playing band instruments (Sax, trumpet, trombone).

A twenties-something boy and girl on guitar and vocals.

A woman and her two children displaying religious themed artwork (pencil sketches).

I see this as an indication that folks are struggling. And I know how tough it is out there because I've spent the past month helping The Kid carpet bomb local businesses with job applications. She applied, and applied, and applied and got zip.

Then a shoe store hired her— for part-time temporary seasonal help.

Part-Time Temporary Seasonal?

Yes, that means she was hired to work Black Friday.

She was hired to work one day.

So she took that job, worked that day, and returned to "Hunting" mode. Although they did inquire if she was interested in working more. She said yes. They never called.
She got a call from a restaurant the Sunday before Thanksgiving, went in for an interview, and figured she didn't get the job. Last Saturday I got a call, she was hired on as a hostess.

So, YAY!

She worked Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Before work on Wednesday we stopped by the shoe store to return a nametag and marker she mistakenly taken home with her.
The manager said, "Why are you bringing these back? Didn't we hire you on?"

She said, "No one called me."

So now she's working at the shoe store on Friday, again, and is going to have a talk with the manager about exactly what he means by "Hired on." Hired on temporarily, to be let go in January, or Hired On as in "you now have a job" hired on. Then she has to decide which job she wants to keep. Because she's not working them both. Because I won't let her. She still needs to be a teenager once in a while.

So I know how hard it is out there, and I hope that the folks who are circling the downtown area trying to scrape together some spare change by performing can get a little love. The time The Kid played seasonal music on her clarinet she did it for funzies— although she did rake in $11.00.

The only problem I see is this: If she keeps the Hostess job she needs a pair of black flip flops (which they wear with white socks to give impression they are sporting traditional Zōri sandals along with their "Kimono" which is NOT really a Kimono but a robe) and finding black flip flops, or ANY kind of flip flop in December in Utah?

Not much chance of that.


Texanne said...

White socks and black flip flops? And I ridicule my hubby for wearing black sock with his cargo shorts. You might be able to order some flip flops from Australia or South Africa. It's summer there now.

And, like you, I hope the street performers can offer some spirit and receive some love this year.

Is The Kid even old enough to work? Ours won't be till March, but she's not driving yet. Just not that interested. Yow.

Once Upon an Equine said...

Do flip flops go out of season? ;-) I saw a teenager wearing flip flops last night with snow on the ground and the temp was -5 at my house by 9pm.

Times sound tough. Glad your kid has a couple job options. I'd love to see the bagpiper in Santa hat and coat. (Will he let you take his picture?) I'm a sucker for a man in a kilt.

In one of your posts you asked what topics folks would like you to write about. I'd like to hear how you got into driving horses and what you did to gain skills and confidence.

Lisa Deon said...


The Kid turned 16 at the end of October. Talk about making a person feel old...Nothing like watching your baby drive off to work. In your car...

OUAE; Apparently while flip flops don't go out of fashion they do out of season. At least at my local Wal-Mart.

And it's probably a moot point because she likes the shoe store job better and if they offer her a part time non-seasonal job she's going with them.

I'm sure Jason would allow me to take his photo, it all comes down to timing. We all seem to be on the street at the same time and it would be difficult for me to run down the block to snap a pic. I might be able to do it on dec. 12, as I have that evening off and plan on going to South Gate to 1) give pee breaks and 2) bring the drivers a hot meal (what, as yet, to be determined). Two years ago on Christmas Eve one of the married driving pairs brought Shepherds Pie and handed it out and it was the most wonderful thing I have ever eaten. Of course it could have been because 1) it was unexpected 2) it was hot, brown and there was plenty of it and 3) I was miserable, cold and feeling very sorry for myself because my family was out of town for the Holidays and I was working Christmas Eve and Christmas day.

I'd like to hear how you got into driving horses and what you did to gain skills and confidence.

That's an interesting idea. I will think on it.

Write One said...

slavedriver-- as usual, i enjoyed your post. keep on keeping on.