Sunday, September 7, 2008

#2 Clipboards

Nothing is more underground than a summer job working for the environment.  While all your friends are getting their brains fried sitting in a cubicle working a 9-to-5, you can be out in the sunshine with a clipboard asking people if they give a damn about polar bears.  I read in a book that the average person standing on the corner asking for donations to a not-for-profit agency has a success rate of about 3%.  That's the success rate for charitable contributions to their cause.  The success rate for making people feel guilty about their daily lifestyle is much higher, somewhere around 83%.  

If you're going to look for one of these summer jobs for next season, there's a few things you have to keep in mind.  The first is that you can easily be fooled on college campuses by fliers promising summer jobs with great wages, about $500 per week.  Don't be fooled by these, they're probably painting jobs.  What you want is a job where you get paid on commission for getting donations that help save babies, polar bears, trees, or ice.  Second, grow dreadlocks.  Third, make sure that you have two or three good tag-lines ready to greet people as they walk by.  You'll be repeating this about 50 to 300 times per day depending on your location in the city so think of something that you won't get bored of repeating.  Good locations are in front of Powell's or Pioneer Courthouse Square, but an awesome location is 33rd and Hawthorne.  Those hippies won't see it coming...

With those things set, you're ready to start "clipboarding."  The secret is to talk to any person that makes eye contact with you.  If they've made eye contact, its their secret way of saying they have extra disposable income they would otherwise be spending on frapuccino's or Hummers.  Don't be afraid to start talking if a person is one or two blocks away, people are usually more willing to listen if they in a crosswalk avoiding the Streetcar or a bike rickshaw.

So have fun with your underground summer job.  And don't worry if someone ignores you when you ask them if they have a moment for the environment.  Just mentally give them the bird and tell yourself that at least you give a damn about a cause worth clipboarding for.  

1 comment:

Mary French said...

what if you are clipboarding for greenpeace and you come across a clipboarder from mercy corps who stole your corner? do you work together or begin a battle of wits? i say battle of wits because i'm sure neither clipboarder believes in physical violence.