Job situation

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What would you do if you desperately needed a job, and your only job prospect requires you to hang a sign around your neck and stand on a sidewalk for 30 mins each day - referred to as "curbside marketing" - as part of your daily job duties?

Please explain your response.

This is happening to me, and I'm not sure how I should feel about, but I know how I do feel about it.
More information about me:

Middle-aged, somewhat shy mother with grown children

College educated/graduate

Previously held a highly respected, well-paying position for several years

I think you see my point, at the risk of making myself look like a job snob. I wouldn't think twice about it if I were single, in my early 20s or younger, and still in college or high school.

I get that we sometimes have to do what we have to do to survive; I'd still like to hear others' opinions and suggestions for how to deal with the humiliation of having to do this every day.
I am sorry and do understand. Are there other skills you could get to land a better job? I would start looking to find something else.

I am guessing that you need the job. If you need it, I would suggest sucking it up and devoting your extra time to gaining the sills you need and getting involved with groups that allow you to use skills needed for a new job while interacting with others in your desired field.

I am in marketing communications, so if that is your field, I would be glad to help in any way I can. I also have spent the past four years in positions that literally made me sick. I actually quit my last job because it made me both physically and mentally sick that I had trouble eating and sleeping. I moved and found a great company and now have a great boss. But during the rough times, I took classes to improve my graphic design and web design skills, I volunteered for professional organizations, and cried to my family and friends and took a lot of mental health days.

Hang in there. Things have to get better.

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You're right; I need the job badly, so my intention is to just suck it up. I have no other form of income. I'm going back to college this spring to retrain in another field, but because I've exceeded the lifetime limit on federal undergrad student loans, I have to pay for everything myself, and private student loans are not an option, either.

This is the only employer who has not shown bias toward me as most others have for my long-term unemployed status and for my previous career and salary.

The position is as a customer service rep for a check cashing/loan business, and they task employees with all marketing, one method of which is the aforementioned "curbside marketing." I'm just wondering what others here would do if suddenly expected to perform this task - ideas to make it more bearable. I have no intention of being one of those guys who dances around, spinning the sign, looking like a clown. I wish I could adopt that devil-may-care attitude, but that's not who I am.
Second everything that Multicultcurly said.

I'm searching for a way to address what you describe as the humiliation and I'm not sure how to respond. I do totally understand, I want to make that clear. People used to be pilloried as a way to cause them shame and humiliation for having broken the law.

But in your case, you haven't done anything wrong or broken the law. You aren't hurting anyone, and you are doing what is necessary to survive, as you said. So, a part of me feels "Screw the world". Too bad if anyone looks down on you - it reflects on them, not on you.

Many people with disabilities, perceived imperfections, scars or just the sense that they are "different" feel humiliated. Many others, including myself at times feel humiliated by what our jobs require. For as long as you need to do this to survive, think of each minute as making you stronger, stronger, stronger. Harness some inner fierceness and hold your head high. You are tough and resilient. I admire you that you are "doing what needs to be done." You have courage, stamina and grit. More power to you!
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I just read your response to Multicultcurly where you said you just can't adopt a devil-may-care attitude, so I'm not sure my former post is of any help. So here's a different suggestion.

While you are out there, daydream as much as you can. Go to happy places mentally. Plan for a relaxing evening when you get home, think up small pleasures to reward yourself. Think of funny things that might give you a chuckle. Imagine you are in a play - this is all just an act and when you get home, you are yourself and don't have to act this part anymore.

Best of luck sweetie. I still think you are a warrior and I give you a lot of credit.
2/c and some 3A. Modified CG.
Protein sensitive
Highly porous. Color over grey.
Best 1st day method: Super Soaker
Conditioners: Curl Junkie Beauticurls Strengthening Conditioner,
Deep condish: Curl Junkie Curl Rehab
Stylers: Mix Curls in a Bottle into everything for shine. Terrible pj
Sometimes try roller sets - classic glamor but I prefer my curls.
Every day is a gift
Thanks for the words of encouragement, curlypearl and multicultcurly. I'm going to try. I am truly living a "beggars can't be choosers" life right now, and while I've already been profoundly humbled by my employment situation, the idea that I'm now relegated to swinging a sandwich board on the roadside makes me

I also have the added responsibility of providing an example of fortitude and perseverance for my kids.

With increasing poverty comes fewer and fewer choices.
curlypearl likes this.
Hm, I don't visit much, but the board seems slower than I remember. I was hoping for a little more input, with the usual variety of perspectives spanning from empathetic to unnecessary brutality. Looking around, I see fewer old, familiar names and less overall traffic. Maybe everyone's just busy with christmas activities?
I'm sorry to hear about your situation. That sounds very difficult, but you are doing what you must and that is admirable. Could you perhaps listen to music while you are working? I see a lot of people doing that, and dancing. I'd be too shy to dance but listening to inspirational music always helps me get out of a funk.

Are you on LInkedIn? I have friends that use it that say it is great for making connections and they get offers through the site.


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Put on your fiercest pair of sunglasses and some earphones and listen to something that motivates you and reaffirms who you are and the values you subscribe to as a person.

As far as I am concerned, we are always supposed to be humble! But we should not feel humiliated or defeated by this stuff. (My orientation might be different than yours so I don't want to push too many of my thoughts on you.)

And maybe talk to your supervisor and tell her/him that while you don't mind doing this part of your job, you think there would have to be someone w/ a personality better suited to this...that you can offer so much more in a different area.

((HUGS))
curlypearl likes this.
3b (with 3c tendencies) on modified CG

Some old members made a mass exodus a few months ago, so it isn't your imagination.

You have gotten good advice and seem to be doing what you need to do. Do you like the company you work for? I ask because similar to what Spiderlashes suggest, you may want to figure out ways to solve problems at work and make business better. If you're able to do this, you can quickly move out of that position onto something that may be better for your self esteem and resume.

Also, are you able to volunteer in your field? It's unpaid work, but will help to get you noticed and look good on your resume. Unfortunately, nowadays you always have to show how you add value in order to get ahead and stay employable.

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I'm sorry to hear about your situation. That sounds very difficult, but you are doing what you must and that is admirable. Could you perhaps listen to music while you are working? I see a lot of people doing that, and dancing. I'd be too shy to dance but listening to inspirational music always helps me get out of a funk.

Are you on LInkedIn? I have friends that use it that say it is great for making connections and they get offers through the site.
Originally Posted by mustangbunny
Yes, my current plan of attack includes sunglasses and music (but, like you, no dancing!) I have been on LinkedIn for years, with no hits, but my previous career is a distant memory now anyway.

Put on your fiercest pair of sunglasses and some earphones and listen to something that motivates you and reaffirms who you are and the values you subscribe to as a person.

Sunglasses will be worn without a doubt!

As far as I am concerned, we are always supposed to be humble! But we should not feel humiliated or defeated by this stuff. (My orientation might be different than yours so I don't want to push too many of my thoughts on you.)

And maybe talk to your supervisor and tell her/him that while you don't mind doing this part of your job, you think there would have to be someone w/ a personality better suited to this...that you can offer so much more in a different area.

((HUGS))
Originally Posted by spiderlashes5000
As with everything, there are various degrees of humility, and while I believe I was relatively humble yet somewhat proud of what I had accomplished in my life, I am humbled to the point of having lost a great deal of self-confidence and self-worth and my priorities have definitely reorganized.

What I didn't clarify is that I don't have the job yet; this is the only employer out of the dozens of positions to which I have applied who has even granted me an interview - two interviews, actually. And, both interviews went so well, the district manager told me on Monday that he was going to call me with an offer...yesterday. Yesterday came and went with no word from him, so now I'm worried. Maybe this is a self-fulfilling prophecy in effect. But, both he and the store manager where I'd be working reiterated that daily marketing is one of the employee tasks that cannot be avoided, and they both asked me in no uncertain terms if I was willing to do it--what could I say? I desperately need the job for the income and to enable me to go back to school. Initially I felt that 30 minutes wasn't that long, but then I began to imagine myself in that moment, and I began to question whether or not I could do it.

Some old members made a mass exodus a few months ago, so it isn't your imagination.

You have gotten good advice and seem to be doing what you need to do. Do you like the company you work for? I ask because similar to what Spiderlashes suggest, you may want to figure out ways to solve problems at work and make business better. If you're able to do this, you can quickly move out of that position onto something that may be better for your self esteem and resume.

Also, are you able to volunteer in your field? It's unpaid work, but will help to get you noticed and look good on your resume. Unfortunately, nowadays you always have to show how you add value in order to get ahead and stay employable.

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Originally Posted by multicultcurly
Interesting about the mass exodus! To where? I'm sure there's an interesting, or at least amusing, story behind it.

Volunteering is not an option for a few different reasons, but it is a great suggestion.

Thanks, ladies, for taking the time to respond!

What I really want to know is would each of you be able to suck it up and stand on the sidewalk with a sign around your neck?

I'm not sure what the expectation is of us during the 30 minutes. Am I supposed to do something other than just stand there? Because if not, why not just put out a sandwich board all day (and believe me, I will ask this question if given the opportunity). It seems this position has been available forever, and this may be why.
I'm sorry to hear about your situation. That sounds very difficult, but you are doing what you must and that is admirable. Could you perhaps listen to music while you are working? I see a lot of people doing that, and dancing. I'd be too shy to dance but listening to inspirational music always helps me get out of a funk.

Are you on LInkedIn? I have friends that use it that say it is great for making connections and they get offers through the site.
Originally Posted by mustangbunny
Yes, my current plan of attack includes sunglasses and music (but, like you, no dancing!) I have been on LinkedIn for years, with no hits, but my previous career is a distant memory now anyway.

Put on your fiercest pair of sunglasses and some earphones and listen to something that motivates you and reaffirms who you are and the values you subscribe to as a person.

Sunglasses will be worn without a doubt!

As far as I am concerned, we are always supposed to be humble! But we should not feel humiliated or defeated by this stuff. (My orientation might be different than yours so I don't want to push too many of my thoughts on you.)

And maybe talk to your supervisor and tell her/him that while you don't mind doing this part of your job, you think there would have to be someone w/ a personality better suited to this...that you can offer so much more in a different area.

((HUGS))
Originally Posted by spiderlashes5000
As with everything, there are various degrees of humility, and while I believe I was relatively humble yet somewhat proud of what I had accomplished in my life, I am humbled to the point of having lost a great deal of self-confidence and self-worth and my priorities have definitely reorganized.

What I didn't clarify is that I don't have the job yet; this is the only employer out of the dozens of positions to which I have applied who has even granted me an interview - two interviews, actually. And, both interviews went so well, the district manager told me on Monday that he was going to call me with an offer...yesterday. Yesterday came and went with no word from him, so now I'm worried. Maybe this is a self-fulfilling prophecy in effect. But, both he and the store manager where I'd be working reiterated that daily marketing is one of the employee tasks that cannot be avoided, and they both asked me in no uncertain terms if I was willing to do it--what could I say? I desperately need the job for the income and to enable me to go back to school. Initially I felt that 30 minutes wasn't that long, but then I began to imagine myself in that moment, and I began to question whether or not I could do it.

Some old members made a mass exodus a few months ago, so it isn't your imagination.

You have gotten good advice and seem to be doing what you need to do. Do you like the company you work for? I ask because similar to what Spiderlashes suggest, you may want to figure out ways to solve problems at work and make business better. If you're able to do this, you can quickly move out of that position onto something that may be better for your self esteem and resume.

Also, are you able to volunteer in your field? It's unpaid work, but will help to get you noticed and look good on your resume. Unfortunately, nowadays you always have to show how you add value in order to get ahead and stay employable.

Sent from my HTCEVOV4G using CurlTalk App
Originally Posted by multicultcurly
Interesting about the mass exodus! To where? I'm sure there's an interesting, or at least amusing, story behind it.

Volunteering is not an option for a few different reasons, but it is a great suggestion.

Thanks, ladies, for taking the time to respond!

What I really want to know is would each of you be able to suck it up and stand on the sidewalk with a sign around your neck?

I'm not sure what the expectation is of us during the 30 minutes. Am I supposed to do something other than just stand there? Because if not, why not just put out a sandwich board all day (and believe me, I will ask this question if given the opportunity). It seems this position has been available forever, and this may be why.
Originally Posted by CurlXTCee
What bothers you the most about this? Friends seeing you and teasing you? The money being inadequate? Feeling you have lost your professional edge?

I have had to endure a lot of frustrating, demoralizing stuff in the name of keeping a roof over my head. So yes, I most likely could suck it up and make it work.

I still frequently have to remind myself of a great quote I read from Denzel Washington, "Sometimes you do things you have to do so you can do the things you want to do." And Philippians 4:13 "I can do all things thru Christ who strengthens me."
3b (with 3c tendencies) on modified CG

Spiderlashes5000, I don't know how else to answer except to say that at my age, as hard as I've worked, and after what I've accomplished, to now have to stand on the sidewalk holding a sign around my neck for money is humiliating - just everything about that scenario is humiliating. Among other things, it screams "FAILURE!" "LOSER!"

I really don't think my feelings about it are unreasonable, inappropriate, or unusual.

The store manager is also a woman, somewhat younger than me but probably in her mid-late 30s. She assured me that we would work as a team and that everything she did, I would do, and vice versa. I took that to mean that she, too, would share the curbside marketing task equally - I got the impression that it is always a sticking point for new hires. If she is indeed being honest about that, I think that will make it manageable for me. I really need to talk more with her about it.

That's a great quote, but I feel like I've already spent a lifetime doing things I had to do - I feel like I've paid my dues. Not that I think we're ever completely finished doing things we need to do, but I wouldn't expect to slide this far backward at this stage in my life. Regarding Christ - I hope you're right. Thank you for your words of encouragement.

But first, I need to get the job. I'm getting a bad feeling. I just sent an email to the district manager to hopefully gently nudge him along.
Spiderlashes5000, I don't know how else to answer except to say that at my age, as hard as I've worked, and after what I've accomplished, to now have to stand on the sidewalk holding a sign around my neck for money is humiliating - just everything about that scenario is humiliating. Among other things, it screams "FAILURE!" "LOSER!"

I really don't think my feelings about it are unreasonable, inappropriate, or unusual.

The store manager is also a woman, somewhat younger than me but probably in her mid-late 30s. She assured me that we would work as a team and that everything she did, I would do, and vice versa. I took that to mean that she, too, would share the curbside marketing task equally - I got the impression that it is always a sticking point for new hires. If she is indeed being honest about that, I think that will make it manageable for me. I really need to talk more with her about it.

That's a great quote, but I feel like I've already spent a lifetime doing things I had to do - I feel like I've paid my dues. Not that I think we're ever completely finished doing things we need to do, but I wouldn't expect to slide this far backward at this stage in my life. Regarding Christ - I hope you're right. Thank you for your words of encouragement.

But first, I need to get the job. I'm getting a bad feeling. I just sent an email to the district manager to hopefully gently nudge him along.
Originally Posted by CurlXTCee
I understand your feelings about a job like that. I would feel as you do. I have been rejected from four jobs this year that I was really well qualified for. It's extremely disheartening.

When I've been crunched for money I've considered Amazon's Mechanical Turk. I have a friend who makes some money that way. I've never gone through with it because I don't have enough time but it might ease your burden a little bit.

Your situation is not easy and I wish there was something more that I could do for you. I will send good thoughts and prayers your way.


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Thanks, mustangbunny! I'll take all the help I can get.

I have no idea what a Mechanical Turk is, but I'll research it!

The district manager responded and just said:

"LOL, I'm having technical issues. It may not be until Monday."

I'm really not sure what to make of this response, but it doesn't inspire confidence. Since I didn't hear from him again and it's now after 5pm, I fear it's going to be a long, anxious weekend. You have a great one, though. :-)
I really don't understand the appeal of curbside marketing unless it is a fund raising car wash or some other type of limited/special event. Simply placing a board outside would seem better to me. It's not moving around, people can read it easier, etc.

That said, I would absolutely do it for 30 minutes a day. A job is a job, and they all typically involve some type of task that gets under your skin. *Plus, I was taught to never look down at any job or anyone doing that job because you never know when you might be on that end of it. I live in a rural area and most jobs are what some would consider menial labor* 30 minutes out of so many hours is not bad, though. It could be much worse. 4 or 5 hours of curbside marketing alone.

Stroll around a little, listen to music, get some fresh air, and be done with it.

I wish you luck. Even if it is not your ideal job, it will at least pay some bills. I sincerely hope you hear back from them.
curlypearl likes this.
When I hear terms like "hipster" I think, who told cliques they could leave high school??


Last edited by Fifi.G; 12-27-2013 at 07:14 PM.
30 minutes isn't as bad as doing it for hours. Think of this job as temporary. This also the holiday season, so employers are all over the place with hiring.

If you don't mind my asking, what field were you in before and what field are you trying to break into? Is there no longer work in your old field? Do you think it was just your age that prevented you from getting other interviews or also outdated skills? I know those are a lot of personal questions, but maybe that may help us give you more useful information.

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^ No it isn't. We only have one business in my town that uses curbside marketing. No one outside of school/church/kids groups or fire departments has ever used it before. This guy in his 20's jumps around for hours on end. I am always thinking of how exhausted he must be. That or he has to be Tigger reincarnated. He always makes me a smile a little, though. Very cheery.

The odd thing is, the business is an insurance company. It's not like people say... Ah, it's 12pm! Time for my insurance break.
When I hear terms like "hipster" I think, who told cliques they could leave high school??

I do know how you feel. I had to wear a hat during my in between jobs as a teller. Believe me it was not easy wearing that red hat Christmas week. I felt dumb and stupid. However, all the other tellers while they made a bit of fun of wearing the hat, did not seem to have my inner bitterness. Something clicked that made it bearable for me. I figured I wasn't the only one, they weren't bitter so I wasn't going to be either.

Then after I got a "real" job, I had to make marketing calls to help the call center at my job. I felt yet again stupid and that I was downgrading my skills. Again, I was not singled out. However, while I did end up having to make some calls, I made sure my sentiments were heard. When they asked me to sit at the receptionist desk I pretty much sabotaged the whole thing. They didn't ask me again to be the receptionist. However, I do not recommend this option. I knew how to deal my cards and while it worked for me at the time, this won't work for a new person.

If you are offered the job as an alternative to nothing, i definitely would suck it up and take the job. They will hopefully see you can do other tasks. It sounds like you have the managers sympathy. When you see everyone else doing it, you will make fun of yourself too.

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