By now you’ve probably heard the incredibly story of Ted Williams, America’s favorite homeless person. Alcohol, drugs, and “a few other things” eventually led to Ted’s unfortunate situation, but he was blessed with a golden radio voice that is comparable to a mix of Jesus and Frank Sinatra.
Passing cars would pay a scary looking Ted to drop some radio magic, which eventually was recorded and went viral. Job offers poured in for Ted after an interview on NBC’s “Today Show”, including rumored offers and interest with the Cleveland Cavaliers, The NFL, MTV, and others. Good for you Ted, good for you!
Poor Tommy Boy
Now on to the unfortunate story of Tommy Elwell, an unemployed man from St Cloud, MN. Tommy has nearly 5 years of sports writing under his belt, and a 2-year degree in Sales, Marketing, and Management. He’s smart, innovate, edgy, and extremely brave, which you’ll clearly see from what I’m about to tell you next.
On January 10th, 2011, Tommy fancied himself up in a suit, created a sign to wear over his professional attire stating his unemployment, printed out a number of resumes, and then walked through The Minneapolis Skyway System (an enclosed pedestrian footbridge that connects various buildings).
Before I tell you the unfortunate ending to his brilliant idea, watch an excited Tommy as his adventure begins…
So, what was the outcome? Tommy was told to leave by a security guard at the City Center building. Prior to the bouncing of Tommy, he was successful in handing out a whopping two resumes. When I asked Tommy about the experience, this is what he told me:
I thought I would go out on a limb and try something drastic and out of the ordinary to help my job search. Along with handing out a couple resumes I got lot’s of funny looks, laughs, and a few people saying “that is brilliant”. After being asked to leave I was more annoyed than mad because I was not bugging anyone, I was not panhandling, and I only talked to people who talked to me. I guess that is how you get treated for going out on a limb on your job search.
As Tommy departed from the Skyway System, he created his very own exit interview video…
Tommy looked professional, had a positive outlook, and didn’t have a scary homeless blowout hairstyle like Ted Williams. What gives, America?
We preach that innovation in the job search helps seekers stand out, but instances like this are demoralizing and shut down more creative ideas from forming. Tommy wasn’t bothering anyone, and only spoke to those who engaged him. A job search is about creating attention, and Tommy’s short-lived campaign did just that.
I understand buildings have rules, but security could have handled this situation differently. Along with patting down Tommy to make sure he’s not carrying anything dangerous, they could have insisted he kept moving in the same path down the Sky System. I think that would have been e a nice little compromise for Tommy boy. He gets to walk through all 7 miles of the Sky System and have short conversations with interested pedestrians, and security can feel they did a great job making their building feel safe.
What do you think?
- How do you feel about Tommy’s job search campaign?
- Would he be better off walking down a busy street with his sign?
- Are you brave enough to pull this off?
More on Tommy
Tommy’s dream is to become a beat writer for a MLB or NHL team. He’d also love to get into public relations or media relations. You can contact Tommy on Twitter @Izzy_Presley.