It takes a village, or so I’ve been told.
While recently out very early in Rockefeller Plaza I saw the crew setting up for the Today Show on NBC. They were all there; all the major players: the light operator, the sound engineer, the camera crew, the assistant director, the gaffer…the…sign and marker salesman. Ugh! I thought, just like New Yorkers; we’ve always got to capitalize on everything. There are so many enthusiastic tourists here to see the show for what it is that’s going on today and of course some slime ball New Yorker has got to come out and exploit them! Perfect!
The wife and I went down to the concourse level of Rockefeller Center and when we alighted, I had cooled off a bit. She’d put it all into perspective for me when she said,
“Well they want people to have signs. What if Al came out and there were just…people.”
Whatever, why should I care about how other people spend their money? After all, if I had thought of it first, I’d probably be doing the same thing. We made our way to the soon to be lit Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree and navigated our way around back to the plaza level where the broadcast had already begun. Matt Lauer was on the big screens and was at the same time through the glass. This guy was still there; I’d heard him both times.
“Poster board and markers for signs for sale!” he called out.
He sounded almost apathetic. Why wouldn’t he get into it, I wondered. I mean this is probably his only gig, he probably works two or three hours a day and he probably cleans up! He should totally get into it!
I had to get a look at this guy and see just who had come up with the idea of selling markers and poster board at the Today Show in New York City. There he is! What do you know, this guy is a…union guy? He had a “Local” sweatshirt on, a tousled mustache, and a lanyard with an ID card? What?
You mean this is a union gig? You mean this guy works for NBC? Unbelievable that corporate America strikes again, this time in keeping the street seller off the market. All of the sudden I’d wished this guy had been a huckster, a shyster, some sly fox on the prowl. Not a guy from the Local! At least if he had been his own man that would have shown me that industry was still alive in America. GE doesn’t need any more of your money.
Next time you’re in Manhattan early in the morning and you want to head over to the Today Show, do yourself a favor and bring your own markers and poster board.