This will never become a book.

2012 May 13 Sunday

Will Work For T-Shirt

Filed under: life — kdefg @ 23:53

Right now, I am wearing a T-shirt with the G4 television logo on the back.  The front is a splash image for their show “American Ninja Warrior”.  I did not buy this shirt, but I “earned” it.  It was a give-away, what they call “swag” in some circles, and my wardrobe is filled with such items.

I have T-shirts that no longer fit me, stored away in boxes and at the bottom of drawers, kept simply because the artwork represents a memory.  Several of them were given to me in exchange for some act of brand loyalty; others were handed out as prizes.  My most recent addition was swag from a live event at Alcatraz island, courtesy of Ford; it was part of a larger campaign, but the event was a game that only a limited number of people could play. It is in this sense that I earned them, as payment for time gladly spent on an activity that I enjoyed, and gladly wore them with pride in my involvement.

Other shirts were given to me in exchange for my time, both paid and unpaid, but with the expectation that I would wear them and continue their marketing effort with free advertising.  Some came to me from people who attended a trade show or convention, and I use those as work shirts or (depending on the size) to sleep in.

During one period of my life, I was exploring alternative work opportunities, and I was recruited by a talent agency.  The “acting” gig was really a product demonstration shift in a department store; the product was the newly-introduced Swiffer® Sweeper(tm).  To look like an official company spokesperson, they gave me a bright-lime-green polo shirt with the Swiffer logo.  I got paid for two days at minimum wage, and I got to keep the shirt (plus 100 dust wipes!).  After only once or twice through the laundry, the logo faded and the fabric was scratchy.  I never wore it again.

Now I find myself on unemployment again.  I hope to never be desperate enough to ever do product demonstrations again — even for a free T-shirt.

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