The ongoing push to automate and computerize nearly job possible now apparently threatens the living of “sign spinners” and “sign dancers” who spend their day on street corners, twirling and tossing signs up into the air to draw attention to insurance agents, beauty salons and other businesses. On Whittier Boulevard in East Los Angeles, resident and Eastsider contributor C.J. Salgado spotted an automated sign-spinning robot employed to promote an insurance company. Could this mean an end to the human sign spinners of Whittier Boulevard? Says Salgado:
Last year, various businesses like auto insurance firms on the boulevard employed “sign dancers” to promote their services and products.On the intersection of Whittier and Atlantic Boulevards, for example, sometimes you would see two or three shaking their stuff at once. I felt for them because it was surely hard work, there in the hot sun for hours doing a peculiar sort of Gangnam style-dances that didn’t seem to pay well. But, I thought, at least they had a job.
Nowadays, those courageous dancers have been largely replaced by motorized mannequins! Wow, what’s a poor fellow or gal to do these days to get a semi-decent job? Now, that’s a tough economy!
You can buy a battery-powered, sign-spinning mannequin on ebay for about $800. One company said a robotic sign twirler is “never late and never complains” and replaces “lazy, incompetent sign spinners”