Monday, October 12, 2009


It's been almost three months since I started working for the Grand Rapids Housing Commission. And, I must say, it's going really well. I love the people I work with, as well as the work that I'm doing. My work doesn't feel empty day in and day out. I feel like I'm actually making a difference in people's lives, and that's a very good feeling to have.

Speaking of making a difference in people's lives, there's someone who's making a difference in mine. I don't know his name, but nearly every day I drive past him. He stands on the corner of Burton and Eastern in Grand Rapids with a sign for Happy's Pizza. Now, I don't really like Happy's Pizza that much (in fact, I think Pizza places should be limited to...well...Pizza and subs/grinders...and simple Italian dishes...Happy's menu has everything...but that's for another day), but this guy makes me smile. He has what most would consider a boring, uneventful job. I know I would HATE standing on the corner with sign that says, "2 large pizzas $10.99" (and I would hate it even more to have to dress up like the Statue of Liberty at tax time and wave people in to get their taxes done). But this guy gets it done. Rain or shine, there he is. And he doesn't just stand and wave. No, this guy gets into his job. He paces back and forth around the corner of this busy intersection and dances and sings (or raps...I can't be sure because I can't actually hear him...I just see him mouthing words). And, he does this for hours on end I would assume. He's taken a job that most of us would hate and made it fun. He's passionate about it. He doesn't care what people are thinking. He just unashamedly draws attention to himself so that his audience...the cars driving by...will hopefully go to Happy's Pizza. I have the fortune of having some really good employees that work for me, but if I'm ever in a spot to hire someone, I want to hire this guy because of the energy he pours into his job. Not only does he make me smile when I see him, but he encourages me to live not just go through the motions.

So, here's to you, "guy that dances and sings on the corner of Burton and Eastern" have single-handedly revolutionized your line of work.


Evan Koons said...

That guy IS awesome! I keep wondering why no one beats him up...and then I think to myself, "maybe that's just the evil voice in my head that stops me from doing courageous/off-the-wall things because I think someone will surely beat me up for it."

So, I've made a decision: I'm going to go beat that guy up. :)

Thanks for writing.

Anonymous said...

Jake-just came across this post.. I actually know this guy, this Happys Pizza dancing guy.. IF you do get the opportunity to hire any new employees, i promise you would not be disappointed. He's had some bad luck but always seems to make the best of it and keeps trying to better himself. Any ways, like your blog.. let me know if you'd like to get in touch with him.

GottaLoveIt said...

Hi Jake, give him an application for the custodial position. We could use someone with that energy at the Mount!