It is tax time in Texas once again! If the forms from your bank or employer failed to remind you, then maybe the wild and crazy guy dressed like Uncle Sam or the Statue of Liberty on the side of the road did. Every year around tax time, costumed attention getters wave signs, dance merrily, and generally act loony-tunes in order to attract attention for certain tax assistance businesses. Who are these people?
Tim Kelly is one of these people, but his attitude represents many of these performers in Texas and across the country, stating, “Once you get out there, you really enjoy it. You’ve kind of got a captive audience and you just have fun with it.”
Workers generally start at the first of the year and do their thing until tax filing day. Shifts are typically four hours in length, with some short breaks. Each worker has their own set of moves and approach to the work. Kelly uses standard moves for certain folks, like a respectful bow to police officers or a crazy dance for young adults. Like many public workers he has also had his share of harassment and abuse.
While the work can seem mundane and even unimportant, there are moments of pure joy and importance. For example, one time Kelly was working a woman drove up to him with tears in her eyes and told him that his joyful, playful approach made her smile on an otherwise horrible day.
In spite of the physical effort, extreme temperatures, and general instability of the work, Kelly still relishes his work, even at age 50. He sums up his eight years of dressing like the Statue of Liberty, stating, “It’s been one of those jobs that has brought me a lot of joy.”
Source: Daily Herald
Image Source: Ralph Barrera/Austin American-Statesman