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Sign waver at liberty to work legally in Manteca

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Sign waver at liberty to work legally in Manteca

Alex Clausen works to attract the attention of motorists at the corner of Louise Avenue and Main Street. in Manteca He has been dressing up as the Statue of Liberty to attract business for the near...


POSTED March 1, 2013 12:56 a.m.

Alex Clausen used to be illegal.

Well, in his work capacity at least.

With a flowing green toga and a set of liberty spikes atop his head, Clausen waves to traffic at Manteca’s busiest intersection in an attempt to draw them in to Liberty Tax Service – a clever attempt to use the Statue of Liberty to advertise the business during its busiest time of the year.

Just recently the Manteca City Council made it legal for human signs like Clausen to wave to traffic as long as they take out a city permit and follow certain regulations. Some businesses, however, would still like to see the practice outlawed.

The Bulletin caught up with Clausen during his four-hour shift to find out what it’s like to spend your days trying to attract traffic:

What do you like most about your job?

“Being able to attract the attention of the customers. I point at them and then they point back and there’s a little bit of a connection there – they know what I’m out there and hopefully they’ll come back and get their taxes done.

What’s the hardest part?

“Standing. I’ll be out here for an hour or so before I go back inside for a quick break, but it’s a long time on my feet. I normally work for three or four hours depending on the schedule. Comfortable shoes help, but you get a little bit of backache walking back and forth. It’s nothing that I can’t handle.”

Are people ever rude to you as they pass by? Do you ever get any negative or rude comments?

“Actually a lot of people come by and ask if they’re hiring. They want to know how much I get paid an hour and whether we have any positions available. Sometimes people will yell things and I just laugh – I know that I look ridiculous out here.”

Was it difficult to find a job in the current economy?

“I’ve been looking ever since I moved to Manteca from Weston Ranch four years ago. I’m still working on my high school diploma, so it’s difficult to find a place that will hire you without one. Fortunately Liberty Tax Service is very cool about that.”

What do you enjoy about living in the Central Valley?

“I live a on the other side of town near a church and it’s pretty far away from major intersections like this. You don’t get all of the noises that you get standing out here all day. I’m not much of a city person, so it’s nice to have some quiet every once in a while.”

If you could pick a new job to start tomorrow, what would you like to do?

“I wouldn’t mind being one of the people in a moving crew. Helping people move out of their house and lifting things from one place to another – it’s something that I think I could pretty good at. It seems like hard work but I could pick it up really easy.”

Favorite type of soda?

“Dr. Pepper. I used to like root beer when I was a kid, but I think that I kind of outgrew that.”

You work across the street from the Little Ceasars sign-flipper. Do you guys ever chat?

“I had one person come over and talk to me – wanted to know how the job was going and stuff like that. It was pretty cool. That was probably a month ago. Other than that we just kind of do our own thing on opposite corners.”

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