Waiting Men – Comfort #48LP

Posted on January 31, 2011


The city pays a man to stand there and wait for the buses. Some of his job duties include shifting uncomfortably, pacing back and forth, glancing at a wrist watch every five minutes, issuing heavy sighs when citizens pass, and asking these passing citizens if they know when the number seven is coming.  I’ve waited a long time, he tells them. He uses the same line over and over again.

This is not a labor intense job, but standing all day can cause lower back problems. This means the city pays for a fantastic healthcare plan for the waiting man, one that includes a Chinese Chiropractor.  The position is costly.  There were questions at first — whether the money might be better spent elsewhere. However, shortly after the waiting man was implemented at High and Broad, people found it comforting and agreed that it was a wise investment.  They enjoyed the thought that even though no one else might be waiting for anything in the city, the waiting man was.

The city has a less prestigious job for which they pay a man to hide in the bushes of the nearby park. As the bus passes, he runs wildly to catch it, yelling obscenities and jumping up and down, missing the bus by seconds. People are generally happy with this investment, too.  They know that they are on time to the bus stop. They are not left behind.  This feels nice to them and so the Mayor wins reelection.