Hypothetical question of the day: The PoPville Jobs Program

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If you’ve been watching television for the past two nights, you’ve probably seen dozens of politicians talking about jobs. Jobs, jobs, jobs. Not to make light of our economic woes, but listening to this rhetoric, you’d think that the answer to everything is to utter the word “JOBS!”

What is the answer to our dependence on foreign oil. “JOBS!”

What’s the cure for cancer? “JOBS!”

How do we find Moammar Gadhafi? “JOBS!”

What is 13 Down in the New York Times Sunday crossword puzzle? “JOBS!”

What do we do about unemployment? “JOBS!”

So with all this talk about jobs, I’d like to pose a hypothetical question.

If the President came to you to lead the PoPville Jobs Program–which provided funding for ONE job that you could use to do anything in our fair city–what would it be? One job to improve life in our fair city?

(Of course, nothing says government program than having a staff person hired to manage one job–but let’s look beyond that.)

You could answer by thinking of something practical like hiring a crossing guard outside of a senior center–or you could hire someone to cut the lawns at vacant property on your block (my personal choice).

Or perhaps you’d rather hire someone to correct the grammar and spelling on corner store signage.

Your choice.

So share your ideas for the ONE job in the PoPville jobs program. What should it be?

79 Comment

  • Sidewalk biker assassin.

  • Police Officer to ticket everyone and anyone that blocks the box of all intersections…but mostly MD and VA drivers.

  • ew toll operator-collecting tolls into DC during rush hour.

  • pablo .raw

    “Escalator Side Enforcer” Someone whose duty is to keep the left side of the escalators open at the Metro Station. If he/she gives tickets to people standing on the left side, then the job will pay for itself and who knows!? maybe it will pay for fixing the broken escalators also.

  • Batman. The hero our city needs.

  • Undercover Cab Slapper. Duties include: Slapping all cabbies that refuse to go to certain parts of town, lock doors when they hear NE/SE, or violate any other regulations. The Cab Slapper will NOT work for the DC cab commission…for obvious reasons.

  • lazy person enforcer…make all the people on my block who don’t work ever but still keep the lights on to go and do something for the neighborhood (trash pick up, tree trimming, graffiti removal) to earn their Gov’t paychecks.

  • Old person harrasment specialist – specifically in the field of harrasing people older than 65 who still work, but don’t need to, simply do it because they are bored.

    Seriously fogies you’ve had a good run. Actively employed your entire life, compiled a heathly pile of retirement loot, its someone else turn and time for you to find your pasture somehwere in FL to graze in.

    The ROI is pretty good, for every one person you harass into retirement, atleast one job is created somewhere down the employment line. A job that creates many more jobs, and by create I mean free up for someone else to have.

    Step one: Berate old person into retiring.
    Step two: Unemployed person gets job
    Step three: profit

    • Batman would stop this old person harasser.

    • You sir (anon) have just been recommended for a Nobel prize in economics. Why didn’t we all think of this?

      • Brilliant idea. I have been wondering about this myself. They keep saying we are not going to have enough workers to support the baby boomers in retirement. But doesn’t that mean we are going to have tons of jobs as these folks retire/die off?

        • they’re not going to retire, their retirement accounts just took a beating… not to mention, this is rude. i hope someone above 65 tells you where to go. that’s the best part about getting older. being able to tell off youngsters like you without batting an eye.

    • And you will get old and fogy someday(if you are lucky enough), Shall we all slap you then?
      You sound like a clueless arrogant and rude citizen,from which there is noguarranty you will ever grow out of.

      But…wait…there is more ….


      Have a great weekend everybody!

      • BRAVO…

        I once knew a man who worked until he was 97 and he never missed a day and he smoke a pack a day.

        He certainly worked harder than any of the young ones hanging in front the liquor stores on GA Ave and I suspect harder than A-NON would.

        No one needs to stop working for someone who can’t find work. Get off the blog and go look for a job.

        • you go Frankie !

        • I think the comment was tongue and cheek folks. Let’s settle down a little here. I am not sure we are actually advocating against pushing people out of the workforce. Now suspending their right to drive, that is another story.

  • “seat warmer” – holds a spot for your friends at 11 st. bars on weekend nights while scaring away suburban infiltrators

  • Litter eradicator. I’d prefer if they could make all litter return to whoever threw it out, to follow them about like a litter meteor shower or the dye behind the kid who peed in the pool, but alas, I don’t think m’Lord is endowing our employees with superpowers. Pretty please?

  • I love the Undercover Cab Slapper. +1000

  • Professional common sense dispenser to provide answers to some of the questions that people send into PoP.

  • Hire someone to randomly ride the metro handing out tickets to people eating/drinking/playing audible music.

    Create some jobs while helping to close the WMATA budget gap.

    • Speaking of audible music on the metro and buses – do these people ALL have the crappiest of crappy headphones? I cannot believe how much music I hear coming out of headsets. Have done experiments with my headphones, and some friend’s – even cranked up, can’t hear it. So WTF is up with almost everyone else???

  • DC needs more rat catchers. A roaming sidewalk expresso vendor who also offers whole grain blueberry muffins, fruit salad and cheddar egg spinach wraps. Someone to sweep up the trash around the Petworth Metro and neighborhood churches early on Sunday mornings. More swimming instructors, have you tried to get your kid into a DCJCC or a DC Rec swimming class lately?

    • Um, I just signed my kid up last night for the JCC swim class that starts tomorrow. But he’s under 3, so maybe the classes for older kids fill up faster?

    • For a moment I thought that you wanted combination rat catchers/sidewalk vendors, and I was shuddering at the thought of rats transformed into snack food.

  • One person vested with theower to fire any and every underperforming employee in the DC government, starting with the head of each organization and working his/her way down. All the while, launching an investigation into the sheer stupidity that surrounds anything Metro escalator related, specifically, why it is necessary to close dupont south for a WHOLE year. And lastly converting anything cash related in the government to electronic payment, requiring any for of permit, license or otherwise to bear the signature of authorizing individual so that we know who is responsible. I hope we get substantial funding for this one job.

    • Tea Party called. They want their talking points back.

      • Um, government accountability and rooting our corruption is the province of the tea party? Well ok then, where do I sign up? Seriously though, what is your vision for government, I am curious? Permanently entitled job with no accountability or ability to remove under performers? Complete corruption of public officials? Congratulations, you have won. We will present you with the Key to the City next week.

        • Are you familiar with government at all? Have you ever worked in government? And if you ever did, where you entitled and had no accountability? Because that hasn’t been my experience and I have worked both in the private and public sectors. If you want to point out corruption I suggest that you concentrate on the Enron/Bernie Madoffs/Wall Streets of the world and stop whining about govt. employees that most of the time are overworked and underpaid.

          • Trueblue, I guess you have not been paying very close attention to the state of the DC government and the scandals of city council etc. These guys are crooks that are robbing the city blind and litter the government with their friends, give them no-bid contracts/payoffs, and are a general offense to those of us that work hard and pay taxes in this city. I did not take the post as a commentary on all government employees. Just the bad apples that need to be removed.

      • if that’s what the tea party stood for, i’d back them.

  • This one is easy. Bus driver to pick up Kwame, Gray, and the cronies to drive them up to upper Manitoba,with no possible way to return. Saskatchewan would do to.

  • Undercover photographer and hidden camera IT technician to develop a complete dossier of the plethora of government-protected child gangsters.

  • ledroittiger

    Clearly, Jobs is not the cure for cancer.

  • I’d hire a Trash Picker Upper, who would walk around the city and pick up trash, litter, cans, bottles, and so on.

  • A believer.

    I constantly hear people yapping into their cell phone about tales of urban living and romance and work life and other things they think are unbelievable? “Can you believe it? I could not f’ing believe it.”

    I think it would be handy to have some municipal believers strewn about the streets who you could always count on to listen and say, “I do, I do believe it. Totally. Yes, I do.”

  • austindc

    Well, a lot of these sound like enforcement jobs to get people to stop doing something. I guess I would pay someone to give people high fives before they go into their offices or place of employment. Maybe if we paid extra, they could even say, “have a great day! weekend’s almost here!” And, as other have suggested, this position would be best filled by Batman.

    • +1

      A kinder, gentler Batman. I can dig it.

      • austindc

        Oh sorry, I wasn’t clear. If this was Batman’s day job, he would still have to go kick ass at night. That’s what makes him awesome. Otherwise the high fives wouldn’t be so great.

    • +1 for positive reinforcement! Works on dogs and toddlers, why not adults?

    • Emmaleigh504

      This person could well cause me to go postal. The non morning people of this city would like for this position to NEVER be filled.

      • austindc

        Ok, no worries. I got you covered. You don’t have to high five Batman on the way in. BUT on the way out, guess what, he’s still friggin there! And then he says, “Man, what a day. Wanna grab a beer?” And you say yes, even if you don’t drink, because it’s Batman, and having a beer with Batman is amazing. Maybe he will give you a ride in his batmobile or zip you to the top of a height-restricted building with his robo-zipline. Or maybe he’s very chill and just asks a lot about your day and what you do for a living. I dunno. I never met him. In either case, he’s put in a full 8 hours of high fiving, but he’s still ready to rock out with you non-morning folks. I don’t know where he gets the energy.

  • I need an army of low wage mason’s assistants. This city’s housing infrastructure is crumbling and the masonry repointing is craptastic unless you’re paying $10k/wall.

    Let’s just have the city fund people to sit and chip masonry all day and fill it in. Do it the old way with lime and sand, so it doesn’t eff up the bricks. Fewer ugly painted houses, more energy efficient homes, better infrastructure for the next generation.

    Also, we need to rip up every street in the city and redo the waste and potable water systems. Our current pace is abysmal. I know DC water is on it, but it’s going to be a jobs program for suburbanites if the DC Council doesn’t get going.

  • Someone to go around the city and hand out penalty (monetary fine or for community service) for behaving rudely on Metro, Bus, sidewalks, basically any public space. This could be a pilot program, but I am thinking it might be a good way to employ the elderly.

    +1000 to the Cab Slapper.

    • I’d expand this: just a whole army of enforcers for quality of life violations. For a lot of crap that annoys people, there actually is an existing rule, just no one to enforce it.

      The enforcer hears the kid on the Metro blasting crappy music through a crappy smartphone speaker? Enforced. The enforcer sees some idiot pull up at a stoplight and drop a bag of fast food trash on the curb? Enforced. The enforcer sees a 12 year-old walking down the street smoking Camels in the middle of a school day, making really lewd gestures to various women he passes by? Enforced. (I really could have used an enforcer for that kid yesterday … he was really pissing me off.)

      Max fine $25-$50-$100 fine structure for first and subsequent offenses. Our coffers will pay for the program dozens of times over.

  • A voting member of congress (should be 3 jobs, for 2 Senators too)

  • Special detail of parking enforcement officers solely for ticketing double parkers – with special incentive bonuses for nabbing offenders on Sundays.

  • City tree waterer…
    Granted, this week is probably the worst time to suggest such a job. Thinking back to the drought-like conditions a few months ago, however, they would’ve provided a much-needed service.

  • In addition to Batman, may I also suggest Captain Washington?
    Job Description:
    Captain Washington will serve and advocate for all Washingtonians.
    -All city and neighborhood parking will be free for and strictly prioritized for DC residents by the Captain.
    -Tickets to 930 Club and all other venues of delight will likewise be offered to Washingtonians first, then to our metro friends in VA, DC.
    -Captain Washington will also provide friendly and courteous directions to all lost tourists so that we don’t have to.
    -The Mayor will place Captain Washington on all advisory boards and he/she will have the right to override the mayor on any manner of idiocy which will impact the lives of Washington residents.
    -Finally, Captain Washington will banish any person who compares DC to NYC in less than flattering terms.

    I haven’t thought up his super-powers yet. Jump on with your ideas if interested…

  • Parking Man. He will take all of those cars that people park on corners (blocking emergency vehicle and bus access), or blocking fire hydrants, in bus zones, and other totally annoying, safety violating, traffic stopping flagrant infractions. Depending on the infraction, he will remove them and either put them in the offender’s living room, or turn it into a smart car that fits in the spot.

  • Emmaleigh504

    I hope the Lord is going to send this list to the mayor and the council, some great ideas here!

  • One person to walk/Segway/bike around and hand out fines to people that do not pick up after their dogs. I have seen dogs poop in the middle of the sidewalk and their owners will just keep walking without a freaking care in the world!

    Absolutely the MOST disgusting thing is walking my dog down the sidewalk and stepping in some other dogs shit.

    • Is that a big problem in Petworth? If this job were created where in my neighborhood the person would have absolutely nothing to do, but I’ve lived in suburban areas where they’d be quite busy.

  • Tunnel digger(s) – lets expand Metro in one of the country’s few thriving cities while making it easy to move around and through our nation’s capital.
    Seriously – Ms. Holmes-Norton get the District some of this stimulus 2.0 money so we can fix and expand Metro. With an expanded Metro we’ll be able to employ even more people to ride around an enforce rules – jobs creating jobs.

  • A rat exterminator for columbia heights alleys who actually knows what he is doing.

  • Agree with the several suggestions of people collecting garbage in Petworth and any other areas of the city. But i would add that we need to educate and punish people until they stop littering the city. Thus in addition to garbage picker uppers we need people to hand tickets and fines to those dirty people while educating them as to why it is not ok to litter.

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