- Associated Press - Sunday, December 13, 2015

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - We all should be so lucky to love our job as much as Sean Knittel loves his.

Or at least be able to have as much fun while doing it.

Anyone who drives down Gordon Drive in Sioux City during lunchtime or in the late afternoon has undoubtedly seen Knittel outside Little Caesars rocking out on his poster-board guitar, wagging his bearded head to the beat and flashing hand signs to those who honk at him.

A natural entertainer, Knittel says the act is a heck of a fun way to encourage people to buy pizza.

“I feel it’s a job I’m cut out for, to go out there and get paid to ham it up,” Knittel said. “To me it doesn’t feel like a job. I’m getting paid to do something I like to do.”



The Sioux City Journal (https://bit.ly/1YZsLKH ) reports that Knittel’s known as a shaker boarder, a worker who stands outside a business, enticing customers inside while holding a sign advertising the store’s sales or promotions.

We’ve seen them for all sorts of businesses, standing at busy intersections and advertising big sales.

Knittel’s not like that. He doesn’t stand still much, and he generally puts on a show, a silent rock concert for those who drive past. In reality, he’s jamming along to the music pumping through his ear buds.

“I listen to my jams and put on my rock,” he said.

It’s a fun change from when he began working for the pizza chain’s Gordon Drive location about a year ago. He was initially hired to work inside, making pizza and doing dishes.

“When I first started, I had no idea they were looking for something like this,” said Knittel, who’s studying audio engineering at Western Iowa Tech Community College.

He saw that the store kept advertising for a shaker boarder and was curious. He’d often witnessed the antics of a guy outside another Little Caesars. He seemed to be having a lot of fun, Knittel thought.

“It just seemed like the job to have, I guess,” he said.

So outside Knittel went, toting the fake guitar advertising pizza specials, ready to put on a show along. Knittel’s a guitar player in a band, so many of the moves were natural. He keeps a notebook in his back pocket when his interactions with the public give him ideas for a new song.

“I get to go outside and be in my own little world,” Knittel said. “I’m getting paid to do something I feel is awesome.”

Do Knittel’s antics work? Yes, store manager Charles Hutchinson said. The company encourages its franchises to hire shaker boarders, and Hutchinson said he can point to figures that show once Knittel walks onstage alongside the road, pizza sales increase.

“Being the natural entertainer that he is, people respond to the fun of it,” Hutchinson said. “People have a good time with it.”

Of course, so does Knittel, in weather hot and cold. If conditions are too extreme, he might work inside instead. The bosses are accommodating, he said, because “they realize not everybody’s crazy enough to do this job.”

During the summer, you might see Knittel kicked back in a lawn chair under an umbrella if it’s really hot. On Wednesday he donned a sweater, thick coat and black stocking hat emblazoned with white skulls to withstand the 20-degree temperatures. The conditions weren’t that bad, he said. He’s also got a snowsuit and puts hand warmers inside his gloves if it gets really cold.

“People see me outside in the suit and probably think I’m suffering,” he said.

Nope. Not suffering. Just getting paid to have a good time.

___

Information from: Sioux City Journal, https://www.siouxcityjournal.com

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