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Jessica Ballou, Published January 29 2012

It's My Job: Tax season brings wave of advertising

FARGO - Every time he gets ready for work, Jerrett Knutson of Fargo grabs his winter boots, a big coat and some mittens, if the weather is especially chilly.

He was looking for a part-time job a few weeks ago to get some extra cash, and he found it.

He steps into the building to prepare the rest of his outfit: a Statue of Liberty green headpiece and dress, as well as a red, white and blue sign that reads “Get $50 now.”

Now in full garb, he steps near the corner of North University Drive and Third Street North to do his thing.

As one of the wavers for Liberty Tax, he’s responsible for getting people’s attention to see what the business offers for those looking to get their taxes done.

Q: What do you like most about your job?

A: It’s nice when you get people to smile or honk. It’s fun. All you have to do is get people’s attention, and that’s your job. It’s great.

What do you like least, if anything?

When it’s cold outside and the wind is whipping.

A few days ago I looked like a cross between Lady Liberty and Uncle Sam because my beard was frozen over.

How does this job compare to other jobs you’ve had?

It’s probably the most fun. It’s almost like you’re not even working. You go out there and dance around.

How do you manage to stay warm?

You dress for it. I have a warm coat, warm boots, warm mittens when I need them.

And it’s a one-way, so I can’t even change directions. If the wind is facing this way, I need to do something different from when the wind is facing that way.

The bigger I move, the more people notice me.

How do you get people to notice you?

That sign really helps. I came up with the bungee cord so I didn’t have to hang on to the handles all the time … so I can do flips, or spinning.

When cars are stopped, I start dancing around and putting on a show.

What do you think of the outfit you have to wear?

It’s not really my color. There’s nothing wrong with it. It’s just an extra layer.

What’s your other job?

I unload semis. I work for Progressive Logistics Services. I’m a lumper at the Sysco site. But I don’t work for Sysco, I work for lumping services. It’s a bit of a slow time this time of year.

I lift heavy freight in the morning and I dance around here in the afternoon. I don’t need a gym membership.

What did you friends or family think when you got this extra job?

They were mostly glad I was making extra money. A couple of guys at work got some giggles. People seem to be pretty good about it, though.

The biggest question I get is “Which one are you at?” Some people think I’m one of the ones that wear a mask.

The mask doesn’t quite fit on my head. This works better because you can see the people. When they see you looking back, they wave.

Is there anything else you want to say about your job?

It’s a nice job. Your job is to make people honk and wave. It’s a good deal.

I’ve been lumping for the past seven years, and this is nothing like that.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Jessica Ballou at (701) 237-7311

To submit an idea for “It’s My Job,” email businessnews@forumcomm.com.