How much enthusiasm is a sign-holder expected to display when on duty? Is there a way to quantify an appropriate level––a gauge? Does it vary between what the businesses are offering? Does a pizzeria require its sign-holder to promote with the same intensity as the cook tossing dough inside? These are all questions that I was genuinely curious about for roughly the duration of a dog fart. Which isn’t very long. But what did sit with me was how you lackadaisically held your arrow shaped sign that read “INSTANT CASH BACK” not in the direction of the H&R Block I had just walked out of, which the logo on your sign would suggest you worked for, but pointed at the street’s sun blasted asphalt.

Was this some sort of silent protest against the “man”? A metaphor for the flaws in our capitalist system? A wry wink from someone who believes that the only way to close the income inequality gap is to uproot the existing infrastructure that supports it? Maybe you were just a bored teenager who doesn’t know how signs work? Or was I upset because I just paid an exorbitant amount of money to do my taxes?