Monday, January 19, 2009

Holy Funemployed Bat Girl, Batman!

From time to time, a funemployed person will be extended the opportunity to take on an odd job for some under-the-table cash.

I came across just such an opportunity last week.
I have a friend who works for a company that organizes scavenger hunts in major cities. Mostly, their clients are companies that use them for offsite team building. They also do games for private birthday parties, etc.

They’re an awesome company; they employ really fun people and manage to pull off really well organized, elaborate games for the players. I know because I’ve played the game before and had a fantastic time.

The friend forwarded me the following info on Sunday:
Subject: Funemployment opportunity
I wanted to let you know you could apply to be an Actor (aka a Plant) for [the company]. Plants are the people we hire to play different characters who are planted throughout the Game Zone. I figure it would be a fun way to make a few extra bucks while you look for a 'real' job. It's also the perfect Funemployment opportunity - to be able to accept a two-hour actor job on a Wednesday afternoon. :)

First off- “Funemployment”. Used twice. Awesome.

Sounded like an easy, fun way to make some cash, so I took her up on the offer.

The following day, Monday, I was placed in two games- one on Tuesday and one on Wednesday. My role on Tuesday was to be a plain-clothed person in a Starbucks in the Union Square area and give out a password to teams that found me. Wednesday was to dress “sporty” and run an RC car race somewhere in the same neighborhood.

Tuesday was uneventful. Seriously uneventful. There were some technical problems with the game (a rare occurrence, as I understand) and no teams ever even made it to me. So I went from sitting at a coffee shop in my neighborhood, sipping coffee and laptopping, to sitting at a coffee shop downtown, sipping coffee, reading and getting paid for it. Good day.

Wednesday was… different. I got a call a few hours before the game (an offsite activity for an international biotech company) letting me know that my role had changed. Instead of RC cars, I was now about to become Bat Girl.

One would think that I would be deterred by the instruction “You might want to bring some leggings to wear because the costume is slightly short, and comfy shoes ‘cause you’ll be running around.” But no. I followed these revised instructions and arrived at Union Square with my leggings and tennis shoes ready to go.

I was told to wear leggings, so I should not have been surprised to be handed this to wear:



I was told to wear tennis shoes, so I should not have been surprised that I was told to run from the teams when they spotted me on the streets of San Francisco.

I was participating in a game of public human hunting, I should not have been surprised that I would be posing for photographs of me, Bat Girl, in “embarrassing or compromising situations”.

I should not have been surprised that by the end of the night, I would have kissed two women I did not know on the mouth, simulated peeing in public, twice, and fake dry humped a pirate (a fellow “plant”), in plain view of many many passers-by here:


But I was.

It also should not have taken me until the game started to have the following thought; “I am totally going to run in to an ex coworker. Dressed as Bat Girl.”

To be entirely honest, it was pretty fun. The teams were having a great time and their enthusiasm was contagious. Many of them were really into the game and came up with very creative tableaus for Bat Girl. With the exception of a couple of teams who took the “capture Bat Girl” instruction a wee bit aggressively, they were quite fun to interact with.

And so, after the game, descending the stairs at Powell Station to catch the train home, I reflected on the experience and decided that despite the $60 check in my pocket, Bat Girl had made her first and last appearance in my funemployed, or employed life.

2 comments:

Almost Ignatius J. said...

awww. so you don't want to be a plant anymore?

Yekits said...

Probably not :)
Like I said, it was a lot of fun, and sitting at a coffee shop and getting paid was fantastic, but I just don't think I can risk being told that I'll be SpiderGirl in the Mission for three hours.

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