I went to work at the farmer's market and walked up to a booth selling maple syrup, this video shows what happened next.
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Good and good for you.
"Have you guys been open a long time?" I asked the dude behind the counter. One of the two operators was in conversation with the other one, and looked a little annoyed at my question.
"Yeah, we've been open 28 years" he told me. "So do you need any extra help? I can work for free" I said.
"It's kind of just us right now" he replied, and went back to the conversation. I tried again with two other booths and got similar results. Key Takeaways and Lessons for Next Time:
1. Point Out Exactly Where You Can Help
All three booths I asked probably needed help carrying boxes, but they wouldn't have thought of it themselves. By not bringing it up, I was making them think too much.
2. Get Inside Their Heads
If I were a farmer's market vendor, my biggest worry would be not selling enough goods for the day to cover the rest of the week. Had I made signs, flyers or other marketing materials and handed them out for free, owners would be much more receptive to bringing me on because I'd actually be solving a problem they have.
3. The Homeless Have It Pretty Bad
The main reason for this challenge was to prove how easy getting out of homelessness would be. If I were in an actual life or death situation, maybe I would have done better, but getting work at random locations is definitely harder than I thought.
What's the next challenge going to be? We'll have to wait and find out.