Hot Waitress Economic Index

posted by Stal on 2009.08.04, under Stal

In the Department of Leading Employment Indicators:

In New York, we have our own economic indicators, often based on the degree to which people are being thwarted by the lack of opportunity. An old standby is the Overeducated Cabbie Index. The Squeegee Man Apparition Index is another good one. There’s also the Speed at Which Contractors Return Calls Index: within 24 hours, you’re in a recession; if they call you without prompting, that’s a depression.

The indicator I prefer is the Hot Waitress Index: The hotter the waitresses, the weaker the economy. In flush times, there is a robust market for hotness. Selling everything from condos to premium vodka is enhanced by proximity to pretty young people (of both sexes) who get paid for providing this service. That leaves more-punishing work, like waiting tables, to those with less striking genetic gifts. But not anymore.

For the less-genetically blessed out there, the article does go on to say that many managers would prefer to see high levels of say, competence, rather than pulchritude among their server staff.

[ What the Hotness of Your Waitress Says About the Economy / NY Mag]

Living the Dream, Reality TV Edition

posted by Stal on 2009.04.16, under Stal

An unemployed 47-year old volunteer church worker with “multiple chins” walks onto Britain’s Got Talent. Recipe for instantaneous skewering by the audience? Hardly. Despite frumpy appearances, Susan Boyle handily won the hearts of viewers with a soaring rendition of Les Miserables’ “I Dreamed a Dream.” The build-up at the beginning is interesting, but you can opt to skip to the song at 1:45.

This video has gone from 5 to 12 million views in the last 24 hours, and has gotten mainstream coverage from the likes of NPR. The most striking (and saddening) part for me is how the audience is very much against Boyle at the  beginning, with the attitude that this woman is too ugly to possibly have a good voice.