FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana’s NewsCenter) – No matter the weather, no matter the street corner, there are people in the Summit City who will brave the conditions to lure customers to their businesses.
They are known simply as the “Sign Guys,” and these guys, equipped with their music of choice, comfortable shoes and seemingly strong shoulders, will dance, prance, jump, jive and wave to get you to sell your gold or buy a large pizza.
One can find these Sign guys at Three Rivers Coin & Jewelry near Coldwater Road and Collins Road and Little Caesars Pizza at Goshen Avenue and Sherman Boulevard.
There are a slew of Sign Guys asking the public for their gold at Coldwater and Collins, but many, including the managers of the business, say Greg Moore is the best. Moore, an ex-military man, started with the company as a Sign Guy and has worked his way up to buying gold for the store. He says the job of a Sign Guy, which pays him minimum wage, is needed for him to pay the bills.
“It’s very important to me. You know, I mean, I’m not one to rely on somebody else to take care of me.”
Moore, who listens to country-western and classic rock to get him through his two-hour shifts, says he sees an array of reactions from passersby. Most are kind and wave back or honk their horns. Some, however, are quick to yell pejoratives at Moore.
“You’ve got to be able to put up with just about anything. I mean the weather, as you know, it’s cold outside right now. One day it’s warm. One day it’s cold. You know, people come by. Some of them cuss you out. Some of them give you coffee.”
Seeing positive reactions from drivers can help the Sign Guys make it through their shifts, which can be accompanied by cold winds and rain. Brandon Andrus, 21, of Fort Wayne, shakes a board, as he calls it, for Little Caesars Pizza. Rap is his music of choice and is what drives the dance moves he uses to get reactions from people.
“People have a good time with it. They like to laugh. They like to joke around. We get a kick out of it too. We got people that’ll shout out their cars, saying stuff.”
Andrus says the key to being a successful Sign Guy is staying happy and working with a smile.
“You got to be able to, you know, look happy, look like you’re having a good time, so, I mean, if you are having a good time, it attracts business.”
Attracting business is the goal. Moore says he takes pride in his ability to bring customers into the store.
"Working inside, I've had people say, ‘I've seen your sign guy outside, seen you outside,' you know, 'I was heading down to the pawn shop. I figured I'd stop here first.’"
Moore, in addition to other Sign Guys telling drivers to sell their gold, can be seen nearly every day near Coldwater and Collins. Andrus can be seen during the week at lunch and dinner hours pushing pizza at Goshen and Sherman.
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