Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Akihabara’s first rental nerd looking to cash in on his jobless status

Akihabara’s first rental nerd looking to cash in on his jobless status

At least he's cheap.  The problem is, there are thousands of other guys about his age who have the same product to offer who are giving it away for free to their friends.  And if you're loner enough not to have any friends, then you may be in his target demographic but outside his ability to market himself to you.

I have an equally worthless skillset, but I'm at a loss on how to monetize it.  Movie trivia, for example.  Outside of a gameshow with that as a category, my being able to watch any given movie and tell you the resume of everyone on the screen in any given scene.  I have a better-than-layperson's grasp of several historical eras and specific events.  I could bore the hell out of you retelling the Little Bighorn fight, for example, and I'm currently reading a book filled with statistics and in-depth facts about the skeletons of the 7th Cavalry troopers who fought there.  I know a lot about art, both fine and pop.  I can give you biographies of a number of comic book characters in excruciating detail.  And the Beatles?  I'm no Eddie Deezen, but I know enough to qualify as a former member of the group.  Also, more closely related to the NEET in question, I've got plenty of hands-on experience finding different locations in Tokyo.  I could lead some somewhat more than half-assed geek tours around Akihabara, Harajuku, Shinjuku and Shibuya.  I know two locations where to buy American comics there, too.

Who wants to pay me to buddy up?

But one more thing, if anybody's reading, that is.  Nothing scientific.  Purely personal.  But seen from out here, there are a lot of young people who actually work and work hard.  At one of my old jobs I had high school kids who were holding down secret part-time jobs such as fry cook at Denny's.  This is on top of all the time-sucking requirements of Japanese school life, the clubs, the meetings, the special days and after-school activities, the test preparation and cram school studies.  And college students working retail.  My wife has been almost continuously employed since her teenaged years in all kinds of jobs.  She's never been afraid of getting her hands dirty or taking a minimum-wage job just to keep busy and be productive.  I'm the same way.  I may have hated doing so, but I've always been able to pull a crappy job to tide me over until a better one came along.  I appreciate it's not so easy for everyone, and I know the economy isn't in the best shape and those "bubble" years are long in Japan's past now, but if the local job wanted magazines are any indication, there are plenty of restaurants, shops, convenience stores, hairdressers, factories and clinics hiring here, and our city isn't even as bustling as great, big Tokyo.  You could probably get one of those jobs in Tokyo and still find plenty of free time for hanging out in Akihabara, especially if you're fortunate enough to have parents willing to subsidize most of the rest of your life.

But maybe actually making money talking about Gundam models isn't his true motivation.  Maybe he's after something else, something more elusive but potentially more lucrative, like Internet fame he can turn into a regular spot on one of the many inane TV shows we have here where people walk around doing nothing, then pop into a restaurant and do more nothing.  Anyway, best of luck to this guy!  Who knows-- maybe he's found a niche market and will be looked upon as a genius in coming years.

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