"I get more work hanging posters in the streets of Reus than sending CVs online"
“The pandemic left many of us without economic stability and the life of the self-employed is very complicated. Advertising my professional services as a plumber and electrician, among other specialties and through advertisements displayed on public roads, seemed to me a way to get more visibility and make a living. I get more work hanging posters in the street than promoting myself on Wallapop, milanuncios.com or sending CVs online».
This is the story of a plumber based in Reus who is baptized as 'Xiquet Lampista' and who, as he says, after unsuccessfully trying to get a job through various virtual channels, it was "more effective" to do it "the old way". And it is that the presence of advertisements on public roads has increased, in fact, and is also visible in the downtown area of the city, with people offering to take care of pets, clean homes or care for elderly or disabled people for hours.
After having hung some 40 posters for the first time and without having a car, 'Xiquet Lampista' spent about a month until he managed to get his first commissions and achieved an average of between five and seven commissions a week. The plumber recalls, on the other hand, that the current economic and supply crisis "has impoverished citizens" and that "neighborhood services are needed", someone to do handyman at home.
enter the wheel
Posters promoting countless services catch people's attention by chance. "What I thought when I started making the posters is that they had to enter through the eyes and that I had to place them in strategic places, so that they wouldn't bother me", highlights 'Xiquet Lampista', who noted a before and after when the posters is passed by word of mouth.
«When they see that you work well and are close, people talk about you and a network of people who recommends is generated, so you enter the wheel. Customers tell each other whether or not they're happy with the service and that's how it starts."
Something that 'Xiquet Lampista' points out is that it finds customers who need the “usual” services, which are precisely “in short supply”. "There are no lifelong plumbers left, professionals retire and there are no apprentices like in the past," the worker highlights. For now and at least until the time of the interview, 'Xiquet Lampista' only moved around the capital of Baix Camp.
On the other hand, there is the case of Ioane (fictitious name), who, upon arriving in Spain three years ago and from Colombia, has looked for work for herself and her family in "a thousand ways, including social networks." “I am 28 years old and I am a mother, advertising the services that I or someone in my family can do is feeding us, the key is not to give up,” advises the young woman. In fact, in addition to her family, she helps other people she knows who need to work: "If it's convenient for them to print a poster, I'll help them." “Our safety net, based on recommendations, is what works for us. In my case, I am a physiotherapist specialized in orthopedic rehabilitation and a very good friend of mine recommends me, that helps us a lot », Ioane admits. Her principles when she arrived on the peninsula were "hard": "The cultural and social shock impacted me. Here people relate differently. The lack of empathy discouraged me at first, but luckily we found inspiring people with values and education. With the posters, declares the girl, "you have to make a difference, stand out."
The civility ordinance
The Reus civic ordinance stipulates in its section on rules of conduct that "the placement of posters (...) or any form of advertising on urban furniture is prohibited", but that nevertheless "it may be authorized in certain places that do not damage or dirty the surface and are easy to remove, with the commitment of the applicant to remove them within the established period.
The document typifies that infractions such as placing posters (...) outside the permitted places will be considered minor (with fines that can amount to up to €600) and serious (with penalties of up to €1,200) in the event that they are made in listed or protected monuments or buildings.