Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Nice Guy Inc.

Paid positions doing nothing but being nice to people
  (+42, -6)(+42, -6)(+42, -6)
(+42, -6)
  [vote for,

The way I see it, I just don't encounter enough truly nice people during my day. It's not that I think most people are mean-spirited or wish me ill, but most of the random people I run into during the day are too caught up in their own problems and jobs to focus on being truly curteous or nice to strangers. I try to cross the street, and I'm nearly run over. I try to get in line somewhere, and people are fighting to break infront of me or take my place if I so much as glance away. What if there was a company (Nice Guy Inc., or something to that effect) that hired people to travel the streets, businesses and neighborhoods of this country with no other thought in mind but being nice to people? That would be their job. They would be paid to walk around and give change to people for soda machines, hold doors open and allow people cross at a normal pace at crosswalks. They would mingle with the general population and help out all of mankind with the little things we need to keep us going and high-spirited. I think this would really improve the morale of this entire country and possibly even affect the economic output.

These hired guns of niceness would be equiped with plenty of spare change for parking meters and perfectly crisp dollar bills for snack machines. They would all have maps of the city and region, have dictionaries for translating languages and carry sticks used to unlock people's car doors when they lock their keys in their car. (Of course, with all the power these people would have, there would have to be a very effective screening process during the hiring.) Too many jobs are focused on things that make others miserable or only satisfy a specific need. The world desperately needs Nice Guy Inc.

[As a general rule, I think it would also be best if these "nice people" were not distinguishable as such by any kind of uniform or pin. If people could look around and tell who the nice people were, there would be crowds of people following them around. It would be best if no one knew who was getting paid to be nice and who wasn't.]

smizzou, Jun 14 2001

Meter Maids http://www.metermaids.com.au/
Well established business in Surfers' Paradise [AllenGrace, Jun 14 2001, last modified Oct 04 2004]

baked: myself [i am a nice guy] http://www.halfbake...ss_20bartendressing
perhaps the Nice Guys get a free drinks at any VTB Bar. [gnormal, Jun 14 2001, last modified Oct 04 2004]

The Karma Army http://www.join-me.co.uk/
Over 10,000 good deeds so far... [friendlyfire, Oct 04 2004]


       Remove the part of the idea where these people go doling out cash and I'll vote for it. It would be too easy to abuse the position or take advantage of the people in the position.
centauri, Jun 14 2001

       After I fell out of my chair laughing (nice people...sha, right), I thought, "Hey, that would be nice." Then I fell out of my chair again.
Reverend D, Jun 14 2001

       Reverend D, you could have used a Nice Guy to slap your back and share your laugh, and incidentally make sure you weren't having a coronary. A fair number of elderly people seem to naturally assume the Nice Guy role (except for the bits involving cash) in my particular cultural backwater.
Dog Ed, Jun 14 2001

       [Dog Ed] I actually voted "thumbs up" for this. I just find it amusing that we must pay people to be nice or have a service to fill a void that humanity has left in the "Golden Rule" department.   

       Now that I think about it a little more....I want to weep.
Reverend D, Jun 14 2001

       And exactly who funds this corporation?
egnor, Jun 14 2001

       I nominate smizzou to fund the corporation. smizzou, send me a check, and I'll be nice to people.   

       I think this would either have to be a volunteer organization, or the local government would fund it as a way to improve a city or town and increase tourism, etc. No private company would do it, because there's no way to directly generate revenue from it.
PotatoStew, Jun 14 2001

       Funding would, of course, be a problem. I figure the government could foot at least part of the bill. But with Bush and his tax cuts in the white house, that's probably out of the question.   

       What might work is if, instead of a completely new company hiring people to do this, existing businesses could establish "Nice Guy" departments, that perform the same things as listed before, but on a smaller scale: namely, in and around the corporate offices. Just a few people walking around performing good deeds, laughing at other people's bad jokes and complementing everyone on what fantastic work they're doing and how good their hair looks today would raise company morale immeasureably. Surely huge, cubicle-laiden companies would benefit from such a program.
smizzou, Jun 14 2001

       In smaller organizations, though, it becomes impossible to successfully play "hide the lickspittle". Everyone will know soon enough that the kind person who always compliments them is a paid encomiast and the flattery will become worthless. There's also the theory that says that if it raised productivity, companies would already be doing it.   

       Surely volunteer nice people in plain clothes is what we have now? If you prefer them organized and strategically placed, I think that some small-town tourist boards do that sort of thing -- but they provide uniforms so their operatives aren't mistaken for con-men or courtesans.   

       On the other hand, if governments pay them to be nice but they aren't uniformed, oversight will be difficult. And either way the only people suitable for the job will be those who are genuinely nice, in which case the bastards'll be getting paid for doing something they'd be doing anyway.   

       If there's money involved, maybe a corps of people could just go around rewarding acts of kindness that they happen to witness in hopes of encouraging civility in others. The whole thing remains hard to justify, though, with people homeless and public broadcast network variety shows going unproduced and soldiers marching about in scratchy and unflattering uniforms. And recipients of the awards might easily be insulted, and in any case the whole thing is likely to be seen as rather mercenary and even sinister. So there is a final possibility of non-monetary rewards -- merchandise and pats-on-the-head. And this is the approach that lots of organizations, I think, already take.   

       All that said, yeah, I'd like people to be nicer to me, too.
Monkfish, Jun 14 2001, last modified Jun 15 2001

       Yeah, funding would be a real problem. And you know what would happen if the funding were cut off? No more Mr. Nice Guy.
centauri, Jun 14 2001

       That's right. Imagine how you'd feel when the Nice Guys Union started looting.
Monkfish, Jun 14 2001

       Baked in a limited fashion in Surfer's Paradise, Queensland, Australia. There are at least two companies employing "Meter Maids": buxom blonde wenches in bikinis who stroll around the streets putting small change in parking meters that look like they're about to expire. Apparently the perceived gain in tourist dollars from people who like the vibe of this kind of thing is sufficient for the local council to sponsor this activity. See link to left for more information.
AllenGrace, Jun 15 2001

       I think they have to have not only uniforms, but masks. Because they do go off duty, and they do have perversions like the rest of us. Imagine finding a Nice Guy in a compromising position. There goes the whole program. Put a mask on him/her and you know who's obligated to be nice and who's just freelancing. Similarly, I think it should be a serious crime if you rob or assault a Nice Guy who's on duty.
juliec2, Jun 15 2001

       Monkfish:getting paid to do something you would do anyway is the essence of a good job.We have prototypes for Nice Guys-Walmart has greeters,fancy hotels have concierges,organizations have ombudsmen,airlines have flight attendants.Boston USA once considered subsidizing street musicians to provide the public amenity of music. Wecan can take this a step further and authorize the Nice Guys to occasionally reward other people they see being nice guys.
mcdornan1, Jun 15 2001

       I think we should impose harsh penalties on anyone impersonating a Nice Guy.
centauri, Jun 15 2001

       Mmm. Paying someone to do nice things for you. Isn't that called prostitution?
neglected_waif, Jun 15 2001

       Good point juliec2.   

       Perhaps we should follow the Disney model and call them "cast members" instead of employees, have them enter our lives through various hidden doors, disappear at random and suddenly appear on floats. They would have access to the world via underground tunnels and would always be available for photo ops.
iuvare, Jun 15 2001

       Isn't paying for this service just aiding in destroying it in society? I would rather see people do this voluntarily and have fewer of them, than pay them to do it and have them spread out.
fedallah, Jun 20 2001

       I think niceness loses something when its perpetrators are being paid for it. (By the way, try instituting this in France.) Plus, putting money in about-to-expire parking meters is not nice. It allows someone to continue using a parking space after the alloted time has elapsed and inconveniences someone else who may need the space.
mrthingy, Jun 21 2001, last modified Jun 26 2001

       I think this is a sexist idea and Nice girls would be much better anyways.
sh4linux, Aug 21 2001

       All I have to say is this could easily be done with some mild corporate sponsorship. Perhaps Nice Guy/Girl could be wearing a Pepsi shirt or a Sears hat. Nothing too out of the ordinary, though, like a Trojan-Enz raincoat or NutraMax Enema pants.
AfroAssault, Aug 22 2001

       hehe... all us Aussies are nice anyways :)
jabbers, Aug 22 2001

       have you aussies baked my Volunteer Topless Bartendresses? (see link)
gnormal, Aug 22 2001

       This idea should be voted down....on the grounds that it should, according to all natural laws, "finish last".
Susen, Aug 22 2001

       [gnormal], I think everyone has (not that I would know...)
jabbers, Aug 23 2001

       I'll give you an example of how 'Nice' can backfire (if you will)
There was an elderly woman taken to a convalescent home. Quite a lovely home - as advertised "Staffed by the Nicest Nurses" , but still - at some point the daughter and son-in-law had to leave for the day. The woman seemed to enjoy the view from her chair - a large window where she could see the mountains in the background, trees and flowers nearby, a fountain where birds frollicked and butterflies fluttering about. After a while she began to tilt to one side - immediately two Nice members of the staff came over and straightened her up. A while later she started to lean to one side again - and here they came running (And no, "I'll Come Running To Tie Your Shoe" by Brian Eno was not playing in the background - or maybe it was). Regardless, it was bedtime anyway. The next day, the daughter and her husband came by where they saw that a Nice Nurse was again setting the elderly woman up straight in her chair before the vista afforded her. The daughter asked her Mother "So, how do you like it here?" The Mother replied "It's wonderful, except they won't let me fart".
thumbwax, Aug 23 2001

       Please, I beg of you - don't Blog
thumbwax, Aug 23 2001

       Can I be Nice Guy #2? I have to warn you, I'm very busy, and prefer to moonlight only as a Nice Guy working very flexible hours (or minutes). My modus operandi would be, without warning, and for the briefest of moments, do something nice. And then disappear... possibly into a sunset.
pathetic, Aug 23 2001

       No, pathetic, you get to be Nice Guy #1.   

       (...and PotatoStew, this site is a blog, so your SOOL.)
iuvare, Aug 23 2001

       everyone scoot down, FOR I WAS THE FIRST Nice Guy. (see my link posted absolutely ages ago.)
gnormal, Aug 24 2001

       I'm the last Boy Scout.
phoenix, Aug 24 2001

       "nice guys finish last" is not a natural law, but rather an axiom coined by Leo "the lip" Durocher. read the small print in Rousseau's "social contract" which, theorietically, we have all signed by virtue of being "civilized". toss a nice guy into THAT mix and you get results...what a wonderful world this would be...(-:just stay over on your side of the fence:-)
1MilesWest2, Oct 31 2001

       "Nice guys finish last" should be said with a gentle leer which makes it obvious just how nice they're being.
hello_c, Oct 31 2001

       I wish I could find the story that came out just a few weeks ago. I saw it on CNN... it was about "guys for hire" who go shopping with the women, especially during the holiday season -- so the 'real' guys could stay home, watch football, scratch, etc.
cswiii, Dec 05 2001

       but how sad! That we must have a corporation to do this, and fund it! That we cannot take the nice guy role upon ourselves...   

       I'll start. Gee, gentle reader! You're looking FABULOUS today!
djanaba, Dec 05 2001

       I'll go shopping with women for money. I don't like watching sports, and I scratch myself plenty enough at work.
pottedstu, Dec 06 2001

       Croissanted just for this: "These hired guns of niceness..."
I did this myself last weekend. Went shopping with chap who has no shopping skills. Was a sort of personal shopper - came up with ideas, suggested coffee breaks. Felt very useful. Perhaps should market myself as 'Nice Gal Inc.'
lewisgirl, Dec 06 2001

       Sorry, but what are 'shopping skills'? Shirley you just buy stuff that you want. How hard can it be? The only problem I have is thinking of gifts for people, in which case someone else would be no help (unless he knows my friends better than I do).
angel, Dec 06 2001

       For clothes shopping, it helps to have someone with you to point and laugh at your purchases (if you're a male shopper), or tell you 500 times you don't look fat and then distract you with a shiny object while they nip off to the pub (for female shoppers). Or to offer impartial advice, I guess. Friends can be rather more all-seeing than a mirror and a self-delusional shopper; just make sure they don't mind hurting your feelings. (I wouldn't mind; that's how nice I am.)
pottedstu, Dec 06 2001

       [lewisgirl]: No shopping skills indeed...
fraggle, Dec 06 2001

       WIBNI people took account of themselves and started acting nice without care for money or other rewards.   

       BTW, I was born nice and have never stopped being so. I hold doors open for men and women; I bag my own groceries when the remarkably understaffed yet overpriced market has no bagboys available; I tip 15% regardless of service (and more if warranted); I return my own (and sometimes stray) shopping carts to the collection racks; I try to take time out of my busy days to say hello to everyone I work with; I telephone my parents just because; and sometimes I just do things that people don't expect--offer change, point out a bargain, answer questions in stores even though I'm not part of the staff, and so on. However...   

       I'm not perfect. I get angry. I forget things. I'm impatient in traffic. I lie. I procrastinate. I'm selfish about some things. I make fun ot the previews at movie theatres. I do not suffer fools gladly. I make fun of people at the shopping mall. I pull into that parking space before you do (if I was there first). Infrequently, I get in funks where I'm not nice to anyone at all.   

       All in all, I think it's quite easy to be a loathesome SOB; being nice takes a little work, so not as many people do it. And that's all I have to say about that.
zaphod12, Dec 06 2001

       thumbs up! i wanna be one of those people. don't you?
earlzkman, Feb 02 2002

       this idea illustrates nearly everything that's wrong with our world today. as i write this, the vote is 30-5 in favor of this idea. if that percentage of people would actually BE nice instead of expecting everybody to be nice to them, the problem would be solved. take matters into your own hands and pass along a little sunshine. my proposal is that everyone on this thread just go around pretending that there is an actual "nice guy inc." and that they are ambitious members who want to rise through the ranks and become the leader (known as the "wonderful and lovely person"). if you will all do this, this idea will be baked and we'll all be better for it.
efarns, Feb 28 2002

       Yeah, efarns, we shouldn't be writing notes on this idea and moaning about other people, we should be out there and doing good deeds. In fact, I think I'll go kill the entire cast of Dawson's Creek right now.
pottedstu, Feb 28 2002

       I volunteer! half-time, anyway.   

       I think I've been volunteering for a long time. In addition to being nice, at least in public, I have this weird attraction thing for people who like to chat. You know that airline-passenger-who-won't-let-you-read problem? I have it EVERYWHERE. People comment on my shopping cart contents, etc. It would be easier to be nice to them and let them talk to me if it were an official duty. :)
quacksalve, Mar 01 2002

       Proposed name change:
Good Company

       'Cause whoever you're helping, that's what they'll be amongst.
phoenix, May 15 2002

       Shopping skills are like... knowing when something costs too much or something... if they're anything besides that, I don't think I have them.
Gato, Nov 18 2002

       Sounds like a good reference librarian.
The O'Blivions, Nov 18 2002

       Surely the solution to the funding problem is obvious - the service is paid for through the fines imposed on people convicted of anti-social behaviour (vandalism, breach of the peace, etc.)   

       In fact, maybe Community Service which we have in the UK (where people convicted of crimes have to spend time cleaning parks, mending fences etc.) could be scrapped, and offenders turned into Nice Guys for a while instead. Then they wouldn't need to be paid, and it may improve their behaviour in general when they see how people react to them when they do good deeds.
lostdog, Mar 07 2003

       If Nice Guy Inc., is losing its shirt, would they ever downsize?
RayfordSteele, Mar 07 2003

       Cool--incorporate the people I will squash on my crusade all the way to lower-middle management.
1kester, Mar 07 2003

       I took a friend out to dinner several years ago in FL, and a man belonging to a local organization handed us a card and proceeded to pay for our dinner. He wished my friend a happy birthday, and left. I wish my friend still had the business card, it was some type of society that retired people belonged to, spreading altruism to the locals.
colaaddict, Aug 17 2003

       wow yeh that is such a cool idea, cos i hate it when shop assistants dont smile, i mean im a shop assistant and no matter what mood im in i always go outta my way to be nice because i think thats nice. if we had people to do that proffessionaly then it would brighten alot of peoples days. However there are some people that are so miserable that even that wouldnt work
nethinbutaverage, Feb 25 2004


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