Photo: Well-Dressed Guy on 18th and Market Asking for a Job

If you’ve walked by the the southeast corner of 18th and Market today, you likely noticed this man.

His name is Mark Mercer, he’s 54 years old, he’s moving to Bucks County on Monday from a place he doesn’t want me to reveal, and his sign is not a joke. Over the winter, he worked as a car salesman in Lancaster, but says he got fired after two months because he’s got a hearing impediment. Before that, he was out of work for four years, since being laid off from a customer service job for insubordination. (He says he refused to yell at someone his boss wanted him to yell at.) He’s done voice-over work, hosted an online talk show called Mark Mercer’s Loving, Caring, Sharing, and in case you doubted his Philly bona fides, has done construction work for the building trades.

He showed up Wednesday at Love Park, but said it was very discouraging. Thursday went a bit better, after he started getting recognized from a picture printed of him in the Metro, and today his faith in humanity has been restored.

I gotta tell ya something. I gotta say this. I had my doubts about coming down here and doing this. I was concerned that people would be jaded. That people would be like, ‘Eyyy, get outta heah,’ you know? But it’s been completely the opposite. Philadelphia has really surprised me in the last two days. It really is the city of brotherly love!

Besides, as Mercer puts it, “I’m looking for a visionary, but there probably aren’t any visionaries in Bucks County.”