He Has No Truck with Unemployment, So When Art Fosle Needed a Job, He Didn't Spin His Wheels

updated 05/11/1987 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 05/11/1987 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Art Fosle has a notion of what good old American gumption is all about. "You sit on your duff all day and it's hard to get motivated," he says. "But you can get work—it's out there." Fosle, 25, should know. An unemployed worker with a wife, Barbara, 28, and 19-month-old daughter, Nicole, Fosle spent six weeks reading want ads and filling out applications before he attacked the job problem in his own offbeat way. He planted himself on a median strip of Chicago's Dan Ryan Expressway and as morning rush-hour traffic zipped by, he held up a sign that offered a brief résumé. "When I first went down there I felt weird," admits Fosle, who lives in suburban Sauk Village. "But it's like Jim McMahon's videotape says, 'No guts, no glory.' "

At first the only responses he got were honks and waves, but within the first half hour a driver pulled over and offered him a job. "It was in a junkyard and he was only paying minimum wage," recalls Fosle. "I figured I should keep my options open." His options widened plenty once the local media heard about his vigil. After three hours of standing in traffic and a day's worth of news stories, Fosle had a dozen offers ranging from selling cars to driving a delivery truck. He took the best offer, as a laborer with Campbell-Lowrie-Lautermilch Corp., a construction firm. "I figured a guy crazy enough to stand out in the middle of an expressway certainly wanted to work," says company president Robert Anderson.

As it turned out, Fosle's enthusiasm was a bit greater than his qualifications. "He doesn't have exactly the construction experience he claimed he had, but we still have him on the payroll," says Anderson. "He's a willing worker." Meanwhile, he has become a source of inspiration. A friend who needs a set of wheels is thinking about standing on the Dan Ryan with a sign saying, "Desperate man needs new car," and Fosle is planning to make a video on tips for job-seekers. "I saw a news story about a guy who made a video for lonely people," he says. "I started thinking that if he can sell a video, maybe I can. Nothing is impossible. This country is great."

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