Messenger - Vol. 1, No. 1, Page 17
Fall 1991
Working his buns off

     There are very few jobs out there where you can make hundreds of
people happy every day. This is one of them.
                                                  Paul Devery,
                                                  Delaware '90

     For a year, Paul Devery drove a 23-foot frankfurter. A
23-foot- long, 10-foot-high, 8-foot-wide fiberglass frankfurter on a
bun that weighs nearly three tons. And he wasn't ashamed.
     In fact, he relished the opportunity.
     Devery was one of 13 recent college graduates who each year pilot
six wienermobiles, as the peculiar vehicles are called, throughout the
United States for the Oscar Meyer Co.
     Just one week after graduating from the University with a degree
in communication, he was selected from over 500 applicants for a
one-year marketing internship as a "hotdogger." An outgoing
personality and street-smarts are two important criteria in the
selection process, according to hotdogger adviser Rob Baumhardt.
     Devery and partner Crista Wilson spent their days spreading
smiles from Maine to West Virginia and west to Ohio in the
wienermobile, which is actually a converted 1988 Chevrolet van.
     Devery says the wienermobile is Oscar Meyer's way of giving
something back to the public for buying its products. "I considered
myself a goodwill ambassador," he says. "We went around giving out
whistles--which isn't anything expensive, but it makes people happy."
     Along with wienermobile-shaped whistles, hotdoggers give away
postcards and stickers at parades, festivals, college sports events or
store grand openings. During a visit to a Norfolk, Va., children's
hospital, Devery and Wilson entered one room only to find a little
girl crying alone. They said hello, smiled and extended a whistle to
her. The girl stopped crying and accepted the keepsake. Then she
smiled. "That was great," Wilson recalls.
     The hotdoggers helped ease tensions for adults, too. "We were
going westbound on Route 80 in Pennsylvania and a truck had
jackknifed," Devery says. "We were in a standstill traffic jam.
People got out of their cars and started coming up to the
wienermobile. So, of course, we took the opportunity and started
giving out whistles to cheer people up and pass the time. It was
pretty funny."
     Devery entertained passers-by and guests with a stereo system
that plays 23 versions of the Oscar Meyer wiener jingle and tempted
them with the aroma of freshly grilled hotdogs from steam vents.
     According to Devery, "You could get in the wienermobile in the
worst mood in the morning and, after five minutes of driving down the
road, with little kids waving to you and people taking pictures and
beeping, you were pumped."
                                   --Stephen Steenkamer, Delaware '92