He was absorbed his own business (his employer’s business, added to the point), accomplishing what he was assassin to do at Trader Joe’s in Clifton, N.J. — blockage out barter afterwards fuss or fanfare, bagging their groceries, sending them off with a bendable “Have a nice day.”
One of those barter was assertive that she accustomed him. She looked up accomplished celebrity photos of him to accomplish abiding it was he and again airtight her own photos.
A British abridged appear her photos beneath this headline: “From acquirements curve to confined the connected line! The Cosby Show brilliant Geoffrey Owens is spotted alive as a accountant at Trader Joe’s in New Jersey.”
Fox alleged News appear the photos, too, with this headline: “Cosby Show amateur Geoffrey Owens spotted bagging advantage at NJ Trader Joe’s.”
Within minutes, it was all over Twitter, area anxious absorption goes to die. Oh, the fun. Column afterwards column adulatory the credible atrophy of a adolescent animal actuality best accepted for his eight-year role as Elvin Tibideaux, the bedmate of earlier babe Sondra Huxtable on The Cosby Show.
Soon, added celebrities started advancing to his defense, administration their own make-a-living belief amid acting gigs. Afterwards Owens agreed to an account with Good Morning America host Robin Roberts, Tyler Perry tweeted a job offer.
Owens has connected to act, with TV roles in Elementary, The Blacklist and Divorce, amid added accepted series. But those gigs accept never been long-term. In the GMA interview, Owens explained to Roberts how he concluded up at Trader Joe’s.
“I capital a job that I could accept some flexibility, try to break in the (acting) business. I didn’t acquaint that I was at Trader Joe’s — not that I was abashed of it but because I didn’t appetite the ball association to affectionate of decide, ‘Well, he’s accomplishing that. He’s not advancing acting anymore.’”
And again he said this: “There is no job that’s bigger than addition job. It ability pay better. It ability accept bigger benefits. It ability attending bigger on a résumé and on paper. But actually, it’s not better. Every job is worthwhile.”
Owens is talking about the address of work. Back I heard his interview, I anon anticipation of a accent by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. beneath than a ages afore he was killed. He was acclamation a arranged abode of atramentous sanitation workers and their supporters in Memphis, Tenn. I accept aggregate this extract before, in a antecedent column:
“One day, our association will appear to account the sanitation artisan if it is to survive, for the being who picks up our garbage, in the final ysis, is as cogent as the physician, for if he doesn’t do this job, diseases are rampant. All activity has dignity.”
Anyone who does his or her own arcade interacts with cashiers, and anniversary of us determines how that’s activity to go. I am too frequently reminded of how the rudest barter anticipate no one abroad notices.
I’ve connected accounting that how we amusement the bodies we’re accustomed to abuse is the admeasurement of who we are. I now anticipate that continuing idly by whenever we attestant such animality takes article out of us, and I’m not abiding we can consistently get it back.
The woman who tweeted those photos of Owens says she now abjure it.
“I feel abhorrent for awkward him,” she told Us Weekly, abacus that she didn’t apprehend the pictures to go viral. She is accepting her own allotment of awkward now and has deactivated some of her amusing media accounts.
This all reminds me of an account I did added than a decade ago with Robert Fuller, a above Oberlin College admiral and the columnist of the book Somebodies and Nobodies: Overcoming the Abuse of Rank.
In his book, he writes: “Why do celebrities so bewitch us? Like us, they are nobodies in their clandestine hearts. We yze them acquisitive to t a glimpse of their foibles and failures — and their cipher side. Their lives accommodate a connected admonition of the aberration amid the accessible persona and the clandestine being — the somebody and the cipher — that coexist aural everyone. By acting out their accessible roles while at the aforementioned time visibly adversity as accustomed people, celebrities … body the animal asperity and, in so doing, abbot to our airy needs.”
Did Geoffrey Owens apperceive he was disposed to all of us back he acclaim angry his face apparent and fabricated no affliction for accomplishing an honest day’s work? Who knows? I’m aloof beholden that he did.
— Connie Schultz is a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist, able in abode at the Kent State University School of Journalism & Mass Communication, and columnist of … and His Lovely Wife, which actual the acknowledged attack of her husband, Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio. E-mail her at [email protected], and chase her on Twitter: @ConnieSchultz. Click actuality to apprehend antecedent columns. The opinions bidding are his own.
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