It's a cold world out there in these hard economic times, especially in the world of hockey. But meet Ben Gullett, who whipped up a unique scheme to help find his dad a new job.
Mark Gullett, the marketing director with the Tampa Bay Lighting, knew that he was in danger of being laid off. So his son, Ben, 14, came up with the idea of producing a YouTube video touting his dad's employment credentials. When Mark was laid off on Thursday, Ben posted his video. And the result has been pretty amazing.
"I'm shocked at all the attention it's received," Mark Gullett told me by phone today. "I've had several job leads already, and lots of people emailing and wishing me luck. In today's job market with employers getting stacks of resumes, you need to create a way to stand out, I guess."
Ben has done just that. The video is kind of brilliant in its simplicity: Shot in black-and-white, it's just Ben in several different locations, holding up flash cards touting his dad's employment qualifications, with music in the background. But more than that, it tells the story of a family man who loves his kid. Sample messages: "We make smores," and "But most importantly he is my Dad. I love you Dad."
"Ben is really a pretty typical 14-year-old," Mark said. "He spends a lot of time on MySpace talking with friends, watching YouTube videos and texting his girlfriend. He also plays the drums. He's shot a lot of videos of himself drumming, and likes to play around with taking pictures and stuff. So when this came up, he said, 'Why not make a video?' "
Mark had also been involved in producing video with the Lightning, where he had worked for nine years, so the two worked on the video together. Mark helped with the script, but mostly it was Ben's production. The video has had 8,000 hits since Friday.
"So many people have emailed us, just wishing us well," Mark said. "I even got a message from Vince Lombardi's granddaughter. It's been surreal."
Mark has one firm offer outside of sports, and several leads. He and Ben have put up a web site, MarkbyBen.com, where people can see the video and leave messages.
As for Ben, he'd like to see his dad get another job in hockey.
"Ben loves hockey," Mark said. "He's been playing for nine years, on a local travel team. He enters high school next year so I'm sure he'll get into other sports as well."
Mark said that Ben got kind of nervous a couple of times and almost dropped the cards, but otherwise had no problem showing his emotions on camera.
"I was surprised," Mark said. "He wrote some pretty touching stuff."
Photo: WTVT Fox 13.
Teen Helps Dad Find Job On YouTube [Florida Today]