This cowboy got roped into running a museum’s social media during the pandemic — and the results have been almost too good to be true.
A National Cowboy Museum security guard has become one of the internet’s latest feel-good stars for his folksy attempts at, as the story goes, managing the museum’s Facebook FB, -4.18%, Twitter TWTR, -5.60% and “the Instagram” accounts (his words) while the Oklahoma City institution remains closed amid the coronavirus outbreak.
Tim, for whom a last name was not made immediately available by the museum, introduced himself to the online world with a St. Patrick’s Day post explaining he would be managing the museum’s social media while, of course, also continuing to protect and monitor the museum. Here he is:
In the 10 days since, he’s shared pictures of Western and Native American–themed mementos from the museum’s collection, such as the boots, hat and eye patch that John Wayne wore in the 1969 film “True Grit”; photographs by legendary American photojournalist Dorothea Lange; and the cowboy-themed action figures Woody and Jessie from Disney’s DIS, -6.23% “Toy Story” franchise.
And he’s gone viral because the posts aren’t only engaging — they’re also peppered with adorable dad jokes and internet faux pas, such as Tim’s writing the word “hashtag” instead of using a hashtag symbol, because a grandson “told me to use hashtags.”
Or when someone suggested that he post a TikTok video, he shared a photo of an actual clock:
At one point he also posted, “Twitter tips, please,” before following up with a second tweet that said, “Sorry, thought I was Googling GOOG, -4.02% that.”
It may be his first time in this rodeo, but he’s riding off into the sunset with thousands of clicks per post. The common refrain in the comments is that Tim’s tweets are “pure gold” and “this is absolutely the content I want to see on Twitter.”
“Tim! You made me laugh and smile after a 12-hour shift in the ER!” one reader identifying as a health-care worker wrote. “Thanks! Twitter needed you!”
Even if it’s a witty marketing ploy, another Twitter user noted, “I am here for it.”
A spokesperson for the museum told MarketWatch over email that Tim is the real deal, and has worked as head of security since 2018: “Tim is our actual Director of Security and Operations Services, but it has been great to have him as a deputy member of the marketing team at this difficult time.”
Of course, Tim isn’t the only worker wearing many different hats right now. The coronavirus has caused schools and many businesses relying on close contact and foot traffic to temporarily close, including bars, restaurants, gyms, hotels, airlines and bricks-and-mortar retail stores. As a result, 3.28 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week — a record surge in weekly jobless claims.
So now parents are doing double duty as home-school teachers (while, in many cases, also trying to do their own work from home). And people who are out of work are looking for other ways to earn some income while cities are sheltering in place to limit the COVID-19 spread.
For instance, ride-share drivers working for Uber UBER, -5.89% and Lyft LYFT, -3.77% are shifting gears to deliver food for takeout services like Uber Eats, Grubhub GRUB, -0.75% and Instacart. Others have pivoted to teaching their special skill sets online, such as cooking or piano lessons.
And some companies including Amazon AMZN, -2.13%, Walmart WMT, -0.15% and Lowe’s LOW, -2.31% are hiring to fill 434,000 job openings amid the coronavirus demand for e-commerce order fulfillment and deliveries. Blue Apron APRN, +1.11% is taking on more workers to meet a surge of coronavirus-related demand, with so many more people are cooking at home.