As I got out of my car last night to refuel after driving a complete stranger through the middle of the woods, I thought about how empowered I was to truly grasp the financial reins of my life.
When my boss at the cafe last year told me he was going to cut my hours, I gave him a big hug! I was finally free to make my own hours, which I was going to have to do pretty soon, because the rent was a week behind. With choices like Lyft, Rover, Instacart, Fiverr, and Mechanical Turk, I had unlimited earning potential.
So I put my skills to work — skills like discerning green bananas from brown bananas at Kroger, scooping hot cat feces into a bag, and anonymously rewriting a retired dentist’s romance novel. Living the dream, jumping from task to task, not worrying about overtime pay, benefits, or a stable work cycle – a dignified, independent bunny.
Thanks to our business model, the creators of Airbnb were able to create a $31 billion business by renting out their air mattresses for one night, and thanks to them, I can earn up to $6,000 a year doing the same thing, if I lose about $3,000 convert my storage room into a competitively furnished one bed hostel.
I like to think of myself as an independent contractor who gave up his nine-to-five job for about five to nine different jobs in a year, an entrepreneur with far fewer established legal protections over the last hundred years or so by Congress and the Supreme Court.
Want job security? Of course go ahead chain yourself to a labor union and forever blame your own labor cost while you pay dues that are wasted on your pension, security fund or lobbying for a reasonable work week. Or you could enjoy the thrill of running small errands after small errands with no wage bargaining power, relishing in the comforts of anonymity as you drift through an oversaturated sea of willing, technically unemployed day laborers.
Living the dream means never hitting the hustle because without the hustle and bustle of millions of underpaid Americans pretending entrepreneurs like me will never have a chance to take advantage of an app I’m ultimately designing to circumvent the living wages and entrusting my work to the victims of an ever-shrinking labor market.
I finally become my own boss. As soon as I picked up this guy’s laundry. And walk this lady’s three dachshunds. And deliver this milkshake anywhere. Anyway, what was I saying? Something about economic freedom.
In my job, no one – and nothing – is above me, telling me where to go or what to do. Except for the algorithms that literally tell me where to go and what to do. I am truly a free agent, living my life under the corporate radar. And below the poverty line.
At this rate, I could do this forever. I have been emancipated by the uncertainty of how long a gig will last, if any perks are attached, if tips will come, or what absurd obstacles I will encounter in complete isolation from a team of colleagues, a network qualified support, and customers who see me as a person. This is freedom you simply cannot buy! Not on my income, anyway.