Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The New Gig Economy

So what did I do on this wonderful rainy day in Sacramento? I slept in because I worked the night shift watching security cameras for a local school district. Fortunately bad guys are not out in the rain, so it was a quiet night. Then I went to two different used car dealerships and took pictures. Are we looking for a new car? No, we just got one. I was going to used car dealerships to take pictures. In the rain. Of shredders. For money.

Now, when I was a little squirt and someone asked me, "Jessie, what do you want to do when you grow up"? I don't think that I would've ever said "When I grow up, I want to drive around to used car dealerships and take pictures. In the rain. Of their shredders. For money". Aside from the fact that they didn't have shredders when I was a little squirt, that was not on my list of career paths. Neither was watching security cameras or proctoring for tests. Yet, those are some of my many sources of income in this Gig Economy.

If someone asks me what I do for work, I pause and wonder - do they really want to know or should I just say I make quilts and sell them on Etsy? Sounds much better than what I did today, but in reality what I made today in one hour would take me many hours and fabric messes to make selling a quilt. Having lost a real job almost 18 months ago, I have managed to pile together a set of weird jobs. While not a career of any sort, they are all adding up to work. Not a job, but work. I'll need to take off my shoes should I need to count up my W2 forms on my fingers and toes, but money is money.

What are the benefits? A free schedule that I make as I go. Don't want to work that weekend? Well, turn down any jobs that come up. Going away? Don't schedule any work. The down-side? The paperwork is crazy. I work for so many different people, keeping it all straight is not fun. When I had real jobs, they had people to take care of the details. Now I'm the people and our kitchen table shows it. And man do I miss those End of the year or We had a great summer bonuses. The kind that made me go to the bathroom just to do the Dance of Joy in privacy. No bonuses to speak of in gig work. Unless taking really eye-catching photos of shredders is your idea of a creative outlet. No, the shredders are not fulfilling in the least.

So the burning question: Why would someone pay me to take pictures of shredders at used car dealerships? Oh, don't you wish you knew! All I can say is - it involves credit reports and pays $60 an hour when they are close by. But if I told you more, I would have to shred you. You really think I'm giving up such a gig in this economy?

I'm super proud of the composition and lighting of this shot.