When I left my last salary-with-benefits position in 1999, I didn’t know that I was joining forever what one day would be called the “gig economy.” I thought of myself as a freelance, a Mad Max-style survivor of the Tech Bubble implosion, swimming clear-eyed against a tide of delusional “company loyalty” types. It was pretty romantic.
Now the tide is with me. I’m one of the krill. As companies like TaskRabbit, Airbnb, Uber and others invite us to celebrate our independence by cashing in on it at below-poverty wage, gigging (aka “freelancing”, “entrepreneurialism”, and “having no predicatable income”) is fast becoming the new normal.
This at a time when the water around us is roiling with whales. Our retail healthcare industry, for example. The banking industry, for another. Pay day loan, anyone? Cigarette?
But I’ve got mine, so screw it. I’m debt-free and healthy. The Blue Cross statement of benefits I received yesterday is page after page of things barely covered or not covered at all, but whatever. I’ll worry about that when I get sick. I’ll worry about that when a hurricane rips the roof off my building and the adjuster tells me that my homeowner’s policy covers wind damage only if it isn’t caused by fast-moving air.