I’ve mentioned several times that I hustle as much as I can to increase my debt payments. Although I love where I work, nonprofit pay is far from enviable and won’t allow me to achieve my debt payoff goals. TaskRabbit has been a great resource for finding additional gigs. I’ve gotten paid to attend a Google hangout, help someone move, transcribe audio of someone’s life coach session and more. I’ve confirmed some more work as a Mother’s Helper in a few weeks and also secured work for a Halloween party. Last year, I worked a Christmas party for someone on Taskrabbit, and 10 months later they asked me back for their Halloween party. Win!
But today, I took a gig that went horribly awry. The gig seemed easy enough. Clean fridge, put away clean dishes and start a load of dirty dishes in the dishwasher. Easy, right? I do the same thing almost every night at home! I figured it would be an hour or less of work, and considering that the person lived 2 blocks from me, I bid $20 (if you are not familiar with TaskRabbit, you bid on gigs). And I got the gig!
I went to his place after work. The fridge wasn’t some bachelor pad nightmare that I was imagining. The guy wasn’t a creep. There weren’t that many dishes. I looked at the clock and after 30 minutes I thought I was close to done; until I looked down at the dishwasher that was now overflowing with soap and water.
Oh my gosh. What happened? I thought
I started scooping out buckets of water, trying not to panic. The guy I was working for got a towel, cleaned it up and started the dishwasher again. At this point, I apologized and kept doing my job. The dishwasher kept oozing out foamy goodness and I couldn’t believe it.
At home, I wash my dishes by hand, but at work I frequently start the dishwasher with the fancy liquid dish-washing soap which looks similar to what I used. After the second overflow happened, the guy found little dish-washing nuggets to use instead of liquid soap. Do’h! He then took the bottle of dish-washing soap and looked at the back:
DO NOT USE IN AUTOMATIC DISHWASHER.
There it was in big, bold letters. I actually said, ‘fuck my life’ to which he responded it wasn’t that sort of situation, which made me feel like a dramatic jerk. I admit, I have a penchant for drama, but then he also just told me a story about how his previous taskrabbits sucked and then nonchalantly said, ‘now you’ve joined the group and screwed up like the rest of them!’. I think he was trying to be funny, but it really wasn’t. An hour later, after doing the best I could, I left feeling not only like a loser, but a complete idiot. Mind you, he never told me which soap to use, but I failed to read the back and just saw the ‘dish-washing soap’ label.
I kept telling myself I’d never see him again and that this will be really funny tomorrow. But I also kept thinking about how if I wasn’t stuck in debt, I wouldn’t feel compelled to clean up after other people’s shit. In my Class and Privilege post, I mentioned that being privileged is having other people do your dirty work. Having people wash your dishes, clean your house, launder your dirty skivvies is dirty work. But it’s also honest work. Which is why I do it. But I’d love to be in a place where I don’t have to do that (side note: I just added a Hire Me page).
Have you ever completely messed up at a job or side-hustle and felt like a complete idiot? Have you worked a job where your class position was made obvious?