And so it was that i, the world's laziest lumpen prole, entered into the world of the gig economy... and while i may be lazy and generally not have much use for humanity i do put in an honest shift or gig or whatever they call it these days. It's an interesting gig and i've turned it into a game of sorts, the game being make the most dosh in the shortest amount of time so i can fuck off back to the house and get stoned while watching the birds and rabbits and squirrels. Being a bit of a cultural anthropologist one of the more interesting aspects of the job is studying the neighborhoods and people i deliver to, granted i usually don't see them but on occasion they are out in the yard or come to the door to stare at the tall man with the salt and pepper stubble in his (get this) bucket hat and shades, generally looking like a guy who'd be asking for change to score a bottle of ripple but whom upon speaking to they find is a rather polite, well-spoken, and easygoing sort who goes about his task as if he was shopping for his own boyos... at least for the most part, if i get a real pain in the ass or someone who tips like a fucking nonce they may not get the same level of service, hence the you get what you pay for thing.
So what is it i do? i grocery shop for people mainly with the odd trip to the pet store thrown in for variety. Basically it involves signing into the app, scrolling through the batches available, selecting one, driving to the store and picking the order, paying and bagging it up, then delivering it to the house/apt./business. Going on my fourth week and i can't say i don't enjoy it a bit, i get to speak with a number of attractive female employees and fellow gig economy workers and the store employees get to know you after a bit an help you out. I drive around and listen to music while delivering and such and seeing as music is one my life's greatest pleasures it ain't all bad. I've also learned to use this new gig as a way to escape the Breadwinner. I read the tea leaves and assess the opportunity cost of staying at home or getting the fuck out. Now when the Breadwinner walks in and announces it's time for her afternoon nap i usually look for a batch to shop, mainly cuz i can't do shit around the house that will make noise and if the boyos are around it annoys her to no end that she may have to handle something involving her own children which may interrupt the siesta. Yes i know, more passive aggressive bullshit but in an endless battle one needs a small victory now and then.
But back to the gig... i'm slowly learning the ropes to the job and figuring out which batches are going to maximize the money. I've learned that just because one batch offers more money doesn't necessarily mean it's worth it. Sometimes it's not. So one must be wise in what they pick but also realize other people are out there doing the same thing, i can preview the batch so it's usually a quick glance to see how much of a pain in the ass it will be to shop, it tells me how far the delivery is from the store, it tells you how much the company pays and what the estimated tip is as to give you an idea of the earnings. Once accepted and started a little timer pops up at the bottom of the screen which tells you how long it should take according to the masters that be. I'm getting more efficient at beating the clock which really doesn't mean anything but it does make it more like a game show or something which helps to entertain me. After the first two weeks of learning the job i'm up to speed on putting the allotted amount of cash into the account as dictated by the Breadwinner. One would think i'd get a pat on the head for being a good house boy but alas that is not the way it works out here in the lily white.
Of course back on the home front things are the same as always. The Breadwinner rules with an iron fist and anyone who thought for a second any modicum of help would be coming with the household duties should put down the fucking crack pipe. The orders for dinner are still barked out while the Breadwinner sits on the back deck sucking at her e-cig which i've now dubbed the scepter. After dinner the boyos clean up their plates and then i get to work washing any pans, cleaning up whatever, taking out garbage and whatever else needs done. Sometimes that must wait until after practice and as the I-mac pointed out, he thought it was a bit bullshit that if don't have time to get things cleaned up they are always left for me to do when i get home. I shrugged and told him that's just how it goes sometimes. I understand my role in this disaster, i am by no means innocent, i've played my part in creating this mess, most of it years ago and stemming from my "career" before we got hitched. I ran the streets and did what i wanted and being young(er) and idealistic thought that with the slinging behind me i would go on the straight and narrow and be the fine partner i thought i could be in a healthy and loving relationship. Who was i fucking kidding? The truth was we should have been splitting. Bill Murray's line from the movie the Razor's Edge comes to mind, "there is no reward." If somehow i thought there was the universe smiled, kicked me right in the balls, and straightened me out. But that's a tale for another time. These days i keep my head down and my mouth shut and do my best to get by.
There is a list of things the Breadwinner doesn't do. Obviously cooking dinner is one. She'll often make herself some something to eat, show it to one or both of the boyos, comment on how delicious it is and happily munch away. There is no driving to practices, she doesn't take them to the park if they want to practice/play soccer or basketball. She'll clean the master bath or "mom's bathroom" as the boyos say, and then issue an edict that no one is to use it. Oddly enough, i used to get shit for not sleeping in the bedroom now most reminders of my occupation of said room have been removed and her favorite cat no occupies my old side which i believe negates me from moving back in (though don't think i want to.) Her business is back open albeit with limited capacity and though that's more her partners wish than hers the places are doing quite well. Of course that just points to how utterly stupid the public is that they'd want to run out and eat in a restaurant but that's also a whole other post. To say she is her father's daughter, a comment that would cause a level 5 shitstorm if actually said out loud, is truer every day. Like the Posa, she makes the money so she makes the rules. I'm consulted for show, nothing more.
The favorite game around these parts is what has been christened the Breadwinner Way. It's a trait that runs through her family which is why it's a mess every time they get together or go on vacations. It's why the boyos have always named the vacations without her extended family their favorites, something i don't even think they realize why though the I-mac is now old enough to question why everything must be done the Breadwinner's Way. In the last week i've been told how she would've cooked the fish, how she makes her smoothies, how she would open the schools, how she would go about my job, and any other number of things all done to point out the deficiencies in how i do things around here. Did i mention that she also like to point out that i need to feed the birds while she sits with her scepter and scrolls through her phone? But yeah, enough of my bitching. I've got work to do.
So as you can see, sometimes when i'm roaming the aisles of commerce and selecting berries for the wealthy, unhealthy, and occasional conscientious citizen it ain't so bad. I'm on my own and off the sinking ship, at least for a few hours. I do worry about the boyos while i'm out but usually call and text a few times to make sure they're okay. If i get a delivery close by i'll swing home and make them some food. I'm a sucker for me boyos, i know i could be accused of doing too much for them but so be it. You look after the ones you love, like Pops taught me, cuz like he also said, shit will never be perfect son but you do the best you can.