I’ve been experimenting with a new app called Airtasker. It suits me well in these weeks where everything is very part time. It’s a platform where people that need odd jobs can post them along with a price. If you like the look of the price then you can pitch for the work.

It’s going to make someone very rich, although it won’t be any of the “taskers”. It already has made someone very rich. Probably a sociopath. It’s been successful in Australia. Now it’s in London and it complements the gig economy of this city. I took and completed my first little job on it today.

Michael X in Pimlico needed 9 boxes carried downstairs. He was willing to pay 40 quid to save his damaged back. He lives 15 minutes walk from me and I had nothing in the diary, so why the hell not. I didn’t present it in those terms but he accepted the offer I made him. The first two people asked for the weight of the boxes. I just (correctly) trusted that he wasn’t an idiot.

I trudged through the fog to Pimlico and rang on his doorbell at 9am. He was a little nervous as was I. It was both of our first time on the app. I could have brought in a hammer. He could have shut me in his porn dungeon. His surname of “X” was never going to fill me with confidence. But it transpires he’s Chinese. Xi. He’s been studying here. He’s back to Beijing soon, and shipping his stuff in advance. Off he goes back home with good English and a degree in Accounting and Finance Management from Imperial. It was mostly clothes that he was sending back. Because London is so fashionable, aye. I did well to dress as I did, in workman costume with big boots. He trusted me based on appearance, because I was essentially in costume.

He’s a thoughtful guy. The boxes were not heavy. He had put the books in half boxes. He’d packed it well and he even gave me a bottle of water. He liked me and I liked him.

The job took about 15 minutes, and it reminded me of getting those comics out but sans dust. Then we shook hands and I walked home. Job done.

45 minutes start to finish including transport (walking). The platform sucks out 25% for “commission, tax and insurance.” So in three working days, once their rat has built up enough power on the treadmill to fire up the antiquated payment system, my bank account will ping in £30. Which is fine for under an hour despite the annoying delay. I reckon 6 quid of it will go direct to the (maybe) sociopathic Australian millennial who built the platform. Right now he’s probably sporting his Ray-Bans and a Rolex on each arm physically uptight and mawkish and vocally downflecting or monologuing in  Belize whilst trying to work out why he can’t just buy people through the window of his Ferrari, all the while blocking the existential crisis and asking reddit if anything matters or if he’s just a bunch of atoms and has none of the value he’s trumped up for himself and what that might mean.

But hey, I’m grateful to that (possibly) jumped up twot. He’s made me thirty quid, despite his probable lack of social perspective. But let’s not rule out the possibility that he is a lovely human being, here. I’m just playing. He’s made me money. Or she. Or it.

My evening job was acting for beer. Road testing a sitcom by reading it out loud with lovely people. Lots of excellent humans, all about my age, and some of whom were new to me despite us having jiggled about in the same crucible forever. We tested out a new sitcom and it was funny. To me, anyway. Lovely to meet people who I’ve probably sat next to in auditions and get to know them better for next time.

Should’ve taken a photo of the boxes or the reading. But I didn’t. Even booting up the camera on this phone is a rigmarole. It’s probably why I haven’t called you lately. Perfect excuse. Watertight.

Here’s a work in progress comic book sorting photo. Maybe I should list this one on Airtasker. Sell all this crap. Get a percentage…


Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

3 thoughts on “Airtasker”

  1. Very interesting article. I’m curious to know if the platform will keep online and working. Nowadays you have some dozen platforms alike but, I see, this one actually requires physical presence (versus fiverr or upwork).
    Also, why do you call the owner of the platform a sociopath? I’m curious 😛


    1. Oh that’s just a creative assumption based on the people I know who make things like that. He could be a lovely balanced human being . But that’s not so much fun to write. There is often an element of fantasy or downright nonsense in my posts.

      I too wonder if it will last. It’s finding its voice at the moment I feel.


    2. In a way I’m glad you picked up on that Henrique. I have adjusted the text a bit as I don’t want to make it look like an attack. It’s just a flight of fancy.


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