Do odd jobs even exist anymore?

I actually like this commercial.  Guy sees something he really likes and wants, and does what more people should do in order to attain their desires – work for it.  He busts his ass doing all the things nobody else wants to do, and in the end, surpasses his goal and is ultimately capable of buying two Jettas.  Feel good story of a year.

But it got me thinking – given my own financial woes, and the fact that I have a tendency to get mind-numbingly bored from time to time, that I would be more than capable of doing some of the things this guy does in the commercial, in order to supplement some additional income on the side for my own needs.  If it paid somewhat reasonable to off-set the cost of transportation, I’d gladly take ass-kickings from people while in pads, or walk dogs, or other odd jobs that don’t involve me having to deal directly with “customers,” are short periods at a time, and pay in cash under the table.  I don’t think I’d want to be the guy at the corner of Ponce and Monroe dressed as Uncle Sam, schilling for tax prep businesses, be the hot dog guy, or do nude modeling, but there are other random odd jobs I’d be willing to do for some side cash.

Here’s the thing though; upon looking for odd jobs in the Metro Atlanta area, they simply don’t exist.  Not to the under-the-table criteria that I’d prefer, at least.  Going to Craigslist results in nothing but modeling, veiled modeling ads that sound like porn screening, and veiled modeling ads that are for shitty no-name rappers that eventually turn into porn screenings.  That, or stuff that really does require existing skill, references, and experience.  So I googled “odd jobs,” and found a promising site of potential odd job listings, but it literally provided nothing but a list of Craigslist ads for the same shit.  And then, there was nothing else.

Maybe it’s because I’m not in San Francisco, or any other hippie/white/liberal community that would have random sheets of paper with tear-strips advertising one-off jobs on the fly, but at least in the Atlanta area, any tear sheets involve people trying to sell services so that they can make money, or support groups of some sort.  Dog walking is now done through official agencies, or “professional” walkers, and it seems like the ability to get odd jobs is now dependent on the cliched “who you know” kind of mentality.

Much like the mom ‘n pop industries were more or less decimated by the evolution of Wal-Marts and other superstores, the odd job culture seems to have been destroyed by society, and the incorporation of small businesses turning common, small labor into work hoarding and essentially, pimping.

Leave a Reply