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My long promised thread on my experiences inside the on demand economy will be forth coming, but tonight's experiences working for @Instacart are illustrative of my overall experience within the industry.

This will not be a happy thread.

#Instacart #OnDemand

As I write this I am sitting in the parking lot of a Jewel/Osco grocery store on Chicago's near Northside.

I am actually praying that I will be assigned a batch (a shopping order) in the next 15 minutes (won't happen). If I don't get one I will be forced to sleep in my car.

Why that is true will be partially explained here, but a more in-depth answer will follow with the larger thread.

But let's start here:

Today I was trying to decide how best to divide my time among the 3 major on-demand companies I work for; it's never an easy decision.

Again, that's some scary math and the equation is so filled with unknowns that on most days it's like looking at x + (a-c) * n = y and trying to solve knowing the value of none of the variables.

It's usually difficult, and often impossible, but it's a necessary function.

Today I had hoped that @Instacart had filled in enough of the variables for me to successfully solve that equation today.

I was wrong.

When I had logged onto the app in the early afternoon I had been told that demand for my services would probably be greater than their ability to supply such services from 4pm - 8pm in Chicago. This is a vague statement meant to inspire belief that I will earn if I commit.

But Chicago is a big city and often has great demand, and it was supposed to rain, and people will be shopping for the holiday. So, the math looked to be almost easy today.

@Instacart would be a sure thing.

So, I made the commitment and signed up for a scheduled shift.

It is never easy for me to make that commitment for Chicago, because I currently live in Kenosha, Wisconsin. It's an hour and fifteen minutes each way when the traffic is minimal, but can often take much longer.

So, it is a bIg commitment of resources when I do commit.

So, I banked what little gas I had on a successful shift and made the drive down.

When I first started with @Instacart I could count on making a decent amount if I worked hard and put in the time, but recently some major changes have made earning enough, difficult.

Since my phone is dying and I need what little gas I have left to keep ne warm when the temperature falls later tonight I must truncate this post for now.

I worked from 3pm-10 pm today. I have driven 99 miles and still need to return home, which will add another 60.

I had four batches, and made $45.76.

That's less than $9 an hour, and even less than that when you deduct gas, etc.

Of that I was able to take $34 instantly, minus service fees which equalled $2.

But b/c of a book keeping error my account was carrying a negative balance.
This happens a lot when you do this.

Cutting and pasting is no way to live.

Instacart seemed like a great way to make money when I began, but now it is a better way to spend a lot of time and, in some cases, actually lose money.

Like I did today.

Wish me luck. I will check back in tomorrow.


The world of the on demand economy is not a very hospitable one for me of late, and this is becoming increasingly true for many.

Beware and be warned.

Frodofied out.


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