Navigating the Challenges of Gig Work: A Personal Journey from Texas to New England

Navigating the Challenges of Gig Work: A Personal Journey from Texas to New England
Photo by Tim Mossholder / Unsplash

Transitioning from gig work in Texas to the diverse landscape of New England has been an eye-opening experience. As we ventured into this new territory, our reliance on various gig working apps has been met with a mix of challenges and revelations. Here's a glimpse into our current situation with these platforms.

Uber Eats: A Question of Viability
In New England, Uber Eats seems to be offering minimal compensation for deliveries over long distances. With the rising gas prices, this equation often results in more expenses than earnings, making it an unviable option for us.

Doordash: Weather and Navigation Woes
Doordash, while a familiar platform, presents its own set of challenges in New England. The pay doesn't seem to justify the effort, especially when dealing with harsh weather conditions and navigating through congested streets – a stark contrast to our experience in Houston.

Walmart Spark: A Mixed Bag
Our experience with Walmart Spark in Connecticut has been a mixed bag. While we successfully updated our region, the assignments predominantly involve express shopping tasks. The longer stretch deliveries, which are more financially rewarding, are notably scarce.

MVP Staffing: An Unexpected Closure
MVP Staffing, which we used for various gigs like concerts in Austin and playoff hockey in Tennessee, appears to have gone out of business. This has closed a chapter of diverse work opportunities for us.

Uber and Lyft: Limited by Vehicle Modification
Our decision to convert our van into a camper since we had to move into it sleeping in walmart parking lots has rendered Uber and Lyft unusable for us, as we no longer have the required seating arrangements for passengers.

Amazon Flex: Geolocation Hurdles
Amazon Flex has been a no-go since our move, as the platform doesn't allow us to change our location from Houston to New England. Amazon support's suggestion to set up a new account instead of updating our current one adds an unnecessary layer of complexity.

PeopleReady/ JobStack: Account deactivated
Since we have been inactive our account lost all certifications we had setup when we visited the office in Tennessee. We would need to find another PeopleReady office to get our account verified in person.

Shipt: Account Disabled
Our account with Shipt has been disabled, cutting off another potential source of gig work.

Veryable: Account Suspended
Our account with Veryable has been permanently suspended, cutting off another potential source of gig work.

Instacart: Stuck in Limbo
Despite multiple interactions with support and an ongoing application review, our Instacart account remains inactive. This has been a significant setback, as we've been unable to access the platform for over a month.

Instawork: Impractical Job Locations
Instawork offers opportunities that are often too far from our Connecticut base, such as in Foxborough, MA, or down in NJ and NYC. The distance makes these gigs impractical unless they are for longer-term engagements, which are currently not available.

Grubhub: An Unexplored Avenue
Our application to Grubhub, initiated back in Texas, never materialized, leaving this platform unexplored.

Exploring Seasonal Work
In light of these challenges, we are exploring seasonal work opportunities with UPS or FedEx. However, the impending snow season in New England requires careful consideration, especially for roles like UPS personal driver that demand navigation in snowy conditions.

Our journey through the gig economy in New England has been a complex one, marked by a series of trials and adjustments. Each platform presents its unique set of challenges, from geographical limitations to vehicle constraints. As we continue to navigate this landscape, our adaptability and resilience are put to the test, underscoring the dynamic nature of gig work.