Connect with us


Door-to-door gig is thankless but worth it | Opinion



Truth isn’t always stranger than fiction, but sometimes it is pretty unbelievable.

Take, for example, an article I read about a man from Austria who, while sitting on the toilet, was bitten in a particularly sensitive area by an albino reticulated python. The snake, which was more than 5-feet long, belonged to the man in the apartment next door. Apparently at some point after slithering out of its cage and its home, it had the urge to use the loo and wound up cozily coiled in the neighbor’s toilet.

I feel for the gentleman who, while in the process of going No. 1, got the No. 2 scared out of him. However, he definitely is not the biggest loser in this story. That distinction belongs to the on-call reptile expert (who knew there was such a thing?) who came to the rescue. According to the article, this poor sap had to retrieve the snake from the toilet, clean it off (ew!) and return it to the owner next door.

I don’t know how much on-call reptile experts in Austria make, but if this is part of the job description I can guarantee it’s not enough.

Some of the most difficult and thankless jobs out there are the most necessary. Everybody has to eat, but food service workers put in exhausting hours for lousy pay. Sanitation workers fare better salary-wise but never actually get a holiday off – they shift their workweek to avoid holiday pickup, but they still are out there five days a week picking up the same amount of sticky, smelly trash. And never forget that it’s someone’s job to clean the public restrooms after a big sports tournament where spectators have eaten nothing but chili dogs and nachos for three days straight, and the atrocities found in the facilities are far more disturbing than a snake in a toilet.

These unenviable jobs have it rough, but they may be eclipsed by a newly minted, often volunteer job that’s making the rounds. After several months focused on mass vaccination sites, the Biden Administration is shifting its COVID-19 preventative efforts to local outreach, including (but not exclusively) sending community members door to door in some neighborhoods, offering reliable information about the vaccine’s efficacy and in some cases providing shots on the spot for anyone interested.

I’ve done door-to-door solicitation before — it’s not easy and it’s definitely not fun. I can’t imagine doing it in today’s environment, where the misinformation campaign against these efforts has already started in earnest.

Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert called these volunteers President Biden’s Needle Nazis. North Carolina Rep. Madison Cawthorn told a friendly audience at this month’s CPAC gathering, “Think about what those mechanisms could be used for. They could then go door-to-door to take your guns, they could then go door-to-door to take your Bibles.”

Offering free shots leads to taking away guns leads to forcibly removing religion. Forgive me if I just don’t follow that logic.

The campaign to vaccinate the nation continues, and rightly so. With less than half the nation fully vaccinated and states like Idaho defiantly holding below 37 percent, there are still plenty of individuals to reach out to and at least offer the chance to get vaccinated.

Successes will likely be few and far between. For every hundred doors knocked, there may only be a handful of individuals willing to listen and even fewer who accept the free vaccination. In June the state of Alabama increased its adult vaccination rate by only 3.9 percent through door-to-door efforts — but that 3.9 percent equals nearly 150,000 individuals who got a first dose of the vaccine who otherwise may not have. And for that 3.9 percent, these efforts could make all the difference for them and their vulnerable loved ones.

It’s going to be a thankless job. It’s going to involve a whole lot of negativity and abuse. It might even be more unpleasant than fishing a snake out of a soiled toilet.

But if it results in even one individual in our community getting the life-saving vaccine, hand me a clipboard and assign me a neighborhood, because this is one unpleasant job that is absolutely worth doing.

Stellmon set sail for a three-hour tour on the Palouse in 2001. She is now happily marooned in Moscow with her spouse and five children.

Source link


LeVar Burton: ‘Jeopardy!’ host gig began ‘scary,’ ended fun – New York Daily News




Continue Reading


Labor-For-Hire Company Struggling to Find Gig Workers Despite Hiking Wages




  • Laborjack said it can’t find enough gig workers to meet soaring demand for its services.
  • The Colorado-based company boosted staff wages but said there’s huge competition for labor.
  • Clients are so desperate for labor that they’re no longer price-sensitive, its founders added.

A labor-for-hire company in Fort Collins, Colorado, says it’s missing out on huge chunks of revenue because it can’t find enough workers to take more jobs on.

Blake Craig and Josh Moser, founders of Laborjack, told Insider that more people had been applying to work at the company during 2021, but that it still wasn’t enough to meet the massive growth in demand for its services.

“Good help is hard to find,” Craig said. “And it’s even harder right now.”

Read more: These 9 food tech startups are capitalizing on the labor crunch with tools that help franchisees hire or automate the restaurant workforce

Laborjack staff doing landscaping work

Laborjack’s staff are mainly college students who do gig jobs in landscaping, moving, and general staffing.


Laborjack hires out labor to help with moving, landscaping, and general staffing — often to individuals who need extra help with projects.

“But right now, the bulk of our business is focused on helping other businesses that can’t get the staffing that they need,” Craig said. This includes delivery, brewing, and construction companies.

Around 80% of its workers are college students or recent graduates. But some of them have full-time jobs and use their gig work at Laborjack to supplement their income. During the pandemic, they’ve been working more hours at their main jobs and don’t need the side income anymore, Craig said.

In June, just over 200 workers completed a shift on Laborjack’s platform – but nearly a fifth of these only did one job.

This US is currently in the midst of a huge labor shortage that’s causing some businesses to cut operating hours, slash production, and raise prices. Joblist CEO Kevin Harrington told Insider that it’s primarily driven by people in entry-level, hourly-paid, and customer-facing jobs.

“Hiring had never been an issue for us until about February of this year,” Laborjack’s Craig said. “There’s a lot of other people going after the same talent that we are – not only new workers but also our existing workforce.”

“There are a lot of people fishing in a small pond,” he added.

The demand for Laborjack’s services roughly tripled over the past year, while the number of job applicants has increased by just a quarter, Craig said.

“We’re still struggling to keep up with the demand that’s coming in for the service we offer,” Moser said. 

This is despite Laborjack rolling out its biggest set of worker perks yet. This includes increasingly average payouts, made up of wages and on-job bonuses, to just over $26 an hour. The company is dishing out $75 hiring and referral bonuses if a new hire completes five jobs, too.

Businesses are ‘on the verge of desperation’

Laborjack has made its services more expensive to cover the higher wages. Moser said its clients had changed their pricing tolerance “drastically” over the past three months and were no longer price-sensitive.

“They just need to get people in the doors because otherwise their business will collapse,” Moser said. “They’re on the verge of desperation.”

Moser said that, for example, the event and trade show industry had rebounded massively with the reopening of the US economy. “They’re chomping at the bit for any amount of workers we can get them.”

Laborjack founders Blake Craig, Josh Moser

Laborjack’s founders say the tight labor market is holding them back.


Laborjack’s June revenue is up around 90% year-over-year, but “we could be growing more if there was more labor on the market,” Moser said. Laborjack is turning down jobs worth up to $2,500 each day and is struggling to balance its B2B and consumer sides, which are “both in full swing,” Moser said.

“Our margin has decreased despite the fact that we’re increasing prices, just because we’re trying to pay out all these bonuses,” Craig added.

Source link

Continue Reading


Van Oord wins Baltic Eagle foundations and array cable gig – reNews




Iberdrola has awarded Van Oord a contract for the transportation and installation of monopile foundations and array cables at the 476MW Baltic Eagle offshore wind farm off Germany.

The deals were first revealed in the subscriber-only newsletter reNEWS.

Van Oord will deploy its 8000-tonne heavy lift installation vessel Svanen to install the 50 foundations.

Offshore works for the Baltic Eagle project will start in 2023.

Van Oord’s cable laying vessel Nexus and trencher Dig-It will be deployed for the array cable laying.

Iberdrola country manager for Germany Iris Stempfle said: “Iberdrola is one of the leading developers contributing to the energy transition by investing in offshore wind projects around the globe – in Germany, our Baltic Hub will have an installed capacity of 826MW by the end of 2024.

“Tapping into the expertise of Van Oord yet again makes us confident that Baltic Eagle offshore wind farm will be delivered as planned.”

Van Oord Offshore Wind managing director Arnoud Kuis said: “We are very pleased to be working with Iberdrola again, this time on the Baltic Eagle project in the German Baltic Sea.

“Combining the installation of foundations and the supply and laying of cables will ensure efficient project execution.”

Baltic Eagle is scheduled to be fully operational by the end of 2024.

Source link

Continue Reading


Copyright © 2019