Dehumanization Is a Feature of Gig Work, Not a Bug #Dehumanization #Feature #Gig #Work #Bug Welcome to JibGlobe, here is the new resources we have for you today:
Of course Friskies Shreds wet cat food was on the bottom shelf of the last aisle I checked. It was just that kind of day. As I crouched into a kneeling position to inspect the inventory, I scanned the customer’s order glowing back at me on my smartphone: “Any seafood shreds with and without cheese. Twenty cans variety of flavors.” But doesn’t “variety of flavors” contradict the more specific request for “seafood shreds with and without cheese”? Or maybe the seafood category includes multiple flavors? Am I overthinking this?
As a business school professor — and, importantly, not a cat owner — my experience that day was atypical. As a driver for Postmates, however, it was just one of the 238 deliveries that I completed for the popular food delivery platform as part of an 18-month immersive research project to better understand the strategies that drivers use to craft a meaningful work identity. During my time as a Postmate, I drove for 130 hours, interviewed other drivers who had collectively completed 170,000 rides and deliveries on similar platforms (Uber, Lyft, DoorDash, Grubhub, Instacart, etc.), attended in-person and virtual company meetings, and reviewed and contributed to driver forums on Facebook, Reddit, and other websites.
In one sense, my recently published findings are not surprising. Like many app workers in the on-demand economy, I too had customers berate me for not having a clairvoyant understanding of their apartment building’s layout, parking restrictions, or door access codes. I too barely managed to earn more than minimum wage, despite selectively driving in some of the most lucrative markets in the country and using the most effective strategies I knew (such as resisting the urge to chase the notoriously quick-to-cool “hot spots” across town, avoiding neighborhoods with too many maze-like apartment buildings, and prioritizing multiple deliveries in one transaction over single orders).