PLEDGE NOW
Making Do In A Makeshift Economy

We’ll look at workers trying to live and make a living in the age of TaskRabbit and computer-driven work schedules.

Jen Joyce, a community manager for the Uber rideshare service, works on a laptop before a meeting of the Seattle City Council, Monday, March 17, 2014, at City Hall in Seattle. (AP)

Jen Joyce, a community manager for the Uber rideshare service, works on a laptop before a meeting of the Seattle City Council, Monday, March 17, 2014, at City Hall in Seattle. (AP)

A lot of Americans work all kinds of crazy hours these days to pay the bills.  Doctors do.  Lawyers can.  Maybe you do.  It can make for a stressful life.  Especially if the hours are irregular.  All over the map.  And especially if the work is low-wage.  A doctor might hire a nanny.  A stock clerk, a barrista, a Wal-Mart associate – not likely.  But last-minute, all-over-the-clock-and-week shift assignments have become common.  You can’t plan.  You don’t know.  And then there’s freelance work.  This hour On Point:  hanging on, making do in the makeshift, all-over-the-clock economy.

– Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Ann Huff Stevens, director of the Center for Poverty Research at the University of California, Davis. Professor and chair of the department of economics at UC-Davis.

Brad Stone, senior writer for Bloomberg Businessweek. Author of “The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon.” (@BradStone)

Allison Santana, Starbucks barista in Chester, Pennsylvania.

From Tom’s Reading List

New York Times: Working Anything but 9 to 5 — “Along with virtually every major retail and restaurant chain, Starbucks relies on software that choreographs workers in precise, intricate ballets, using sales patterns and other data to determine which of its 130,000 baristas are needed in its thousands of locations and exactly when. Big-box retailers or mall clothing chains are now capable of bringing in more hands in anticipation of a delivery truck pulling in or the weather changing, and sending workers home when real-time analyses show sales are slowing.”

Bloomberg Businessweek: Work-Life Balance and the New Night Shift — “With the growing irresistibility of the smartphone and the ubiquity of cloud collaboration, evening work for many professionals has become standard. We come home from the office, change into more comfortable clothes, put the kids to bed, and maybe open a bottle of wine. And then we grab our laptops and log back in.”

The Wall Street Journal: TaskRabbit Chief Aims to Recast Freelance Work –“Like other companies in the largely venture-backed peer-to-peer economy, including Uber Technologies Inc. and Airbnb Inc., TaskRabbit is still tweaking its business model. Recently, in a move meant to increase margins and boost user experience, the company upended the way tasks are farmed out on its site, shifting from an auction model to automated algorithms that match workers with people requesting household services.”

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Jul 2, 2015
This file image taken from a militant website associated with Islamic State extremists, posted Saturday, May 23, 2015, purports to show a suicide bomber, with the Arabic bar below reading: "Urgent: The heroic martyr Abu Amer al-Najdi, the attacker of the (Shiite) temple in Qatif", which the Islamic State group's radio station claimed responsibility for.  (AP)

A big, provocative look at the sophisticated online efforts of ISIS to recruit and lure Westerners to their cause.

Jul 2, 2015
In this file photo, Judy Blume attends LA Times Festival of Books, Saturday, April. 21, 2012, at the USC Campus in Los Angeles.  (AP)

Beloved children’s author Judy Blume is writing for adults again – on disaster. Judy Blume joins us.

RECENT
SHOWS
Jul 1, 2015
In this file photo, a statue stands at the entrance to the women-only Taconic Correctional Facility in Bedford Hills, N.Y., Wednesday, March 28, 2012.  (AP)

Babies born in prison. The numbers are growing. What’s best for baby? We’ll take a closer look.

 
Jul 1, 2015
In this June 26, 2015, photo, President Barack Obama speaks in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington. The Obama administration will propose requiring overtime pay for workers who earn nearly $1,000 per week, three individuals familiar with the plan said Monday, June 29. (AP)

Five million workers may qualify for overtime pay. We’ll look at the plan and the pushback.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Election 2016: Who Exactly Is Running For President?
Tuesday, Jun 30, 2015

Who is running for President, anyway? We attempt to help you figure it out.

More »
5 Comments
 
Our Week In The Web: June 19, 2015
Friday, Jun 19, 2015

Why our broadcast changed in different markets this week, and a closer look at a puppet theatre vandalism in rural Norway. (Really).

More »
Comment
 
Quick Note On Rebroadcasting Today
Thursday, Jun 18, 2015

A quick note regarding today’s shifting schedule of broadcasts.

More »
2 Comments