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
May 29, 2015
Residents are evacuated by members of the Houston Fire Department from floodwaters surrounding their homes in Houston, Tuesday, May 26, 2015. Heavy rain overnight caused flooding and closure of sections of highways in the Houston area. (AP)

Texas floods. Soccer scandal. Nebraska outlaws the death penalty. Identity theft at the IRS. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

May 29, 2015
In this March 24, 2002 file photo, John Nash, left, and his wife Alicia, arrive at the 74th annual Academy Awards, in Los Angeles. Nash, the Nobel Prize-winning mathematician whose struggle with schizophrenia was chronicled in the 2001 movie "A Beautiful Mind,” died in a car crash along with his wife in New Jersey on Saturday, May 23, 2015, police said. (AP)

Remembering a beautiful mind: Nobel –prize winning game theorist John Nash . We’ll look at his game theory. His schizophrenia. His genius.

RECENT
SHOWS
May 28, 2015
Ousted Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi raises his hands as he sits behind glass in a courtroom, in a converted lecture hall in the national police academy in an eastern Cairo suburb, Egypt, Saturday, May 16, 2015. (AP)

Sentenced to death in Egypt for espionage, respected academic Emad Shahin joins us with a big take on Egypt, ISIS and America’s response.

 
May 28, 2015
Protesters congregate in front of city hall Tuesday, May 26, 2015, in Cleveland. Members of about 40 churches are protesting the acquittal of a white patrolman charged in the deaths of two unarmed black motorists with a march through downtown Cleveland. (AP)

The new Cleveland standard of American policing. Will it stop abuse? Will it get the job done?

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
A Former Bike Gang Member Explains "The Life"
Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Larry called in from Lawrenceburg, KY and told us he was once a member of the Pagan’s Motorcycle Club, a mid-Atlantic biker gang. He didn’t sugar coat the facts as he explained the draw of the brotherhood and what makes the outlaw motorcycle corner the underworld go round.

More »
1 Comment
 
Our Week In The Web: May 15, 2015
Friday, May 15, 2015

We cancel a few hours and suddenly all of you get convinced of a global radio conspiracy! Plus, dragon zoos.

More »
1 Comment
 
Caller: ‘It Doesn’t Always Turn Out Okay’
Wednesday, May 13, 2015

One caller shares her own story of an extremely premature birth. Her daughter, born at 22 1/2 weeks in 2012, was taken off life support after seven days.

More »
Comment