The Flip by Keisha H.

For the past three days, I had searched the job boards for new opportunities. Freshly unemployed, money and financial security started to permeate my thinking. He contacted me through a task app, where people hire people to help them with tasks and chores, and hired me for my first job.

My client messaged me from New York, en route to Miami; he would be on the ground in five hours. He wanted me to leave now and wait in line for him at a pop-up store. The store opened in a couple of days so the line shouldn’t be that long. He sounded stressed and I didn’t want to disappoint. I packed up my laptop and exited the coffee shop.

Pulling into the prominent Design District, I saw a line that spanned the boulevard. The tents and folding chairs foreshadowed the events that would ultimately unfold in the next forty hours. I made my way to the back of the line and tried to unpack the situation. The pop-up store announced their Design District opening only hours before. Whilst in the queue, I also learned that merchandise from other openings had been reselling for exorbitant rates on the secondary market. With a bit of patience and luck, I could make some decent money. I scrambled to contact friends and family and within thirty minutes I had secured five thousand dollars. When my client finally arrived, we waited together to enter the store.

Hour after hour passed but the line didn’t move. The store would open in two days and we were left to wait in the hot July sun. With the risk of heat stroke, the district distributed large umbrellas to protect its patrons from the blistering conditions. Finally, after about thirty-five hours, the line began to move. The mob went through a series of security checkpoints before finally being admitted into the store. Once inside, we were limited in the number of items we could purchase. I used my budget and made a nice profit from the resale.

My introduction to the gig economy reaffirmed that I didn’t need to worry about how I would make a living. I proved to myself that day that I could size an opportunity, take action, and remain resilient in an uncomfortable situation. I was going to be alright.

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