What if you earn while waiting in line?

We all try to make the most of our time by queuing: answering emails, calling our parents, paying a friend or reading a book … Some see this as a way to make money, while waiting for iba. A good idea that hides a disturbing fact.

VShas become a way like others to make a living, though, to be completely sincere, we never saw it coming … Faced with the growing uberization of society some workers are no longer reluctant to sell their time. This is what Robert Samuel, that is The keeper telling every day.

This 46-year-old New Yorker, a former phone salesman, has become a professional “queue”. In other words: some wealthy customers pay him to wait in line for them. If this is business model may at first glance seem shaky, rest assured, it works wonderfully. “The job involves being Robert Samuel sitting, standing, or sometimes sleeping, in queues : wait for theater tickets, iPhone will be released. He even happened to wait for someone to die in the context of a scary exhibition of French art “, explains The keeper.

The man also waited in front of Supreme or Omega stores, or in front of a bakery that specializes cronut, this croissant-donut that is a passion across the Atlantic. More surprisingly, he waited in line to attend at the judgment of a trial or in front of vaccination centers during a pandemic… When the queue is over, there are two possible options: Robert Samuel can give his seat to his client, or he can buy him tickets or the desired item, to give it to him.

“The wait lasted four, maybe five days”

But Robert Samuel’s working conditions were far from perfect: alone in his camping chair in his little tent, he waited despite rain, cold or snow. “It was zero degrees a day,” Robert Samuel recalled the inside of my tent was frozen with frost. I was able to scratch and write lines. I think that’s the coldest I’ve ever waited for. ”

Waiting times can also be intense. Forget the two -hour queue to enter a museum on the last day of this unmissable exhibition. We’re talking here for dozens of hours, even days. You read that right. During one of Hamilton’s last musical performances, Robert Samuel even had to get friends to wait in line for him. “The wait took four, maybe five days. We charge $ 5,000 for you to get two tickets. But compared to buying a resale ticket [au moins 15 000 $, ndlr], we are the best deal in town. ” This is when his new career began, and he started his business, Same Ole Line Dudes.

And when the theater changed its policy, requiring the ticket buyer to attend the performance, some of Robert Samuel’s clients just offered him a job. Thus the New Yorker rediscovered his love of theater.

Outsourcing your personal activities, the new luxury

If Robert Samuel seems to have made good use of his new situation, it nevertheless reflects this the growing precariousness of the world of work, at the expense of the lower class of workers. “As we see real extreme income inequality, this ability to outsource personal tasks is becoming more possible,” analyzes Sarah Damaske, professor of sociology at the University of Pennsylvania. minimum wages have been stuck for so long, it would be unthinkable for someone at one end [du système] to buy someone’s labor power on the other end. ”

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In addition to the domination of this class, the entrepreneur and all his employees – Black or Latino – often suffer. racist speech and actions of their customers or neighbors in the queue, especially in front of popular theaters or events. But Robert Samuel was not deceived by the socio-economic reality of his new profession: “You can encourage people to do almost anything, rationallyas long as it’s legal and you want to pay. “

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