Craigslist, if you dont know what it is... welcome to the internet.
The gigs section is a weird mix of envelope stuffing scams, pyramid schemes, nude modeling for women, and weird cash jobs. I shoot out a couple emails a month when something pays well enough. Last night was a decent gig that is worth talking about.
1:30pm I leave my house to ride the 30 miles or so to the airport hotel at which the gig will take place.
3:20 Arrive and discretely change out of my spandex and snack a bit.
3:30 Meet up with fellow crew members. It was a mix of people. Eight of us in all, and 1 person from the national branch to manage us. 1 suburban housewife. 1 yinzer big truck driving type guy. 2 college "chicks" . 2 college "dudes". Me and an "artist".
My position was "chief bicycle mechanic." Pay was 1/2 of my mortgage for the month, or 1/2 of a decent coach's charge for a month, your call.
We set everything up and go over the plan for the evening.
5:05 The company that paid for the whole gig shows up. 120 people, mostly white men, maybe 8 minorities (all but 2 asian), and maybe 10 women. It was an engineering company that was in Pittsburgh for their annual conference. They have no idea what is about to happen. They hire a company which sends one manager and hires eight people on craigslist. The purpose of the thing is to build team work and to get to know one another.
The deal is that they are assigned into groups of 8. Each group has to answer trivia questions in order to earn chips to buy 2 bikes, 2 helmets, 1 lock. They then build the bikes from the boxes, ride them through an obstacle course, write and perform a fake commercial for the bikes and their company, and dink beer and wine while doing so. All things are scored on time and creativity and there is eventually a winner.
Middle aged white guys in suits riding kids bmx bikes around is awesome. Telling old white guys that the forks are on backwards is awesome. Drinking tons of free diet pop is awesome. Seeing old white dudes SKID across doubletree hotel carpet is awesome.
Then after a winner is declared, the leader tells them that the bikes are going to be given to a charity, the doors swing open and 30 kids from the local boys and girls club come running in. After an exponential minority increase, everybody takes pictures and feels really good about what they did. If I were Forest Gump, I would have done it for free, because it was a pretty darn cute thing. I am not Gump, so I grumble about the 1 week turnaround until I get my check, and how it isnt cash.
Then there is 20 minutes of kids FLYING around the doubletree doing wheelies and skids, which again was awesome. All the guys who put the bikes together get the tools back out and adjust the bars, stems and seats for the kids. Everybody has a good time. I drink more free pop and try to get off my feet.
7:55 I am left alone in the room waiting for my ride home, trying to drink as much free bottled water/pop/tea/starbucks as I can before Amy arrives to pick me up.