Written in Ink

What Do All Those Freelancers Actually Do?

While getting a coffee this morning I overheard the guy in line ahead of me tell the cashier that he worked for a small publishing house, he called it "bespoke". He then proceeded to get his $5 shade grown coffee, flip open his shiny new laptop and look busy.

A few months back I was called for jury duty. Lawyers for the opposing sides questioned all of us about our jobs. The girl sitting next to me was a freelance puppeteer, which by the way, is my new favorite job title, ever. The guy in front of me worked on documentary films, freelance only. One row back was an artist, of the painting variety.

How are any of these people paying rent in NYC? Every time I see someone sitting silently in a coffee shop, the glow of their MacBook casting a deathly pallor on their face, looking serious and important, I want to walk over to see if they are really doing well paid work or secretly playing Angry Birds in a social setting.

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What do you think? Is there a booming puppeteer market I know nothing about? Long lines of people eager to see that new documentary on yak butter production that only took three years to make? Is everyone secretly working a second job in the accounting department of IBM that they never talk about?

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