Today, it seems that all of us are busy all of the time. We’re either in the middle of a task, preparing to do a task or closing one out.
Whether you’re at work under the pressure of an over-caffeinated supervisor or you’re at home and the family is pulling you in infinite directions, there never seems to be enough time in a given day to do everything you need.
But what if there was a service that could help you with pretty much any task or chore you needed to do?
To be more specific, let’s say you and your spouse were invited to tonight’s football game at the last second because your boss had a couple of tickets he couldn’t use.
You’d really love to go to the game because the seats are perfectly situated, midfield and right in front of the action, your boss says.
There's just one thing though, your in-laws are coming in the morning to spend a few days before Thanksgiving and you haven’t even begun cleaning up the house or straightening up the room they’ll be staying in.
No worries though. You just go to TaskRabbit.com, post some information on what you need done, offer how much you’re willing to pay, and someone will show up at your door with all of the necessary cleaning supplies to trick your in-laws into thinking you're tidy.
The website TaskRabbit.com does this kind of stuff all of the time, as the owners set up a service and website were people can hire others to complete everyday tasks like shoveling your driveway after a storm or caring for your pet if you have to leave town.
Kind of like Craigslist
In a way Task Rabbit is like Craigslist, in that you can post a job for someone to do while offering payment. But instead of hiring just a random person from cyberspace, you employ one of the company’s staff people to complete your task. The company calls these staff people “Task Rabbits.”
Task Rabbits are said to undergo layers of background criminal checks to ensure safety for customers, which is vastly different from anyone you hire through a Craigslist post. And each staff person is listed on the company’s website and has a rating to show how well they were reviewed by previous customers.
So far the company is set up in Boston, San Francisco, Chicago, Portland, San Antonio, Austin, Seattle, L.A, Orange County, Calif. and New York--which allows you to hire a Task Rabbit in a different city from where you live.
Let's say it’s a friend’s birthday tomorrow that happens to live in another part of the country, and you want to buy them a gift.
You can post your task in one of the company’s associated cities, have a Task Rabbit go to your friend’s favorite clothing store, they'll buy an item and hand deliver that item to your friend the same day.
And you pay for the service and the gift online after the task is completed, so no cash is ever exchanged.
Alos, it’s free to sign up for the site and there’s no membership charge, so you can start posting tasks right away without paying up front.
Once you include how much you’re willing to pay for your task, the lowest bidder among the Task Rabbit employees gets the job, and they head out to complete whatever assignment you created.
Of course what you offer to pay should be in direct proportion to what the job is, especially if the task includes travel and if a purchase is involved--like in the case of your friend’s birthday gift.
The way payment works is, you reimburse the Task Rabbit when the job is complete, which strengthens the chances of customers not being duped.
Kind of creepy
Task Rabbit is clearly what Craigslist should have evolved into years ago when it comes to hiring people for a one time job.
Let’s face it, Craigslist has a creepy factor to it, since there's absolutely no type of background checking system or even the slightest way to monitor just who you’re dealing with.
With the Task Rabbit employees, the company says they’re heavily scrutinized and put through a rigorous interview and training process before they’re finally brought on.
And just who make up these staff people? They’re everyday folks looking for extra work, the company says, so the Task Rabbits could be someone who is currently under-employed, a person that’s retired, a college student, or someone looking for a job with a flexible schedule.
The company also says it’s always looking for staff people to hire, so those looking to make an extra few bucks can become Task Rabbits themselves if they choose.
In short, the website is basically learning from sites like Craigslist, as it’s taking the idea of letting people post jobs and name their own price, but allows them to hire people much more safely by providing background checks and a way you can hold the staffer accountable if a job isn’t done to your satisfaction.
Hopefully the Craigslists of the world will begin to follow suit and make using its job posting services a little less creepy.
Apparently that’s what Task Rabbit did, and so far the company is off to a good start, as more and more users are hiring people through the site, and countless people are trying to become Task Rabbits themselves.