I wanted to understand the sharing economy. Instead, I got schooled in the failures of Atlanta’s public transit system.
In my day job, I run Oglethorpe University, a liberal arts college in Atlanta. Over the last 40 years, I’ve also worked in the bleached-white collar realms of law and real estate.
This summer, I added a new line to my resume: Uber driver.
I signed up because I wanted to broaden my perspective on today’s “sharing economy.” After all, my students are confronting a very different job market than I did. Since the 2008 recession, many Americans have been pushed into or chosen to join the freelance marketplace, taking jobs with no regular hours, no benefits and no office. My wife calls it “Panera World,” where she, a freelance advertising executive, joins dozens of other freelancers who spend hours in the restaurant bakery working on their computers and phones every day. Some may forgo full-time work altogether, choosing by necessity or by choice to string together a series of part-time opportunities.
Opportunities like driving an Uber.