The Side Hustle

Nowadays t’s not uncommon to have a job that is part of the grand scheme of your career as well as a job on the side that might be a way to make money or it’s just about something you like doing.

I met a man whose main business was shady nightclubs and whose side hussle was philosophy discussions in the pub. I’m not sure how much pub goers were willing to pay for philosophy. I thought that was the point of the pub. Everyone’s a philosophers and you get the benefit of their views for free. My friend the Artists’ side hussle is wedding bunting. She is not short on customers. Like plumbers, you can never have enough bunting.

My friend, the Dynamo, and I have been thinking about a side hustle. This has involved a couple of bottles of wine, a pot of tea and a lot of up and down to throw another log on the fire. Stoking the fire did not inflame our imaginations and we are none the wiser but we might see if a good dinner can move things forward.

If all else fails, I’m considering a move into crime. Like all the best ideas, I stumbled on this one by accident.

I went to #UniGlo to look for T-shirts. After the changing rooms contautions I settled on a pair of trousers and agonised about the need for this purchase as I lingered in the queue for the till. With the doubtful trousers in an oversized bag, I made my way to the exit. There was a bit of a kerfuffle as a group of teenagers made a bid to get past me and out of the shop in front of me. As I went to move round them I found myself being hustled. The “hustle” to steer me towards the street was merely a critical move in their criminal “hussle”.

The teenagers piled out onto the street. With me snapping at their heels, the alarm went off. The teenagers sailed on. I stopped dead in my tracks. In the absence of a tap on the shoulder I wandered off.

“Hey! Stop!”

Could he mean me? Still nothing happened, so on I pressed.

“Stop there!” yelled the disembodied voice.

Cane in hand, I looked around but still couldn’t work it out so turned and set off for a third time.

The teenagers were now in front of me, jabbing at me with their bulging #H&M bags flapping in my face.

“You need to go back,” the first one said.

“Yeah, go on. Go back. You set off the the alarm.”

“He’s gonna check your bag. Go on. Go back.”

Then they did a nifty backwards walk up #Oxford Street while I did the walk of shame and, in full view of anyone who was interested, had my unnecessary trouser purchase rifled.

“She’s alright,” bellowed the relieved #UniGlo assistant. “You can go,” he said and turned on his heels. He didn’t want the hassle of this hussle.

In the seconds it took for this rouse to unfold, I was a passive player. Why didn’t I finger the teenagers? Whatever made a middle aged woman with a cane in her hand a more likely suspect than a gang of teenagers? Was it easier for the shop assistant to stop me than have to deal with them?  Could everyone see what was happening but me?

Hiring myself out to shoplifters could be an excellent side hussle. It would have to be on a cash basis. A share of the booty won’t do it. Teenage fashion does nothing for my middle aged frame.

I’ve examined my soul. I’m taking the trousers back and getting a refund.

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