Using Tinder to Find Workers for Odd Jobs

ice heart flickrIf there’s one thing humans are good at, it’s finding ways to tweak, or “lifehack,” services to meet our own individual needs.

Take Tinder, which I recently mathematically excoriated for its new tiered paywall. Tinder is designed to help you meet people for purposes of dating, right? (For various definitions of the word “dating.”) Sure, there’s always that TV show that makes fake Tinder profiles for its characters as part of its ad campaign, or the dude whose Tinder profile is clearly just an advertisement for his band, but we can always swipe left on those and move on.

And then one Tinder user had a new idea: what if she could use Tinder to find men willing to do odd jobs for her?

Journalist Susan Zalkind decided to use Tinder to find a man to shovel her car out of a Boston snowbank. She changed her Tinder profile text to: “Looking for someone to shovel out my car. Nothing complicated, no strings attached, just please shovel out my car.” As she wrote for Boston Magazine, this technique worked and she got 11 matches and three offers within 15 minutes. She picked an offer from a guy she called “Ted:”

The next morning, he showed up with a shovel and an ice pick, and he did not kill me. He got to work shoveling out my car while I picked up a coffee and a scone for him. I don’t live very close to a café, so I was gone for about 45 minutes. When I came back, my car was mostly shoveled out. I helped, we chatted—mostly about his ex—and before I knew it, my car was free. Ted wasn’t creepy at all. I think he just got a kick out of being chivalrous and having a little company on Valentine’s Day.

Zalkind ends up successfully finding people to dig her car out of snowbanks twice. (After all, it’s been pretty snowy in Boston recently.) She writes that a few Tinder users were confused as to why she was looking for someone to dig out her car but not looking to take them out on a date afterwards—but if there’s one thing we know about Tinder, it’s that if you and a potential match don’t have the same goals, you can just keep swiping until you find someone who shares your goals. In this case, the goal of getting your car dug out of a snowbank for free.

Hat tip to Jezebel for pointing me towards this great story. Do you think that this lifehack will take off, and people will start using Tinder to find free labor? Or maybe we’ll start seeing Tinder profiles that read “need someone to move couch offering $10 OBO.” Maybe people can use Tinder to pay off their $19.99 Tinder Plus subscriptions, one odd job at a time.

Photo credit: Droid Gingerbread

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