While the majority of unemployed people are exactly how stereotypes depict them to be – lazy individuals who are content sitting around doing nothing to earn their unemployment checks – there are a few out there who want to get back in the work force in some minimal capacity. Because unemployment benefits are so meager, the unemployed are left to their own devices to figure out how to supplement their income without having their earnings deducted from their unemployment checks. One of the best ways is to pick up a shady side job that doesn’t require one to report the income to the government.
There are plenty of employment options that an unemployed person could take though some of them aren’t exactly legal. Then again, neither is working under the table, but once the unemployed have crossed that moral divide, there’s no stopping them. Short of selling oneself on the streets, one can’t expect to take an off-the-record job and get paid a high wage. The types of jobs that one could easily pick up for extra cash include: washing dishes, any odd job that someone with a pickup truck will hire you for on the spot – as long as you can hop into the back of the pickup, waiting tables for tips at restaurants that don’t exactly follow health regulation guidelines, freelance writing for a company that hasn’t gone corporate yet, or any other job where you can get cash tips, like stripping. While the job may not pay well, there are incidental rewards such as the chance to expose yourself to cancer-causing agents, heat stroke, the occasional free meal or snack, and having a chance to get out of the house for minor socialization.
Of course there are plenty of reasons not to want to work under the table including actually doing work, not getting paid for the work and being unable to report it out of fear of being punished, and the risk of getting beat up by your clients (depending on the line of “work” you choose). You might get burned several times trying to work without reporting your wages. However, if there is an opportunity to do something cool for cash, and it helps break up the time, the pros sometimes outweigh the cons. For example, if you wait tables sometimes the tips you get in a week might exceed what you get in unemployment checks – double the money, double the fun! Or, if you work the door at some club, more often than not free drinks are in store, and the opportunity to party for free when your shift ends. If it becomes a somewhat steady stream of cash, consider yourself lucky while it lasts – for some under the table jobs, the money stops when everything starts sagging.