If ChatGPT Takes All My Jobs… Things are mostly perfect. Mostly. Chilling on a balcony, watching wooden fishing boats with tall prows on the North Atlantic from a surfing hostel in warm, sunny, breezy Taghazout. The host gave me a speaker, and said he liked my music. I have this shaded seaside patio all to myself. But you see…I’m reading about this ChatGPT thing. Watching some videos on it. A year ago, AI could only write non-sequiturs that demonstrated there was no real mind buried in all the algorithms. “Batman throws Alfred at the clue.” Moronic sentences based on frequency of word use. But now…now it’s good. Kids are making it write college essays for them. It can crank out an advertisement, an SEO article, a web page, anything I ever got paid money to write. Non-sequiturs and headaches aside, it’s only a matter of time before employers figure out you don’t have to pay for ChatGPT’s health insurance. Plus, the technology will only get better going forward. For now at least, Odd Jobs & After Hours isn’t bringing in enough to replace my “real” jobs. And now they’re building a robot to replace those. Time to become something else. But what? Plenty of people did during the Industrial Revolution, right? Fair is fair. But maybe…there isn’t a “something else” to become, and this ChatGPT thing signals the long, slow slide towards homelessness. Sleeping in bus stops in the rain, wondering what happened to the guy with the laptop job surfing and partying across Europe, South America, and Africa, I mean, it’s not impossible, right? It’s not historically unheard of, it’s not – “Tom! Tom! We must go to Agadir for a couple of hours. We leave you in charge of the hostel?” I sit up and take off my sunglasses. Samad, the host of the hostel is peering around the corner, desperation in his eyes. “Samad. I’m on vacation.” “Yes, yes, of course, but for one hour, two hour, you answer the door if it rings, give new person towel from behind the desk, ask their room number and bring them there? We bring you anything you want from Agadir, anything to eat, drink, smoke, tell me and it’s yours.” “Thanks, but I’m stocked up. I don’t need anything from Agadir.” “Please, we are out of staff, and if you must leave, of course this is OK, but if you will be here with your music anyway…please?” Seagulls crow and dive for fish. “Ok, you got it.” Samad clasps his hands in gratitude, and off he goes on his motorbike to Agadir. Mostly, I hang out and do exactly what I was already doing. One guest arrives in half an hour, and I bring him a towel and show him to room four. Easy. Now as an American, you spend a ton of time around well-run businesses. You just do. And looking around at the surf hostel I now run, I consider everything that went wrong when I arrived. The vision becomes clear: hire some of local women to do the towel and linen washing, get that running like a clock. Spice and punch up the online description to sell the place on its ambiance a little better. Convince the building owner to spend a little more and therefore earn a little more, and not over-extend his two-man staff so much they have to ask some guest for help. I mean, from what I’ve seen Samad never sleeps. Get my book Odd Jobs & After Hours here. It’s about drifting down the east coast of the USA chasing one sketchy, so-called opportunity after another. Get it in hardcover, paperback, or audio at the link. Replace the hasty iPhone photos with something more cinematic. Get a staff schedule in ship-shape. Pay nice local ladies on the block for couscous dinners for the guests every night. Easy upsell. Heck, get a live music night organized right here on this patio. There’s enough banjo and oud guys playing the streets for pennies. Let’s get those guys earning a little more too. I’ll upsell guests on beginner surfing lessons. I am good enough to teach those now. Let them build a robot that can do all those things at once. And oh yeah, I’ll ferry to Spain often enough to dodge customs officials, because when you work abroad, tons of jobs will give you anything but a visa. As for a retirement plan, I simply won’t have one. As for the dentist, I simply won’t go. As for emergency funds, I will simply not have emergencies. That works, right? Three hours pass, and Samad returns with potato chips, Kinder bars, and beer as a thank you. Who knows? Maybe there’s a future in this surf hostel thing. No more wandering, just pick a nice place and stay there. Give up my hard-earned freedom and return to long hours stuck in one place. Clean up after 4AM parties and surf whenever I carve out time and gather energy for it. No matter how many times I tell the guest I let in and showed around I don’t really work there, they ask me for things all week long. Guess I’m hired.