IT IS TIME FOR A REAL JOB: LIVING LIFE
"This is all very confusing to me," Uncle Jim says in a forlorn voice. "I just don’t understand how I could be asleep for ten years and now that I am awake everything has changed."
Suzie, Jim’s niece sighs as she knows this is going to be hard for her uncle. Many years ago her uncle was in a car accident and the family was grateful that he lived but they were not sure he would be able to come out of the coma that he was in. Now he is out of the coma and as she is on summer break, she is the one that gets to pick him up from the hospital and show him "the ropes". Currently they are sitting on a bench in the park across the street from the hospital.
Exasperated Jim holds up his arm and points to the watch on this wrist. "And this thing, it will just not shut up, it keeps chiming and speaking to me out of the blue talking about drops this, drops that. How do I turn this thing off?" Jim is now frantically pressing the sides of his shiny new band.
"Uncle Jim, stop. Please." Suzie lays a comforting hand on her uncle’s arm. "I promise it will be ok. Let me explain. It looks like a watch but it is not a watch. It’s a Polysign wallet - your international ID wallet but we call her Poly. That’s the AI in the band. You have to wear that band at all times. Inside is a chip that is tailored to your DNA. When you put it on, it samples your DNA from your skin and then it activates your accounts that it pulls from the block chain on the internet. Inside the band is your wallet, all of your drops are stored there and where ever you go you will earn and spend drops. I like to use XRP drops because that is what everyone pretty much uses so it’s pretty universal. That is why you can’t take it off."
"What are you talking about?” Jim is now looking confused. "You mean to tell me that I don’t have a physical wallet or driver’s license anymore?"
Suzie smiles. "No, people haven't had that in ages. Don’t worry; everything is connected to the internet now, so it knows who you are. Besides this is a good thing because now we can start earning some money for you so that you can get your own place. You are staying in my bedroom by the way, so it would be nice to get my room back".
Uncle Jim looks nervous. "Suzie, I'm not sure how easy it is for me to get a job. Obviously, I haven’t worked at a company in years and I don’t even remember the last time I worked on my resume. I don’t know if anyone will hire me."
Suzie looks at her uncle and grimaces. "Um, what are you talking about? Nobody works for one company these days. I mean seriously, who would want to do that and what is a resume? Never mind. Nowadays you do what you love or you seize the day. Opportunities are everywhere. Look, all you have to do is find drop activities throughout the day and have the micropayments add up enough to pay for rent. Everything transfers across the internet, kind of like the internet of value."
"So you are saying that I can magically earn money from thin air? How does that work?”
"Well for example …." Suzie starts to explain but she is interrupted by Jim’s band.
Poly's soft voice speaks through Jim's band "Sponsored payment….May and Winfred…accept?"
Jim glares at his band "Accept what?"
Suzie looks up and sees a dog walker approaching her and Jim. "Tell Poly that you accept."
"Why can’t you do it?" Jim says.
“Because only you have voice control over your wallet.”
“Oh, ok,” Jim tells Poly. “I accept”.
Jim is now looking expectantly at his niece. "Now what am I accepting?"
"The lady approaching us has a therapy dog. Your band must have noticed that you are stressed out and so your health insurance approved a micro payment if anyone was near by offering therapy services. She must have a therapy dog and her band alerted her to the opportunity nearby."
“Now wait a second. Are you saying some stranger is just going to walk up to me and let me pet her dog and then get paid for that? And how does my watch know how I am feeling?”
"Poly band, uncle, and yes it knows things, so move over so she can sit down and you can visit with her dog; who is adorable by the way." Suzie is now smiling a very big smile as the pooch is indeed adorable.
“Hi! Are you Jim? My name is May and this is Winfred, my yellow lab”.
“Hi May, here have a seat.” Jim pats the spot on the bench next to him. “I am Jim and this is my niece Suzie. So May how does this work exactly? You will have to forgive me I just woke up out of a coma and this is a little bit weird for me.”
“Oh, I am sorry to hear that, but I am glad that you are better.“ May settles on the bench and Winfred starts nudging Jim’s knee for attention. “Basically health studies have shown that therapy dogs help reduce stress in people. This is considered more of a holistic service that saves on medicine costs and does not have any side effects. Winfred and I basically visit with people, he likes to be petted and we sit for about fifteen minutes or so. Then the health insurance company will transfer a contracted Codius payment to my wallet instantaneously.”
“Wow that is pretty cool actually but is this all you do? “ Jim starts petting Winfred. “Do you wander around all day with your dog and wait for an opportunity, or do you have a real job? Like a permanent one?”
“Uncle don’t be rude,” exclaimed Suzie.
May laughed. “That’s ok, I understand this must sound weird but I actually make good money. You would be surprised how many patients, doctors, and office staff pay for fifteen minutes of down time with Winfred. His Instagram is on fire. Some pay out of pocket and others get a discount or sponsored payment with their insurance company or employer. The best is when they walk with Winfred for twenty minutes. Some people get some of their insurance deductible reduced or paid back to their HSA accounts because they are exercising when normally they would not be getting any exercise.”
“Yeah Uncle, I have not used a service like Winfred but I like to walk the dogs at the Humane Society when I can. People who cannot help with their time but have the money will donate money to people who not normally volunteer but have the time to help out physically.”
May enthusiastically nods her head. “I agree, it’s great. You know, another way to make some good money is that I pick up people’s litter like chip bags left at bus stations when I am on my walks. We used to have a big problem where people would throw food wrappers on the ground but now that packaging has block chain computer ID chips embedded inside, anytime you purchase say a bag of chips, it is notated that you had the last possession of that packaging. A couple years ago they passed a law that if that wrapper does not end up in a recycling bin and someday somebody other than you puts it in a recycling bin then they get paid immediately for that wrapper, say five drops, and you get five drops added to the next purchase you make. Also, if you litter more than three times in a month then anytime you buy a bag of chips it will automatically take out five drops extra and put that in a Codius contract until you have good recycle “reputation” aka behavior for three months straight then you get all of your money back.”
“So what happens if I don’t want to recycle and just want to keep paying the extra five cents, I mean five drops?”
“That is fine, you can do what you want. It is supply and demand, there will always be someone to pick it up if they can earn enough to do so and you are willing to pay the price for them to do so. Basically your five drops will no longer escrow and it will always be added to the cost of your chips until your change your behavior.”
“Ug, I hated that law when it came out,” Suzie exclaimed. “I kept throwing things away and not recycling them because I didn’t understand. It’s not cool Uncle, it is a good thing that you have a clean reputation. My reputation is good now but it took a while to get into the habit. What I did not understand initially is that your reputation rating becomes “one that litters” and the next thing you know every time you pass an electronic billboard for three months you see those anti littering campaigns tailored just for you. What a drag.”
“Yeah that happened to a friend of mine, it was bad,” May agreed. “I will say however our city looks a lot nicer now that everyone participates in this ecosystem.”
As Suzie is watching her uncle pet Winfred she notices that Winfred is wearing a very pretty handmade collar. “Hey, I noticed that Winfred has a pretty cool collar. Where did you find it?”
“Do you want one?” May asks. “ I sell them. Have you heard of Mojaloop? Well they just put out an app where you can loan people money to start up a new business. What makes this nice is that we can have conditional fractional shares in the business with our micro loan. My sister met this lady in Guatemala and thought they were really cool and that she should start selling them. We both lent her 100 drops to get started and now I have a Codius contract with her where she makes the collars and I get interest on my loan and a split of the profits if I contribute a certain percentage to sales. It’s great! Winfred is a walking advertisement. I sell the collars with the app and my referral is recorded on the block chain so the profits get split by the contract immediately. With my profits, I have been buying fractional shares of Amazon, I hope one day to get up to one full share if I can. Hey, I also pay a few drops if you buy the collar and post a pic on insta with your pup wearing the collar so definitely tag #WinfredsFriendsUnleased if you decide to buy it. Poly please send Jim and Suzie the site for the collars if they are interested.”
Chime. “Suzie do you accept the contact share?”
Poly speaks from May’s band in a soft voice. “Contract fulfilled”.
May looks at her band. “Well it looks like our time is up. I hope that you feel a little better, it was really nice being able to talk to you today.”
Jim looks down at Winfred and realizes, yes, he does feel a little better thanks to May and her companion. “Hey thanks for stopping by. I thought it was a silly idea at first but I can see the benefit.”
May laughs. “You are welcome. Good luck!”
As May and Winfred walk away, Jim turns to his niece. “So what is next?”
“Poly, what time is it?” Suzie asks.
Poly chimes. “It is 5:30p.m.”
“Well we should probably catch an Uber home as dinner should be ready soon. Mom has been trying out new recipes and rating them for a few drops so it should be interesting.”
Jim is indeed ready to go “home”. “Sounds good. But I don’t have any money for the Uber, how can I start earning drops?”
Suzie smiles. “Oh don’t worry Uncle. All the cars now days have large virtual reality screens in them. We will be able to watch advertisements and answer some surveys on the way home so we can get some money in your account.”
“Really? Somebody will pay me for that?”
Suzie really smiles this time. “Oh yeah, everyone wants something and everything is for sale. You will see. You will be rich before you know it,” Suzie jokes.
As they both stand up from the bench to leave Suzie reaches over to give her Uncle a big hug. “I am glad that you are awake now Uncle Jim, you will see, things are going to be great.”