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Boubacar drives nights for Uber. Often, impatient customers scream at him and then leave trash behind as he ferries them between their office jobs in glassy towers and warmly-lit SoHo restaurants. They rarely tip. By day, he delivers food for a popular salad and sandwich chain, weaving his bike through Midtown traffic and making minimum wage. It’s better than the busboy and delivery jobs his friends have, where their employers underpay. And despite the hour-and-a-half commute, he sometimes enjoys being out in the rush of the city — unlike his wife who works the cash register at their local CVS. At least he doesn’t worry about her the way he worries about his sister, who cares for three children on the Upper East Side and is often asked last-minute to stay until late.

But, mostly, he worries about his kids, ages five and seven. He’s had to find a new delivery job every few months and is still never guaranteed hours. He’d been hoping to train to be a nurse, as he’d like to have a regular schedule, save for his kids’ education, and do work that feels good, but he knows he’ll never have the time. How will they learn to love soccer, or remember their native Senegal, if he’s never home to talk and play with them? And when they’re older, will their lively minds be overwhelmed by worry about rent and food for the next week?
More… “Imagining A Way Out”

Abigail Fradkin studied political thought and history at Harvard College. She has worked in immigration and economic development and currently works for the New York City government. The views expressed in this article are her own.

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An investigation into his Facebook status updates revealed inaccurate reporting and unreliable social commentary on his life, so Alex Strum hired a personal ombudsman to fact check his updates.

September 18, 2009 – 7:45 PM – Alex Strum is trying to get some homework done before going to work…lamest Friday ever?

It should be noted that there are discrepancies with what Alex was actually doing. Although his schoolwork was present and in the open, his attention was mostly focused on the television, where Point Break was airing again on the USA network. Alex almost made his status a quote from Gary Busey’s character (“Utah! Get me two!”). In hindsight that would’ve been far more representative of where his attention lay, but Alex feared that those unfamiliar with the movie would judge him for his vague request of a state he’s never been to. “Going to work”… More…