I Eat the Same Fast Food Every Day to Manage Anxiety About the Gig Economy

This Is Fine. It is a weekly e-newsletter from VICE approximately the relatively private procedures people use to make the world sense much less harrowing. In this edition, John Paul Brammer extols the virtues of a unique consuming habit that anchors him in a particularly chaotic professional subject—and, like, global. Sign up here to get hold of a new essay approximately a dealing-with-lifestyles strategy via This Is Fine—each Sunday nighttime.

I am a creature fashioned via the gig economic system. As an author and reporter, I’ve seen one of my offices dissolve in a single day. I’ve visible the turbulence of the industry ship my formerly complete-time peers into freelancing or other fields totally. Every time I start a new process, I start saving up for my next voyage into the desolate tract of unemployment, stretches of time when my workplace turns into anything Starbucks I’m closest to. It’s a chaotic way of life, but one I’ve extra or much less tailored to, like a benthic squid that knows the handiest darkness.

That doesn’t mean I don’t have tension. I have lots: over when my next test will come inside the mail; over what this eldritch horror of a career is adding as much as; over whether or not the public response to my subsequent thinkpiece could be so bad that I’ll go back to creating tortillas in Oklahoma for a residing. I actually have the tension of the “it’s a disease” type as nicely, which I want high-priced medicine for, which ends up giving me more anxiety when money is tight. (I’ve developed a twitch in my proper eye that I’m pretty positive is permanent.)

During my closing freefall into the “good day, simply checking in on fee for this” waters, I landed at the pillowy shorelines of an unusual island. It’s a consolation I’m no longer terribly happy with, however, one which has however provided a balm for my nerves: ingesting the identical issue, in extra or much less the same vicinity, each day. My respite? Eating the equal prepared egg product from the same chain as frequently as humanly feasible. Per Starbucks company, it bears the title “Sous Vide Egg Bites.”

The past due to the capitalist hellscape we inhabit has produced some proper horrors, one being the precarity that accompanies any employment humans in my subject might discover. Another being Howard Schultz, the former CEO of Starbucks and the person who threatened to run for president if the Democratic Party went too far left until he threw his returned out. I am properly aware of what Starbucks is and how it traffics in sanitized, decorative wokeness to emblem itself because of the questioning guy’s bean juice. But this isn’t about Starbucks. This is about finding a place with reliable Wi-Fi that isn’t my house and a stunning egg treat asking me to save a couple of dollars after nothing of me.

Economy

Don’t take this as an endorsement. I’m now not saying that, within the face of expert calamity or anything different uncertainty that can be plaguing you, you ought to exit and order some Starbucks Sous Vide Egg Bites. Take this instead as dire access from a survivor’s log, written by a haggard man living on the knife’s part. The type of individual in a kingdom to mention, and imply: Starbucks’ Sous Vide Egg Bites stored my existence. I can’t forestall ordering them, and I stay in fear of the weird Starbucks mermaid with tails taking them far from me. In the stormy seas that roil me, they’re my anchor.

I ought to speak about the taste, even though that element isn’t extraordinarily critical to me. Starbucks’ Sous Vide Egg Bites are mere clouds with hints of bell pepper and…I don’t realize sodium. For one damaged month of my existence, during which I turned into freelancing complete time and running on more often than not coffee and prayer, my lunches consisted nearly completely of Egg Bites—broadly speaking the egg white type, with some different flavors here and there for spontaneity: ham and cheddar, bacon and gruyere. I felt exceptional. But the real appeal of Egg Bites is how well they encompass a feel of unwavering predictability, a pleasure that is primarily otherwise unknown to me.

Starbucks offers a wholly trendy revel regardless of which vicinity you discover yourself in. The Egg Bites I devour right here in Manhattan are the equal ones I order once I’m traveling domestically in Oklahoma, wherein the closest Starbucks is placed interior a Target and where, sure, I actually have written articles on Chechnya and fidget spinners with a view of the women’ garb segment.

Everything else is a situation to exchange: what number of portions I’m operating on and what sort of I’m being paid for them, the metropolis I occur to be in, and my state of mind, whether or not I am in a match of mania or deep in the throes of melancholy. Starbucks’ Egg Bites can’t relate. They are regular. They arrive, two perfectly packaged little desserts nestled aspect by the side, as they usually do, absolutely anticipated, always handing over. They are balanced incarnate. They are my god.

I actually have attempted alternatives. I go to independent espresso shops after I can and usually find myself tempted via the huge croissants and sandwiches inside the showcase. I do not often partake of these. Some are precise. Some are horrific. That’s a hazard! Sometimes the Wi-Fi at these locations doesn’t work; other times, their bloodless brew is so sturdy I can physically sense my soul seeking to claw out of my frame and fly away.

Starbucks has robust Wi-Fi and susceptible coffee—ideal for me, a sensitive flower flimsily held together via nothing however my rituals of normalcy—analyzing an e-book on the educate, the use of the equal face wash every night time before mattress, and Sous Vide Egg Bites, continually Sous Vide Egg Bites. (I didn’t even understand what “sous vide” supposed until, like, the final month. It includes plastic bags and a water tub.)

I’ve given you a few theories approximately what my dependency on Egg Bites may have to say approximately the brutal international we stay in. I could call my dependancy “self-care,” but that doesn’t experience quite proper. Working in an acquainted vicinity and ingesting familiar, anodyne meals receives me through the chaotic, isolated global I stay in. My process and my relationship with my intellectual fitness alternate, but this one, heat scrumptious component, does now not. In the quest for a consistent in a sea of variables, I’ve found mine, and it’s far one hundred seventy energy, total.

Kim James

Passionate student. Thinker. Incurable web geek. Beer evangelist. Proud organizer. Music scholar. Friendly reader. Tv specialist. Gifted in selling Slinkies in Deltona, FL. Uniquely-equipped for promoting UFOs in the aftermarket. Spent several months getting my feet wet with rocking horses in Africa. Once had a dream of supervising the production of soap scum for the government. What gets me going now is supervising the production of junk bonds in Phoenix, AZ. In 2009 I was donating tinker toys in the financial sector.

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