Media praises go-getter attitude, fails to examine how broken our economy is
By Rebecca Peterson, Assistant Editor
Douglas College alumni and double-major SFU graduate Ari Aman made headlines this week after it was revealed the 25-year-old has a whopping 11 avenues of self-employment and contract work on top of his full-time internship with a local online publication.
“He just does everything,” said one of Aman’s fellow graduates, known to the local community as “Homeless Helena.” “He works two types of food delivery, runs a ride share, picks up shifts as a taxi driver, walks dogs, takes on translation and transcription work online, tutors, teaches a spin class and a kickboxing class on weekends… I really don’t know how he does it.”
Aman’s girlfriend, Clarisse Barista, worries for Aman’s health.
“I mean, I know why he’s always working,” she said as she served one of our Other Press reporters a grande triple-shot half-sweet vanilla latte, no foam. “He has a basement suite in Vancouver—like actually in the city. You can’t have that and afford food without a little extra work… but I know it’s taking a toll on him. Some of his clients from his webcam-model side-hustle have actually tracked us down to ask if he’s okay, because he’s looking a little peaky on-camera.”
28-year-old Barista, we discovered, has a Master’s degree in Historical Conservation, and works full-time as an instructor at a local community college.
“The coffee shop thing is just my side-hustle,” Barista told us. “I’m hoping one day to afford to move out of my parent’s house, maybe rent a nice little studio apartment in Coquitlam. But that’s a far-off dream right now.”
We tracked down Aman’s employer at his internship for comment.
“Oh yeah, we love Ari—the kid is just incredible,” said Craig S. Lister in a phone interview last Thursday. “Really, really great, never complains. He gets here and works the full 9 to 5, produces some frankly fantastic content. We’re considering giving him a raise, actually.”
The Other Press asked what Aman was being paid, and Lister was very clearly proud in his response.
“We’re one of the few internships that pay anything, you know,” said Lister. “Once a month we give our interns a $50 Starbucks giftcard, which gets them about a week or two of free coffee—on us!—just to show our appreciation for all their hard work. But for Aman, we’re thinking of raising that to $55, just to give the kid a little extra boost. Like I keep telling him, if he works here long enough, puts in that hustle we love to see from your generation, in a year or two he might make staff writer, who we pay very generously. Imagine getting $11.75 an hour just for sitting around and writing, which a lot of these kids would probably be doing for free anyway. That’s above minimum wage, you know!”
We tried to reach Aman for comment, however last the Other Press heard, he has taken two vacation days to enjoy a well-earned medically-induced coma to recover his strength.