What it’s like to be a Bird Charger
What does a charger do?
No matter how fast you are collecting birds people will ask you questions or yell some absurd comment at you. A chargers job is much more then just riding a scooter home to charge it. As a charger you do not represent the company and are on your own for the most part. Chargers are not always playing on the same level and some try to break the rules, but for the most part are a great group of people wanting to make some money.
The idea that these are a way to fix transportation issues is far from what most have experienced. The scooters are placed in high traffic tourist locations for visitor to use for a fun thing to do. Because of this, most people that dislike the idea of scooters placed all over their community are wanting them removed. There are also the people always let you know how they feel by cutting wires, ripping off parts, and doing things that would not be done by a good person.
Types of Chargers
Back to charging! There are different types of chargers that have a process to the madness and those that don't have a clue. Charging for bird can be a side job, hobby, or in some markets a full time money maker. Most beginners will start with 3 chargers that take a few week to arrive sometimes. During their free time they will capture a average of 6 birds a day and normally work 3-4 days a week, charging them in the house, garage, or where ever they will fit. For those that figured it out, super chargers will run a dedicated garage/storage for 20+ chargers, capturing on average 30-40 birds a day (this is not that case in all cities) and work 5-7 days a week.
Most chargers find out what time the most birds in their area are available for capture, some people charge during the day and some are night hunters. The birds that are available during the day are easier to find, are found in groups, allow for a early night, but pay on average $5-$7 per bird. The night hunter will search the map for the higher bounties that are sometimes hard to find, scattered around, but range in the $8-$15 range. The hard to find birds will pay $20, but capturing one of these is a matter of luck and persistence.
Chargers also have different ways of collecting and transporting captured birds. Most will capture one maybe two at a time and load them in their every day driver. For the chargers that like to "Stack" can position multiple birds on top of a single bird that they ride/push home or to a large vehicle. This stacking method is not for beginners and can be difficult for most, but is the best way of collecting birds. Some chargers have gotten creative and use a cart, dolly, or have even built racks that save space. For the speed chargers, most will hop out of a truck/van scan, grab, and move on to the next (two person operation).
Chargers call it hunting for a reason, riders place birds in the most random areas that make it difficult to find. Some are thrown in the water, over a cliff, left behind closed gate, inside a home, and even in trees. Finding the birds is the fun part, but that is only half the job. Charging the birds and releasing them the next day sounds easy, but can be problematic and stress full.
Organization is key! Between issues with that app, early release times(4am-7am), issues unlocking or updating, the more you collect the more work you do at the crack of dawn. After you ensure that all your birds are charged to 98%-100%, you start the process of loading and transporting to designated nest that you reserve one at a time on average for 4 birds. This process will take you some time and can always expect a connection issue at some point.
Over all the job of a charger is a fun and flexible way of making money. For those that are not aware, a independent contractor is responsible for paying taxes so don't forget to set aside Uncle Sam's take. The charger community has a strong support from other chargers, but can be lacking from time to time when communication with bird support.
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