Michael Vaness's photo

Michael Vaness

Gig Pro


  • Walmart Spark Driver: January 2023 - Present
  • DoorDash Driver: September 2022 - Present
  • Instacart Shopper: July 2020 - Present

About Me

I'm 40 years old. I have 6 years experience in gig work. I am a single father; my wife passed away 11 years ago. I have a daughter. While my wife was alive, I worked a job mostly traveling out of state. We laid cables and batteries out in 50 square mile grids and then drilled holes to lay dynamite and blast them to take seismic readings to search for natural gas/oil/co² etc. My wife was constantly in and out of the ER and hospital, so I left my job to stay home and care for her (she eventually went blind).

Soon after she passed away, I had a hard time finding someone to help with my daughter that worked with my work schedule and I struggled to do so. Finally some years later, someone informed me about Instacart and I looked into it - being able to work whenever I was able/wanted was a nice bonus for my situation. Eventually, I learned about DoorDash as well and decided to give that a try; and then Spark as well. Working 3 gig jobs is nice because if one or two aren't showing much, I have another to fall back on.

I used to really enjoy Instacart. I met many people who I call friends today and many friendly customers, but after COVID, Instacart started treating both shoppers and customers poorly, so I stayed mostly with DoorDash and Spark. I like Spark and DoorDash because they are faster than Instacart, and not nearly the amount of miles I drove working with Instacart to deliver groceries. Instacart would go as far as 30 miles for one delivery and both DoorDash and Spark go only about half that for the same or a bit of extra pay; and they are much easier and require less work to make money than Instacart. I still do Instacart here and there, but Spark and DoorDash are my picks. 

Gig work has been a big help for me in helping me with care for my daughter. Instead of working around my work schedule, I can make plans beforehand, and if things don't work out with a babysitter for a certain day or time, I can cancel and chill at home without having an obligation to be at a specific place of work at a specific time for a specific amount of time. It isn't perfect, but it's helped me in many ways, including bills and groceries and spending time with my daughter whenever I choose.

I live in northeastern Ohio in a suburban/rural area and get just enough earnings to pay what I need and keep my daughter fed and clothed/housed.