The Human Toll of Gig Work Explored in a Debut Novel


Joanne McNeil’s novel ‘Wrong Way’ delves into the impact of gig work on humanity, painting a picture of unfulfillment and instability in the digital age.

Impact of Technological Development

Joanne McNeil, a prominent voice on the influence of technology, released her first novel ‘Wrong Way.’ The book delves into the human toll of gig work, portraying a narrative of unfulfillment and instability amidst technological advancements.

Introduction of the Protagonist Teresa

The novel introduces Teresa, a gig worker hired by the tech giant AllOver, as the central character. It portrays the impact of the relentless race toward machine intelligence on her life, highlighting the dehumanizing effect of gig work that renders individuals as interchangeable entities.

Exploring AllOver and Gig Work Realities

The narrative unfolds in a near-future world dominated by AllOver, a tech conglomerate that offers various services, including a digital payment app, food delivery, gaming, and ride-share. Teresa, living in the outskirts of Boston, seizes an opportunity to work as a driver for the company, operating their ‘driverless’ cars before they are truly autonomous.

Struggles of Gig Workers

Teresa’s experience in gig work unfolds, depicting the challenges she faces due to the erratic nature of the job. The novel sheds light on the impact of gig work on her sense of self, as she grapples with the inherent instability and uncertainty that plague her professional and personal life.

Human Yearning Amidst Uncertainty

The novel delves into Teresa’s past experiences, offering insights into her relentless pursuit for stability and meaning in her life. It paints a poignant portrait of her desire to impose a coherent narrative on her fragmented career, showcasing the human yearning for a sense of direction and purpose.

Reflection on Humanity and Technology

McNeil’s novel provocatively reflects on the intersection of humanity and technological advancement. It challenges the notion of human success amidst a corporate culture that celebrates technological progress, ultimately prompting readers to confront the human cost of rapid technological development.