When Aisha Russell, 33, showed up to a duplex on New York City's posh Upper East Side this past year, she expected a regular three-hour cleaning job. Instead, she found herself face-to-face with Mimi, a show pig who continually scoured for food and made a mess around the areas where Russell was trying to work.
Russell is one of 55,000 active "taskers" for TaskRabbit, an online marketplace for contract labor that launched in 2008 and now operates in 18 U.S. cities and London. It is just one of many sites, including Handy, Zaarly, and Thumbtack, that help power the gig economy.
Taskers set their own hourly rates and advertise them on their profiles. They can then seek out jobs or respond when others reach out to them.
While handyman jobs, cleaning, moving and personal assistance work make up the majority of postings on the site, every so often a surprising one comes along, like the one Russell took on.
CNBC interviewed several freelance taskers around the country to find out more about the most unexpected things they've been paid to do. Below are some of those stories, as told by the workers themselves.