The One Where a Finance Bro Paid Me to Run His Tinder Account for (and While Pretending to Be) Him

Nandini Balial
ZORA
Published in
12 min readJul 22, 2022

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Alexander Sinn, Unsplash

Picture this: Harlem, New York City, 2013. An unemployed New York University graduate, with a decent résumé of internships and jobs, is unable to find full-time work, struggles to pay for rent and her MetroCard and therapy and meds, lives off $40 worth of groceries every fortnight, and in desperation, turns to Task Rabbit, a new app via which the 1% post the errands they won’t stoop to conquer.

That was my life. Every day, including Saturdays and Sundays, I left my fourth floor walk-up off the 145th Street A/C/B/D station in Harlem for various parts of the city. My career as a freelance free-for-all was successful, if not lucrative. In a little black dress and (comfortable!) heels, armed with an iPad, I admitted celebrities and other rich people into corporate parties, charity galas, startup IPO celebrations. In a dark T-shirt and dark leggings and sneakers I cleaned up graduation parties for folks celebrating the Dr. before their first names, the Esq. and MBAs after their surnames. Once I even filled bottles for a startup that wanted to sell a new kind of household soap. I didn’t ask what made it different from, say, Dr. Bronner’s or Mrs. Meyers, but I certainly found it odd that I, uncertified in food/beverage handling or any kind of sanitization procedure, should be filling…

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Nandini Balial
ZORA
Writer for

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