TENS of thousands of time poor Australians are using the internet to seek a helping hand in return for money, and while many requests deal with the mundane, some are quite fascinating.
Website Airtasker, which allows people to recruit others for helpful favours in return for cash, has released 10 of the most interesting requests found on their site.
From everyday tasks like assembling Ikea furniture, dog minding, mowing the lawn, or even parenting, to oddball requests like making an alien costume and picking up an engagement ring from Texas, Airtasker's runners have seen it all.
Rod, a neurosurgeon from Sydney, was preparing to propose for his partner but the ring was located in Texas. With time of the essence, he used Airtasker to hire Alexa, a mother-of-two with over 150 five-star reviews on Airtasker, to fly over and bring the ring back within five days so he could propose that week. For the record, she said "yes".
Andrew in Melbourne found the perfect person to build him an alien fancy dress costume, made famous in the movie series starring Sigourney Weaver. Following his headline making appearances on Instagram, he has pledged to make his 2014 costume via Airtasker too.
Mel was headed to a wedding in the Blue Mountains and as the head bridesmaid, she needed to fulfil a strenuous request from the bride: 150 heart-shaped, double-layered cookies, which she had delivered to her in Sydney's inner-west.
After splitting with her boyfriend, Emily had an unusual Airtasker request. "I would like to cheer myself up by getting a slightly better looking picture of myself for my Facebook profile. The picture is of me on the beach and I was hoping just to try to make my tummy/waist/legs look a bit thinner if possible, eyes to look clearer and bigger, and body to look a little more tanned."
An annoying part about having pets is finding someone to look after them while you're away. Not anymore. Linh needed some help looking after her West Highland Terrier while she was on holiday, and found the right home via Airtasker.
Farina found an Airtasker runner to buy a nice, soccer ball-sized pumpkin, carve out a scary face and deliver it to her place in South Sydney for her Halloween party that evening.
Special effect make-up artist Michelle put the call out for people of any age and gender to be her canvas in North Sydney.
Steve found an Airtasker runner with a boat license to drive his 40ft Mariner around Sydney Harbour for a day which included driving to an area for lunch, anchoring all day and then driving back in the evening.
From Christmas Day to New Year's Eve, Airtasker users commonly ask for runners to mind them a spot at prime locations around the country. Emma found someone to reserve her a space at Kirribili on New Year's Eve.
Mick needed a three-minute soundtrack for a promotional video and found the talent he was looking for.
Tim Fung, co-founder and CEO of Airtasker, said the old industrial age model of finding work and workers was inflexible and restrictive, leaving many of us struggling to find a work-life balance.
"We believe Airtasker is the new way to work, connecting consumers who need something done with a flexible workforce of people who have the requisite skills and time," he said.
"Businesses can also use Airtasker to scale quickly by accessing a huge army of people all across Australia who can assist with jobs like market research, promotions or deliveries for an hour, a day, or a year.
"Unique in the Australian online outsourcing market, Airtasker links people and businesses with local workers who can complete tasks in the real world, not just virtual tasks like coding or web design."