Thursday, April 10, 2008

Craigslist: Skid Row or Leper Colony?

I called a faraway friend last night, hoping to have a stimulating intellectual discussion regarding some profound socioeconomic insights that occurred to me during a fit of philosophical mania.


She didn't even say 'hello'! She just picked up the phone and immediately jumped in with:

"OK! Tell me who you are dating!"

Geez. Are all women so preoccupied with sex?
I sure hope so. My sanity depends on it.

Anyway...she was referring to an off-hand remark I made in a previous post regarding dating, but I didn't have a specific answer :

"Um, I meant I was dating in general. Asking women out, I mean... I'd given up for a while. I even got so desperate that..."

I was getting ready to tell her that I'd answered a few 'craigslist' ads recently and that from my perusal of the ads already posted, I had come to the conclusion that if you are looking for anything of importance on craigslist, it's a sign that your life has, in some significant manner, hit rock-bottom.

Craigslist, I have determined, is the modern equivalent of a medieval bazaar; teeming with pickpockets and vendors of exotic, counterfeit goods; rife with diseased courtesans and 'employers' ready to conscript the unwary into a career of indentured servitude- it's not a safe place to be naive.

Before I could impart this pearl of wisdom , my friend read me the text of her own personal ad that she had tried to post on craigslist. It appealed to me but I'm already fond of her so it's hard to be objective...anyway, she indicated that her experience with replies was not so good.

Nor was mine, I said. I recently had a brief , engaging flurry of correspondence with a clever young lady and it looked as if a meeting was inevitable- until she challenged me to a drinking contest!
I was obligated to reply that I was a recovering alcoholic and that I could drink her under the table even if it killed me, which it most certainly would.
That was the end of our correspondence.

I also answered an ad from a woman who said she just wanted to meet someone for intelligent conversation over coffee.
She just wanted someone to talk to.
I want that too, so I wrote and asked her if she'd like to have a cup of coffee with me. She didn't reply.

I must note that I'm looking in the 35-45 age group and I can't help but wonder why so many women expect to find a man in that demographic that "doesn't have baggage" the time you are 40, you are gonna have baggage. Period.
The best one can hope for, to paraphrase my friend Liz, is to: "find someone who has luggage that matches yours."
Additionally, why even bother to ask for 'honesty'? Is that stipulation going to deter liars? Sheesh...why not just ask Santa for a pony?

So I posted my own ad:


Three Things I Got Going For Me

1)My penis is larger than my thumb.

2)My brain is larger than a golfball.

3)I'm not married.

Anything else would be bragging.


If this doesn't get me laid, nothing will. That is my deepest fear.
On the bright side, I'll save a small fortune in condoms...have you priced them lately? Geez.

Then there are the help-wanted ads. I scan them daily and I see an awful lot of ads that look like this one, pasted verbatim from craigslist:

$#$-Perfect positions for anyone with office and clerical experience. Will train, if needed. Earn while you learn.***Start today. Email resume and references.-

Location: FT/PT
Compensation: (*)-$22/hr.(*)
I have absolutely no idea what all the dollar signs, parenthetical asterisks and bizarre punctuation indicate, but the pay seems to be negative twenty-two dollars per hour, which makes more sense than an entry-level office job that pays positive $22/hr.

These are fake ads that are designed to extract personal information from your resume-and from your references.

If you don't believe me, create a 'fake' email account and answer one of these ads- send them a fake resume that details your criminal history; noting that, despite what your last employer and the judge said, you were innocent of the embezzling charges...include your new email account on the fake resume.
Within hours, you will start getting 'job offers' sent to that account.
This type of scam is so pervasive that permutations of the phrase " william morris job agency scam" have become one of my top blog traffic drivers.
Go ahead, type it into Google w/o'll see that I'm #5 or 6 out of over a half-million.

But I'm going to be living in my car and showering at the station if I don't find a job soon, so I took a chance and posted an ad under the 'Barter' heading":



I would like to trade 40-45 hours of my personal time for a paycheck, a recurring weekly basis would be optimal but I'm not in a position to be picky.

During the agreed-upon hours, you can instruct me to do your paperwork; help your customers;set up your computers and/or home electronics; cook your meals; record your band's demo tape; wash your car; mow your lawn; ghostwrite your novel; wash your dishes; feed your pets this point there isn't much I wouldn't do. I'm educated, experienced and dependable.
Offers of room, board and a modest stipend will be considered.


Yesterday I got a FWD from someone who really should know better. It reads, in part ( my notes in italics):

(No, it didn't and no, it isn't- ed.)

I'm an attorney, And I know the law. This thing is for real.

(You aren't an attorney in America. American attorneys know English. And You don't.)

Bill Gates sharing his fortune. If you ignore this, You will repent la ter.

( Translation: This is a chain letter )

It goes on to say that Microsoft will pay you hundreds of dollars for every person you forward this to:
For every person that you forward t his e-mail to, Microsoft will pay you $245.00 For every person that you sent it to that forwards it on, Microsoft will pay you $243.00 and for every third person...yadda yadda yadda.


In other words, Bill Gates will buy you a pony just for FWDing email.

Uh. Huh.

In the real world, what happens is this: every single person you forward this spam to becomes a new target for spammers who grab your entire contact list as soon as you FWD it.

Next: Check out my engorged mailbox!


Anonymous said...

HAH! I don't know where to begin here, this post was so brimming with goodness.
The Craigslist = Rock Bottom bit? Oh deary that is duh troof.
I'm also delighted to know that your penis is, in fact, larger than your thumb. I hope it serves you well shortly, er...soonly.
Now then, as for the looming fear of homelessness - ACK! Been there, hope to never be there again. Hope like mad that you don't really have to face that. ):

billy pilgrim said...

man, you must have a big thumb.

i bought a few bikes off craiglist, both vendors met me in a public area, they had no home phone or address. do think they borrowed the bikes from someone else?

Allan said...

Hat- My thumb gets all the action.

As for homelessness,I've been facing it for awhile...I see the oncoming train at this point.

BP- My thumb is almost as big as my largest toe and only half as green!

I once bought a bike from a guy who needed the money for busfare to the other side of town. I rode my new bike across town but I didn't see him there.

yellowdog granny said...

i don't mind a guy who has baggage...just as long as he can pack it up in 15 minutes when i ask him to...
snd me a picture of your thumb...

whimsical brainpan said...

ROTFLMAO @ the personal ad!

Dude, I love you.

The barter ad isn't bad either. I hope you find something soon.

Anonymous said...

I tried to sell a fridge on Craig's List and while I was there, looked through the personals out of curiosity. There appeared to be much insanity there. My favorites were the men looking for pepole to sign on as slaves. Bizarre.

Craig D said...

Why, oh why is this thing called Craigslist?


Allan said...

JS- There aren't enough pixels in the world...

Whim- I love you too.A lot.

CW- Geez,my 'barter' ad has attracted some attention...tell ya later.

BC- Because life isn't fair.

Susannity said...

I get that Microsoft chain thing ALL THE TIME. Drives me bananas and having to tell folks it's not real drives me even more bananas.

I've only used craigslist twice to give away furniture. The "best of" section is hilarious though. Level 9 ogre looking for another lol.

angel said...

oh allan... i can't believe you're battling so to find employment!
its just not fair...