The last time I had to look for a job I used a newspaper. A New York Times, the kind you buy at a newsstand, then use to annoy everyone on the subway. Before I had a life that demanded cruising the Times classifieds, I was a back of the Village Voice kinda gal. But, I haven’t had to look for a job since 1998, which means BCL (before craigslist), if you can believe it, before both Monster.com (1999) and before Craigslist New York (2000).
Even I have trouble believing it. And honestly, when my company folded, besides the fact that my industry was virtually disappearing, I wasn’t keen on finding another job right away. I haven’t been unintentionally unemployed since…high school? So I took a few months to relax, to write, to explore my options. There’s always the back of the Village Voice to fall back on if things got bad. Granted, I’m not hootchy cooch material anymore but there’d always be a waitressing gig or a bartending shift that had my name on it.
When I noticed a dip in my bank balances I really started putting effort into looking for work, setting up RSS feeds for job searches through Idealist, Monster, the Times, Craigslist. I send out a dozen or so resumes a day and thanks to the magic of the Worldwide Interwebs, I haven’t found it necessary to go to my corner newsstand and buy a newspaper, mostly because if you haven’t noticed, there really isn’t a “back of the Village Voice” anymore.
Waitressing and bartending gigs want headshots. Or that I work strictly for tips. Or supply my own customers. When did that happen? Where are the jobs that Flo would get if she weren’t still working at Mel’s diner?
At least 50%, maybe more, of the ads I answer on Craigslist are scams. Some are telemarketing scams that with online applications that can only be completed if you say you’re interested in furthering your education. Then you’re bombarded with annoying telephone solicitations, but no job interview ever appears. Others are phishing scams, masquerading as employment agencies or claiming to need credit reports or security clearance before even scheduling an interview. This is ACL (after craigslist) stuff, stuff that absolutely did not exist last time I looked for a job. There was no identity theft unless you lifted someone’s wallet. Here are a few of the bogus sites, but I’m sure there are dozens and dozens more.
Each one starts out almost the same:
I am contacting you to confirm that we have received your application for the Office Manager position you submitted to Employment Forever . We have recommended you as a potential candidate. In order to log in, follow the link below. This will allow you to confirm your availability to fill the position currently being offered:
A few of the phishing scams are Nigerian email scam style, like the long distance employer who wants me to handle his business affairs here and only asks that I fill in the following:
On Craigslist domestic gigs, because I have no problem with doing manual labor, I’ve found these, probably all from the same person:
Ge paid $30 to act (East Harlem)
Job will be done in my home today. Pay is $30. You must be able to act weird. Send me your phone number along with your description.
Cheer on (Harlem)
Cheer me on to exercise while i exercise. I dont have a gym, so, you have to do this job in my home. You can be a male or female of any age for this job. Pay is $10 hourly. job is around 3 hours long. I need you today. send me your name, age and phone number
I need someone to clean my room today for around $20 (Harlem)
Ths job wont take more then 2 hours.
Harlem, dude, and I assume you are a dude – all I have to say is, you’re lonely, you can’t spell and dude, you cheap like a mofo.
Or this job, closer to home, that pays $15/hr.
SEEKING BI-LINGUAL (SPANISH-ENGLISH) FEMALE ENEMA ADMINISTRATOR (QUEENS)
on a part time basis to assist mature male. this will be twice a month for 3 hours each visit. please be skilled at giving a deep tissue, full body massage as patient has mild osteoarthritis. both these treatments are ordered by the doctor and you will be given a great letter of reference if needed! this is a permanent part time situation. please leave contact info and the best time to call. thank you kindly.
Harlem’s posts have all been deleted and EnemaBoy’s are still there, so maybe he’s legit. Maybe, but that wasn’t exactly the kind of manual labor I had in mind. I’m not that desperate…yet.