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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Adventures in Craigslisting: Will Work for Money

Posted By on Wed, Nov 7, 2012 at 7:30 AM


We all know it's tough out there. Rents are going up, gas is $4.75 a gallon, and looking for work feels like getting lost in a Where's Waldo? book with no Waldo. Today, as a public service, the Exhibitionist went looking to see what might be out there in employment land for our fellow artists. The job posts on Craigslist were a laundry list of demands -- you need degrees, you need experience, and each company desperately wants to know why "you want to work here." Um, probably because we need money.

See also:

Adventures in Craigslisting; S.F. Rental Market Edition

The Artistry and Lunacy of Missed Connections on Craigslist

All of this for $10 an hour?
  • All of this for $10 an hour?

It didn't take long before my eyes were hurting from all of the "Primary Responsibilities" and "very specific minimum requirements" waiting for me in the real world, so I decided to make my own ad: 35-year-old male former juggler needs work; willing to do just about anything. Things were pretty slow at first, but I did get several offers to be a domestic cleaner, and a few things from the department of one sentence emails like these:

Getk to me Asap if you still looking for a Part time or full time Job
Are you still looking for work?

But this was my favorite:

Good day and how are you doing today am Smith James, i came across your Resume posting on, i have a vacant position in my organization, get back to me if you are still looking for job....send me text message on my cell phone

When I contacted Smith James for more info, it turned out that he ran some kind of survey company, and by gosh, I was hired! Up to 60K a year and all I had to do was send them a lot of very sensitive personal information.

What your job (Survey

Agent's Position) entails is to conduct surveys at any of our client's
retail outlet assigned to you. you will be patronizing their
business and conducting a survey at the same time which mostly is in
regards to the customer relationship their staffs offer.
We will therefore like to offer you the job position as an evaluator
to conduct customer service surveys in your area. Your Identity would be kept confidential as a
safety measure. You will receive $350 on each survey you conduct at
any time for any of our clients, and with the number of clients we
currently work with, you could be conducting as much as 5-10 surveys
weekly, which will earn you between $1200-$2200 weekly.

Gainfully employed, I set my sights to other folks that might need work. I took my original ad and changed it to this: 23-year-old female former contortionist needs work, willing to do just about anything. Unsurprisingly "she" had a lot faster luck than me, with several e-mails coming in during the first 15 minutes, including this one:

Hi There.My name is Todd and I saw your add on cl. Would you consider doing weekly massages for $65/hour? I have become a massage junkie cause i used to trade with a friend often but she moved. I'm a firefighter and athlete so like to get them often. Nothing dirty. I don't mind if you have no experience as I can train you.
Now that's what I call on the job training. Is all of this job searching getting you down? Don't let it. According to this Daily Beast article by Daniel Gross, the economic recovery is finally picking up steam. He says that thanks to higher housing prices, increased consumer confidence, and a strong manufacturing sector, we can expect to see job growth no matter who wins the presidency. And that's good news for starving artists, former contortionists, and even "massage junkies."  

For more events in San Francisco this week and beyond, check out our calendar section. Follow us on Twitter at @ExhibitionistSF and like us on Facebook.
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Devin Holt


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