Tag Archives: job search

Ye Olde Craig’s List Scam

Everything’s normal…..

You might know the feeling. You’ve been crashing at your friend’s apartment for a couple of weeks and you’re desperate for work. Your top five visited pages are all Craig’s List, the world is measured out in dollar signs, and you’d rather someone spit in your mouth than overpay for a cup of coffee.

Your mind becomes numb as you troll Craig’s List, and even the dubious sounding Candy Puff girl “marketing” position begins to have some appeal, and this is a position that involves selling single cigarettes and gummy worms to an inebriated and gropey post-techno crowd.

The end result of your enthusiasm/desperation is that you apply to dozens, possibly hundreds of jobs in a couple of days. You wait for anyone to call or email you, just to know that you exist. Anxiety, feelings of worthlessness, and rampant peanut butter eating fill your day.

This was me just one week ago. I had shut myself into my friend’s room and become a Craig’s list zombie. When places called or emailed me back, I invariably had no idea who or what they were because I had applied to so many different positions. Nevertheless, I always pretended I was happy to hear from them specifically and yes I was very interested in learning more about the position.

One day, a place named “PMC” called.  Actually, two different people called within minutes of one another in a very obvious and potentially embarrassing (for them) recruitment error. Despite this initial warning sign, and the fact I had no idea what position I had applied for or what company this was, I went right ahead and responded to their call. They were interested in me.

According to Melissa, her managers had received my resume and wanted to speak with me in person. Great! I said, still clueless about their company and the position. She went on to say that this was an entry level position, and they were looking for people they could train into becoming managers. Perfect! said I. So we set up an interview time and she told me a few things to remember, one of which was to wear business professional attire. See you then! I said.

And then the doubts started. What was this place? What did they do? Why did they have to remind me to wear professional attire to an interview? Why did they want people with no experience? It all seemed a bit….odd. Later that day, I looked up the address they gave me and one of the first items that popped up revealed that this was very likely a scam.

Woah.

It was my very first Craig’s List scam. I was fascinated and thought it could be a great blog fodder opportunity. Maybe I would show up at the interview in my prairie dress with a resume that said I went to clown school and subbed as a P.E. teacher in my home town of Alsida, Louisiana. Would they still “hire” me or send me away after seeing the crazy in my eye?

Alas, we will never know. I cancelled the interview because of laziness and fear of being clubbed with a baseball bat. But the housing search yet lies ahead, and hundreds of emails sent to Craig’s list addresses. Should danger come calling again, I will greet it in modest clothing and with a pen ready.

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The Career Search, Living in the Moment, and Ramen Noodles

This picture was taken in January, when it was the same temperature but sunny here. WTF.

Right after I pressed publish last Friday on the blog post about my Reba t-shirt, I realized that I was the worst person in the world. I had complained about getting up at 6:30 am and having one appointment. Poor me.

Most people get up at the booty-crack of dawn and have to work the whole day long, with no time for ditzels, knick knacks, or futzing. For brief moment the length of the time it takes to write a blog post, I forgot that I was incredibly lucky to have the luxury of following my dreams, which I’m still defining at this point. I think it’s kind of a long-term smelting thing in order to figure out what I really want and if it’s good and what I should want and all of that.

I’ve spent so much time trying to figure what I want to do that I haven’t been focusing on what I’m doing in the time I currently have. I’ve been scrutinizing the future so hard, trying to make sure I’m heading in the right direction and towards gainful employ/activities that I both enjoy and find meaningful, that I fell into the trap of believing that the only time that’s valuable is the time you’re paid for.

Once I realized this, I paused for a second and thought “Well, do I enjoy what I’m currently doing?” which is making phone calls, setting up connections, exploring the city, interviewing, hanging out with friends, trying to get my feet on the ground, making networks that will take me into the future, etc. and I thought, yeah, I do. I have what feels like freedom and infinite possibilities. San Francisco is my shiny, expensive oyster that I plan on cracking in order to find the best dive bars and cheap eats.

I am not my to-do list. The things I’m doing right now are also important, and these steps will lead me to a future, but in reality it’s all part of the same thing. So I should savor the whole enchilada because the minutes don’t come back to you in the end, or so I hear.

And today I put a squirt of ketchup in my ramen noodles, which tasted just as good as I thought it would and I felt secure about my future as I slurped the broth down—it was thicker than usual. Ramen noodle innovation is just one of the many signs of nascent success.

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My Mind, The Cupcake

A cupcake from the wedding. ARE YOU HAPPY NOW?

My mind has turned into a cupcake. I was afraid this would happen. Instead of synapses firing interesting and creative notions from the different loci of my mind, communicating the thoughts that will drive today into tomorrow and allow me to remember to zip my fly, buttercream frosting clogs my mental passageways.

Drooling results.

Sprinkles have taken the place of ideas, and lace wrappers are now in operation instead of my hypothalamus. Keeping physical and mental balance proves more difficult daily.

All acts of thinking, consideration, pondering, and planning that used to occur in my frontal lobe have been replaced with various cream fillings, fruits, and polka dots. The only things I’m really capable of doing anymore are underarm-sweating, head-scratching, and mouth-breathing.

My brain is adorable and trendy but I now need a caretaker.

Oh god will please someone help me. I ate a poptart and peanut butter crackers for lunch today. Is that a complete meal? Who am I? What is this leaking out of my ears?

I’ve heard about cupcake brain syndrome, which results from too much time spent applying to food service jobs on Craig’s list. Letters, numbers, names blur together into a soft, frosting like combination that begins to look tasty to the job searcher. Sometimes electronic equipment begins to malfunction from the surfeit of saliva that drips over the keyboard and is sometimes applied directly with the tongue onto the screen.

The eyes glaze over, the mouth hangs, and a real career seems to drift farther and farther away into the night, which is never ending. Soon, common words take on different meanings. “Experienced,” “Go-Getter,” “Detail-Oriented,” acquire personalities of their own, are thugs that torture the cupcake brain. Nanny nanny boo boo, they say. The mouth drools on.

Yes, dear friend, this is the great San Francisco job search of 2012. How will it end? Will it ever end? Will there be just another college graduate’s skeleton decorating a sunny road near the bay? Will the dress pants ever be worn in an office environment? How long does it take for a poptart-heavy diet to result in malnutrition? Will there be super powers?

Stay tuned, for all shall be revealed in due time. When the hands stop shaking, when the eyebrow stops twitching, when the stomach stops clenching. All shall be revealed. And yes, my sister is married now but who cares? I need a job.

P.S. I will talk about the wedding more, most likely when I can get better juice from my mind grapes.

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An Example of a Cover Letter with Ideological Overtones

The most noble of scavenging birds of prey. A worthy master.

To Whom it May Concern:

I was rooting around in a dumpster when I found a good piece of chewed gum in a receipt from your store, American Eagle. I am passionate about scavenging birds of prey, so needless to say I was intrigued by the company name. The next day, I concealed myself in a bush for several hours. When someone passed by, I frightened them by leaping mightily and yelling “booga booga booga.” I then demanded to know what American Eagle is. An oily teenage boy told me it is an apparel store that can be found at my local mall, Walnut Springs.

For the next thirty minutes, I loitered suspiciously around the Walmart parking until I found a sneaker clad man who wasn’t paying attention while putting his groceries in his trunk. While he was distracted with unloading his Go-Gurt and Cheetos, I slithered snake-like into his backseat. When the sedan began moving and reached the main road, I bolted upright, hissed, and commanded him to take me to Walnut Springs Shopping Center. The man complied.

Once there, I slithered out of the sedan—it was green—and made towards the entrance of the great temple of consumption. Heat rose off the asphalt and sweat accumulated the corners of my body. I almost didn’t make it, but finally I reached the gates of Babylon itself and entered with the rest of the sausage people. Once inside, I found a crude map-like representation of the holy shrine, and deduced that American Eagle was even closer than I imagined. It was right behind me.

Good God what horror. You declare yourself worthy to name yourself after the greatest and most noble scavenger of all time, and yet what kind of frivolous merchandise do you peddle? Jeggings? Skinny Jeans?  Shirts emblazoned with nothing more than pathetic incarnations of the American Eagle logo? The walls covered with scantily clad adolescents cavorting at various music festivals, suggestive twinkles in their eyes…the whole thing was a disgrace. Only I know what secret these young gods held: it was that they had taken part in the communal pissing-on of everything that is good and noble.

For that reason, I’m applying to work at American Eagle in some sort of ideological reconstructive capacity, with the title of Master Re-ideologist. I will have the creative power to redesign any aspect of American Eagle that I see fit and sack anyone who does not meet my standards. Your company, dear sir or madame, is quite frankly an abomination. You are lucky that I’ve come along to save you from the destruction and/or complete loss of your own souls.

We’ll be in touch.

Best.

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Rejected from the Job Search

these boxes do not hold the key to your future. please look elsewhere.

Thank you for completing CareerBeam’s skill verification exercise. At this juncture, our special algorithm would have usually crunched your responses and placed you in one of six categories we use to classify all of mankind. With the knowledge of your category, the world would have been yours for the taking, success and fortune shortly following the completion of our quizlet.

Unfortunately, due to an irregularity in your responses, we are unable to process your information and provide you with the only thing that would rescue your future self from a failed life. The irregularity could have resulted from one of three circumstances:

a. You are wholly unfit for employment. Return to the cave from which you crawled and burden society no more.

b. You are the antichrist. We are legally obligated to tell you about this possibility while not revealing whether or not you are “it.” If your responses lined up with the predicted skill set of the Man of Sin, a team of US Marine exorcists will have been called to exterminate you. Please remain where you are.

c. You are not human. Most likely you are a forest or river spirit trapped in a human body. In either case, you have no place in the workforce. Please take our quiz “Finding your spirit identity” for advice on how to escape your fleshy prison.

Thank you for using Career Beam and we hope you consider us for all your future self-awareness needs.

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