YOU’VE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME.

Okay. I’ve been out of work. A long time. Two years. There have been times when I’ve actively looked for work. Given up. Dicked around. Gone back to searching for work. Been discouraged. Felt hopeless. Been sincerely depressed. Gotten leads and procured interviews that went nowhere. Some mixture of all of the above.

But one thing I had started to notice in answering Craiglist ads was the prevalence of the scam ad. (After weeding out the ones that had a job that looked really promising, but was going to lead me straight to a staffing agency that was going to give me the runaround, not really send me to apply for the job posted and instead send me off to a hodgepodge of other lower paying jobs saying that I wasn’t what their client was looking for or that the position had already been filled. Yes, I had been down that primrose path before.)

It was this weird ad that offered an amazing job. A job that was, in fact, way too good to be true. Some weird job where you were someone’s personal assistant. You worked from home and they were traveling a lot. So you managed things from your place with instructions from him/her. But it seems like they were receiving and sending a lot of packages that you had to deal with, so they were going to be sending you money in your account for you to deal with all of these transactions and all of the mailing. Or whatever. It’s much more long and complicated than all of that, but the weirdness takes place when you write the money orders and then the money that’s supposed to be in your account really isn’t there or something like that.

So, I started to learn to spot these ads in a heartbeat (people who weren’t in town, people who didn’t have great diction/syntax, etc.) and would move on. So, totally annoying that I was already out of work, but now I had to deal with spammers on top of it? Gross.

Well, it’s gotten even MORE ridiculous. I can’t even believe this shit is going on, and I can’t understand what they’re getting out of it. Seriously. So, the following is the ad that I answered.

Our local publishing company in downtown Chicago is looking for an individual that can take on the responsibilities of a receptionist and clerk.
This is NOT a entry level position. We’re only looking for someone who has worked in a busy office before, someone with experience of at least 1 year.
Full time position. Starting from 10:00am to 6:00pm; Mon – Fri.

Daily tasks are below:
-Filing & Organizing – Done through folders, spreadsheets and computer
-Updating expenses
-Picking up calls/forwarding them if they need to be
-Running errands at times
-Light cleaning, just around your area
-Checking up on supplies, tracking them and making sure they get to our office on time

Requirements:
-1 year experience +
-Hard working, great multi tasker
-Someone that knows how to stay organized

If you think you belong in our office with this position, send us your resume and at least 1 reference to be considered.
We look forward to hearing from you all!

* Location: Chicago
* Compensation: $14 per hour

?

Legit, right? At least it looks like many of the ads I’ve answered on Craigslist over the years. Nothing I could see that would raise any red flags to me. So, I sent them a cover letter and a resume. A few days later, I received this:

I would like to take this moment to thank you for your response to our Craigslist job posting, as well as inform you that, after reading through your resume, we are interested in discussing this job opportunity with you in person. As of this moment, we have narrowed the field down to 3 potential candidates, yourself being one of them.

I would like to congratulate you in making it to the next step of our hiring process. As part of our company’s policy, and to protect our company from liabilities and potential issues, the next step of the hiring process includes getting your credit score checked. Please be aware, that a poor score in no way disqualifies you from the position, but simply helps us to get a better understanding of you, and what we can expect from you as an employee.

So we have arranged a FREE service at http://www.creditreport.com for you to obtain your score. Once you have completed this process, please email me the confirmation # ASAP, so we can move forward. Do NOT include your SSN or any private information in any emails. Please perform this step as soon as you can, as we would like to fill the position soon. Once we receive confirmation that you have completed this step, myself or Mr. Levy, our office manager, will get back to you to set up the face to face interview.

Weird, because I was nearly positive that wasn’t a FREE credit report site. You can get a trial run of the service for seven days when you give them your credit card information, but the service is most definitely NOT free, and I couldn’t see how they had arranged anything with the company beforehand on my behalf. Both of those things seemed like outright lies. And what sort of confirmation number was Jenny expecting?

I was falling back on the old axiom: If it smells like bullshit and feels like bullshit … it’s bullshit. So I wrote Jenny back.

Jenny:

I must say I’m a little confused. While I’ve heard of some companies asking for a credit check before, I have to let you know that creditreport.com isn’t exactly a free site. It’s a subscription service that lets you have a trial run for 7 days and if you don’t cancel within that period, you start getting charged a monthly fee of $19.95. I don’t want to put up a credit card for that, and I know there’s a website put up by the government/three credit reporting agencies where you can get your yearly reports for free.

I believe the one you want is this: https://www.annualcreditreport.com/cra/helpabout. So, I’m not sure what sort of confirmation number you were going to be looking for. I will openly tell you that my credit isn’t great, but I haven’t had any sort of credit cards in over ten years. I don’t know if that will exactly tell you what to expect from me as an employee, since while I am not good with my own money, my last employer trusted me to take care of all of the accounting and bookkeeping and I have never been the type to take things from my employers.

If you’d still like to consider me for the position, I can try and get you something in writing, but generally these things are handled a little differently.

Best regards,

Well, I haven’t heard from Jenny or the company whose email she was attached to and whose website I looked up … webuyallphones.org, but I DID receive another email regarding another application I sent in. Oh, happy day! Wait a minute …

From joon@corsalehousewares.com:

I would like to take this moment to thank you for your response to our Craigslist job posting, as well as inform you that, after reading through your resume, we are interested in discussing this job opportunity with you in person. As of this moment, we have narrowed the field down to 3 potential candidates, yourself being one of them.

I would like to congratulate you in making it to the next step of our hiring process. As part of our company’s policy, and to protect our company from liabilities and potential issues, the next step of the hiring process includes getting your credit score checked. Please be aware, that a poor score in no way disqualifies you from the position, but simply helps us to get a better understanding of you, and what we can expect from you as an employee.

So we have arranged a FREE service at http://www.creditreport.com for you to obtain your score. Once you have completed this process, please email me the confirmation # ASAP, so we can move forward. Do NOT include your SSN or any private information in any emails. Please perform this step as soon as you can, as we would like to fill the position soon. Once we receive confirmation that you have completed this step, myself or Mr. Levy, our office manager, will get back to you to set up the face to face interview.

ARE YOU FUCKING SHITTING ME??? It’s humiliating and tiring enough to be worrying all the time where my next dollar is coming from, much less be getting stock, span message from people while I try to get a job. What the hell is going on here? How is this possible? I just don’t get this. What now? I’ll keep at it, but what a meaningless distraction. I need to be working and this is just one more thing that makes me frustrated and cut off. So, be nice to another! Don’t be douche-y.

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4 thoughts on “YOU’VE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME.

  1. Try The Creative Circle. They are a temp agency that hooks creatives up with jobs. Google them for their info. I believe they have one in Chi-town.

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