If you actually pay to try to hire someone on Craigslist, you are suddenly launched into a cadre of elite employers far grander than those who post in the “Gigs” section or the pimps of disenfranchised hookers who found themselves thrown out in the virtual cold when CL nixed its Adult offerings.
Every scumbag, unemployed weirdo, and closeted homicidal maniac will see your paid ad shining like a beacon into the vast hellish wilderness of wealth-coveters and alleged success seekers. Trust me. I know.
The position I offered as a small business owner was one-on-one work with children. Because of the nature of the work, it was high-paying, about $35 per hour. The problem was that I needed to train the employee before they could start this very highly specialized work. In the ad, I clearly disclosed that they would not be compensated for their training. Training was to take place twice a week over the period one and a half months, during summer so the employee could begin work in autumn.
$35 an hour for an awesome, no-stress, creative, geeky job? I was deluged with calls.
I set up a day of interviews (little did I know what a grueling experience this would become) and encountered the creme de la creme of every desperado, idiot, and incompetent fool within a 30 mile radius knocking at my door.
All of these people eagerly expected to, without any genuine talent or effort on their own part, walk into $35 dollars per hour. All of the interviewees were completely vacuous and a couple of them needed professional help from a qualified psychiatrist. The saddest part? Had any one of them shown real initiative, I could have worked in the absence of college education, which most of them lacked.
The first applicant of the day, who claimed to be chomping at the bit to have his interview, didn’t show. I waited an hour and a half (the time I had scheduled for each interview) without hearing a word.
Another prospective did acting and modeling work and wanted the job desperately. For some odd reason, she felt it necessary to explain her entire life story to me as I waited for another impromptu cancelled interviewee. I have the unfortunate, perhaps passive-aggressive Japanese tendency to politely entertain the blowhards of the world for as long as the wind blows out of their mouths. The more she went on the more I realized that she was profoundly irresponsible, completely unprofessional, and unsuited to a unglamorous job like the one I was offering. Oh yeah, and she loved to waste time.
One prospective employee lived less than five miles away. She called me several times in a panic during other people’s interviews. She drove up and down the busy street where my office is located, unable to find the huge bank next door which has a giant orange sign. She gave up trying to find the place, then asked me to give her a “phone interview” which I obliged, having no other choice. Her experience with children was that she had worked in a day care center. She was currently unemployed. She proceeded to blame me for “bad directions” even though every other interview candidate had no problem with them. She weirdly assumed that I was going to hire her and took on a creepy, menacing tone. When I reminded her that the ad had stated training was unpaid, she just about hung up on me and actually said, “Well, I can’t be trained without pay.” Actually, I ended up grateful that she couldn’t figure out where my office was: the looney bitch could never figure out where to stalk me!
I finally hired someone out of the pool of idiot losers and was immediately sorry I did. I’ve never heard any person with more excuses as to why they couldn’t make it to work at a $35 hour job. I was left with clients waiting for this employee, waiting for that inevitable call where excuses would be offered. Again, this is someone who lived about ten minutes away.
All this in the middle of the worst economic downturn in history where people were supposedly desperate for any job that pays over $10 an hour. Sense of entitlement among the unemployable: Maybe it’s just a Craigslist thing, but somehow I doubt it.