May 1, 2008

Buzzkilling the Craigslist

Photo: My next career move.

I guess I'm technically done at my job; my last day was officially last Friday. Rolling panic and happy freedom have been battling each other all day. I've been a slave to Craigslist lately, and I've decided that I need to be a Craigslist copywriter; I'll just start my own business. Like, you give me $10, and I'll write you the best freaking ad out there. Bad Craigslist ads are the WORST. I'd rather have 100 Band-Aids ripped off of my body simultaneously than read one more misspelled, grammatically incorrect, punctuation-free, randomly-capitalized Craigslist ad that does nothing to excite the reader.


Here's a real example:

PARA LEGAL FOR IP FIRM SALARY IS DEPENDENT ON SKILLS- ability-years in legal field and references. Looking for someone who has good understanding of legal. needs exp in IP.and litigation. join fast paced nationaly rated profesional law firm. new position to join stable staff, ability to work well with others, excellent benefits and working conditions ,no mandatory overtime. contact Margaret McClory 206-467-6617 -E-mail

What is the point of putting periods at the end of your sentences if you hate to capitalize anything normal? This ad is for a paralegal job in downtown Seattle--not for Rick's Shrimp Shack in the middle of Snoqualmie Pass. If I was a paralegal, I would never--ever--answer this ad, and yet it could have been a good job! So many ads are passed by because of shoddy copywriting. Even worse are the personal ads that shed little to no light on what the person might actually be about. The Esq said that the Craigslist personal ads were a good place for me to start, because they're always so awful. Apparently, he hates it when people start any ad with, "I swear I've never done this before, this is so not like me"; I do, too. If it's so not like you, why are you sitting there creating a profile for yourself and posting an ad on Craigslist? The first sentence in your ad makes you a self-conscious liar from the get-go. That's annoying.

I think it's good for people to seek out other people, whether it's online or outside. And I know that spelling is somewhat innate, but if you can place a fucking Craigslist ad, then you must have fucking SPELL CHECK to go along with it. It's not just the grammar, it's the overall look of something. I was online, looking for good examples of this, and Mr. Doofus (he was nameless) posted a Craigslist personal ad--today--in the Men4Women category; what caught my eye was the headline, which is usually a good thing. Unfortunately, it said this:

So Am I gonna ever meet somebody on here? -38 (Issaquah)

Inside were two short sentences: I am still trying! Don't know why but still am! These two particularly damning statements (along with the whiny, grammatically-challenged headline) were accompanied by a blurry photo of some ruddy-faced daywalker with food in his mouth, holding up a half-eaten burrito. It saddens me, knowing that this man has no idea why he is single. Maybe it's because your Craigslist ad smells of your online dating failures, or maybe it's the photo--a photo, let me remind you, of your partially-eaten food, while the other part resides inside of your blurry gingerface. Or maybe--maybe it's evolution for the dating world. Maybe the intelligent ads reach the intelligent folks, and the ads that contain very little English in them attract ...well, they attract whoever those people are. One of my favorite ads was:

ya betta have a fine ass ima teired of fat chix' and don be lazy.

First off, if you're a grown woman who has at least finished the first grade, you already know to stay away from this idiot. Second, if you're too lazy to spell the word *don't*, then I mean ... come on. Come. On. Also, thanks for the random apostrophe, which is nowhere near where it should be. A smart woman will read this and see that, compared to the species as a whole, this man is wack. An idiot would read this and think, this guy seems pretty nice, even if he seems a little stern. I think I'll email him, even though I have no idea who he is, what he looks like, where he is, whether he's single, or if he even has a job; that woman deserves whatever comes her way.

So ... Craigslist aside, what do I want to be when I grow up? I almost hope I never know. It seems like that information should remain within my grasp, but stay wholly unattainable. It's morphing, like I am, all the time. I like thinking more about the things I might learn or the stuff I might do on my way to becoming someone; not who I am now, but the 'somebody' I might be in the future. My mom always reminds me that any time spent thinking about the future is time I could have been spending on my present; but presently, I'm thinking about the future.

A butcher, a baker, a candlestick maker; and maybe a Craigslist copywriter. Tour guide, teacher, gossip columnist; a bored barista, a friendly receptionist, a nanny who eats your children--I'm qualified for a lot. Right now, though, I have to prepare for the impromptu Employment Liberation Dance Party we're throwing tonight at Whoreleen's house--all to celebrate my first official day of unemployment. Once there, we will boogie the night away, laughing and twirling, the makers of memories and merriment--then lift our glasses high in gratitude, yelling, "Thank God the rent got paid!"

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