Thursday, March 8, 2012

What the Holy Fuck?!?!? Craig's List Ads, Part 3

Before I end up getting busier (meaning even less frequent updates), I've seriously seen some ads lately that make me scratch my head & wonder what drugs these people are on.

First off, some demands for full time internships:

Commercial Casting Internship (Midtown West)

Date: 2012-02-15, 5:27PM EST
Reply to: [Errors when replying to ads?]

Telsey + Co. is seeking commercial interns for the winter/spring! PLEASE NOTE: we are currently only looking for interns to work exclusively with our commercial department.

Interns will be exposed to all aspects of commercial casting and will get a lot of experience in the audition room. Duties include organizing scripts/commercial copy, researching potential talent, helping set up and run sessions, putting out appointments and assisting with administrative tasks.

We are looking for interns who are good with technology and have a strong desire to learn and an interest in commercial/television/film casting. You must be comfortable using a Mac. Knowledge of QuickTime Pro, Toast and Microsoft Word are also a big plus. You should be a team player who is detail-oriented and displays strong communication skills. Directing skills also a big plus.

There is a very high level of responsibility in this internship program. We are looking for full-time, Monday through Friday, 10am-6pm, and a 3- or 4-month commitment, beginning between now and early March. This is full-time, unpaid internship.

To apply, please send your cover letter and resume to David Morris at and put "Commercial Internship" in the subject line.

Compensation: Unpaid
This is an internship job
Principals only. Recruiters, please don't contact this job poster.
Please, no phone calls about this job!
Please do not contact job poster about other services, products or commercial interests.

PostingID: 2853384582

Prop/Art Intern Needed (Greenwich Village)

Date: 2012-03-06, 3:37PM EST
Reply to: [Errors when replying to ads?]

I am searching for a prop intern to help full time on a feature film shooting in the city. We're looking to fill this position immediately. Experience is desired but not necessary.
You will be assisting the props department on an independent feature film. The work will include both research/shop work as well as On-Set work. The position requires you to be independent, aggressive and patient. Common sense and problem solving under pressure are critical. The compensation will be credit for your work as well as all the contacts and experience that you'll make working on the project itself. The position is FULL TIME only (with weekends off) unfortunately. Please submit a resume and cover letter.
Thank you.
Compensation: Experience, credit, and contacts
Principals only. Recruiters, please don't contact this job poster.
Please, no phone calls about this job!
Please do not contact job poster about other services, products or commercial interests.

PostingID: 2888052091

And just today, I saw yet another ad seeking a full time intern for help on a feature film shoot. Telsey + Co. is supposed to be legit as I've actually heard of them. That ad just tells me not to deal with them since clearly, they're either into exploiting people or haven't bothered to consult with a lawyer before posting ads that violate state & federal labor laws (aside from being insulting to the 99% who have to pay bills). Neither possibility looks good. No sane business person should strive to be incompetent or a total asshole.

Seriously, folks. Think before you post. Do you want the public to read them & say "Hmmm, how would this company treat ME if they're expecting a total stranger to PAY for the privilege of working full time for them? I bet they'll screw me over as well."

I understand the good of the team and all that but civilized people realize that if someone isn't being given equity, they're just not going to be motivated to do all that much.

To the second company, which is in my turf so definitely something I'll take personally as someone in this business doing the same thing & not wanting my rep harmed by this shit I had this to say:

Are you brain dead? Read up on state & federal laws. FULL TIME internships, which is what you posted here, are illegal. Clearly you're trying to couch this as an "intern" position to weasel out of paying someone who has skills & a financial value in the marketplace.

Saying you want "experience" is further evidence of you trying to exploit people. We aren't stupid.

I have my own entertainment company & when there's lots of work to be done & no $ to pay someone, we don't expect a stranger to work FULL TIME HOURS for us. The CEO doesn't even expect the partners to give up paying work for unpaid work. Most people aren't independently wealthy & have to pay their bills.

There are also plenty of opportunities to network in the entertainment field, get experience & credit for projects without having to work FULL TIME for NO PAY. In fact, I see nothing of travel reimbursement so not only are you insulting people by telling them they are worthless you are adding financial injury by making the person pay $104 a month for a MetroCard to travel for YOUR benefit. My company would never, in a million years, expect someone to PAY to work for us.

Maybe you should consider 2-3 people for 10-20 hours each instead of risking a well deserved crackdown on your business by state & federal labor authorities. There HAVE been crackdowns on this kind of thing.

Want to work with some trust fund baby who lives off their parents & can do this at their expense? Good luck. Even that person would resent you & not care. You may also want to start shelling out for a lawyer since you're going to need one if you think the labor laws don't apply to Craig's List ads.

Oh, and would YOU pay to work full time for a business you didn't own as an INTERN? Would you even work for free FULL TIME for that business (getting your travel costs reimbursed)? If you wouldn't, why should anyone else?

Signed, A Professional Who Knows the Law & How This Industry Actually Works

Yes, ad posters! If you would get mad at me for asking you to work for free or spend money to do something mostly benefiting me, then don't expect others to do it.

Oh, and here's an example of a moron in the legal field with the same attitude:

Assistant to help with paperwork (Midtown)

Date: 2012-02-29, 2:23PM EST
Reply to: [Errors when replying to ads?]

I'm a young lawyer with a small practice. I need help with tasks such as going to the post office, filing papers in court, retrieving papers from court, making photocopies, drafting letters, etc. In exchange I will train you as a proper paralegal and give you excellent references. The time commitment is 5-10 hours a week.

This is a great opportunity for someone who wants first-hand legal experience without a huge time commitment. The right candidate may evolve the position into something more permanent. In the meantime, all I can offer is training focused on the technical aspects of private law practice.

If you are considering law school, this is a great way to see what you are in for as a lawyer in the "new legal economy."

You must have your own laptop and Metrocard.
Location: Midtown
it's ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests
Compensation: no pay

PostingID: 2877459060

Sorry but my altruism has long since evaporated. I definitely responded to this one.

Clearly, you are a younger lawyer than I am or just incredibly naive. I've been an attorney for over 4 years & I'm not arrogant enough to think someone wants to be my assistant FOR FREE. My field is probably also far more exciting than yours & more likely to compel someone to use their personal resources to work for me.

However, the difference b/t you & me is I have integrity. I would not demand someone use their PERSONAL laptop or demand them to have a monthly Metrocard to work for me since that's them PAYING to work for ME; in fact, no one has any business getting an assistant (who's not volunteered to do it) unless they can pay him/her. Those cards cost over $100 a MONTH & only people who already have full time jobs can typically afford them. Think for a second: if someone's got a full time job paying a salary, then why would they work for YOU for FREE?

This is not even an internship in the strict sense of the word: this is just asking for free labor. Even in college, I earned money at my part time jobs & applied for legal jobs offering to PAY for these tasks. This doesn't even sound like something a student could get course credit for.

Maybe I'm horribly jaded since I've dealt with scammers first hand & read some tales about attorneys behaving no better but I would never advise someone do this. If you can't even provide a computer/phone & travel reimbursement, you need to grow up & get used to how life in business actually works.

You're better off asking a friend or family member that gives a damn about you instead of expecting total strangers to fall all over themselves to spend their money to work for YOU. Do YOU like working for free (no CLE credit & not even a travel reimbursement or deduction in taxes)? Would you work for minimum wage for clients? If not, read your ad again & tell me why anyone would want to pay to do this for you when they could do it for free at a legitimate law firm (through a temp agency or applying directly to law firms). Oh, and people DO read these ads & make judgments on you based on how you're treating prospective employees. Expecting them to pay says to me that you're probably shitty to your clients.

Yeah, the Angry Redheaded Lawyer may be many things but an exploiter I am not. I have to wonder who has the balls to post this type of ad; I noticed it was gone very quickly from Craig's List. Hopefully, some other attorneys felt the same way.

Oh, and if I didn't already have motivation not to work in a law firm after reading about the guy who died at 35 due to working constant 20 hour days at a mid-sized firm this ad symbolizes even more why most firms are messed up in their hiring practices:

Stellar-Credentialed Litigation Associate (NYC)

Date: 2012-01-13, 7:18PM EST
Reply to: [Errors when replying to ads?]

Top litigation firm has a need for a Midlevel Litigation Associate with 3-4 years of litigation experience. You will have the opportunity diversity of matters and a lot of responsibility as the matters are staffed leanly. The firm's attorneys work hard but are very collegial with each other. The candidate who is hired for this position will have top academic credentials (see below) and will also be the right personality fit (though a good personality, alone, will, unfortunately, not make up for less-than-stellar credentials). Please have a JD from a Top 25 law school and a 3.5+ GPA. Please submit resume/law school transcript to be considered.
Location: NYC
Principals only. Recruiters, please don't contact this job poster.
Please, no phone calls about this job!
Please do not contact job poster about other services, products or commercial interests.

PostingID: 2798757567

At least in the entertainment field, your personality matters more than if you were on law review or went to Yale. This sounds like you could be a total fuck up as a litigator practicing law in real life but if you were a law school superstar, it's a-okay. Way to live up to the negative stereotypes, folks!

Then there's the blatant sexual harassment ads:


Date: 2012-01-06, 10:02PM EST
Reply to: [Errors when replying to ads?]

Professional Executive CEO seeking model assistant for everyday needs.

Must Be Open Minded, Young & Fun. Must be able to mix "business and pleasure"

Please send your recent photos, available start date & what are you ready to offer.

Serious Inquires Only
it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests
Compensation: $1000

PostingID: 2787302933

Please God, let this guy end up with a wicked STD or a woman who'll bite off his dick as soon as look at it (because how many women have you seen posting such ads)! Creeps like that totally deserve such things. As long as we have the Village Voice personal ads & prostitutes, there's no excuse for using secretary & assistant jobs to harass women who need money & don't want to become strippers or prostitutes. I'd like to see a return to the adult section for this smut instead of Talent Gigs. "Professional Executive?" Ha! Maybe "Professional Predator."

It also makes me wonder if we'd see less of this crap if prostitution were legal. Personally, I'm in favor of legalized prostitution with some regulation like mandatory testing for STDs, access to contraceptives (since you don't want your prostitutes getting pregnant & having to take maternity leave), no minors, no kidnapping or forcing women into it & fair splits. You can't deny that people have always & will always have sex + it could be a money maker. Done right, maybe it would make politics more honest if we got over this puritanical mindset & ethos that's threatening to ruin the U.S. as we know it. Even the pimps could be like franchisees & have their own offices.

Finally, we come to people who just have no freaking clue. Consider this budding genius:

Need idea for a new project? ~~Stock Trading Documentary (Financial District)

Date: 2012-03-06, 2:44AM EST
Reply to: [Errors when replying to ads?]

I am 20 years old and coming to New York City for the first time this summer to be an intern at two different currency trading firms.

I have been a day trader with real money since high school. I have been dealing mostly in currencies and stocks however i have also traded bonds and commodities.
I will be living in an apartment and commuting to 7 World Trade Center to intern at one firm, while working for another firm all while continuing to day trade in my free time.

This is a very high paced industry and a documentary following my time in the city this summer could make for a great project if you are up for the task. No compensation is provided.
Compensation: None
This is a part-time job.
Principals only. Recruiters, please don't contact this job poster.
Please, no phone calls about this job!
Please do not contact job poster about other services, products or commercial interests.

PostingID: 2887088642

This utterly clueless tone compelled me to respond. Here goes:

You need some lessons in how the entertainment industry works:

Lesson 1 - Filmmaking costs money. There's expensive equipment involved, permits, editing, etc. Saying "I'm not offering any pay" isn't going to cut it. Professional company = professional pay. Get the funding if you want this to happen.

Lesson 2 - Offering no money means you will not get interest from a quality film company & this little project won't go anywhere. Hope you've got a friend with a camera. Better yet, you should probably just do a video diary on You Tube since unless you can get permission from these employers to document your exploits, no one's going to care. I find it unlikely that these trading firms are going to let an intern bring in a filmmaker to tape him/her & the insides of their business.

Lesson 3 - If you have no skin in the game, you get no say & no ownership. Everyone has "an idea"; you'll also be signing a release & have no control over the final product unless you are a producer (meaning YOU have to get financing, fund it yourself & otherwise make sure it all comes together). People submit ideas ALL THE TIME. If you have no funds, a stranger's not going to care & if they do work with you, the final product might not be as you'd want it.

If you want this little documentary, go find a friend to do it. They might not mind buying film, renting equipment, doing editing, etc. on your behalf but the rest of us sure would. We have bills to pay & PAYING clients to concern ourselves with.

Signed, Someone Who ACTUALLY Works in the Entertainment Industry

If any professional filmmakers disagree, please let me know. Maybe YOU'D like to pay to work for this guy.

Then there's this person who thinks men are going to get naked for free:

Natural Redheads

Date: 2012-03-06, 8:19PM EST
Reply to: [Errors when replying to ads?]

I want natural Redheads for a photography project. Men only.

There is NUDITY involved. 21+

This is a non-paying gig. TFP (trade for photos).

Send headshot and brief note if interested and want more information.
it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests
Compensation: no pay

PostingID: 2888569775

I think even men would want money to disrobe. Here's my response:

You expect strangers to do a TFP with NUDITY for NO PAY & you want natural redheads? Why not just ask for unicorns that can sing the score to Avenue Q? That's how realistic your ad is. Nudity is a special event & requires at least travel reimbursement.

Every ad here asking for nudity offers a few hundred dollars for it & that's not necessarily for a group that makes up around 1% of the world's total population.

Yeah, if you want natural redheads (male or female) to get naked for you you'd better be offering at least double the standard rate. Perhaps quadruple. Give the doubles & triples to other minority groups that are less rare but not as common as white folks.

If that redhead isn't Caucasian, the rate goes even higher. Same for natural redheads who qualify as little people. That's basic economics. Rare things cost more.

If you manage to find mentally competent strangers willing to be photographed or videotaped naked for free & never demanding limits on public exhibition of the photos or video, then you're either a genius or have a talent for finding extremely apathetic people (you have to have done this while they were sober). Everyone will clamor for your secret & probably want to be your business partner since you'd likely make a fortune.

Between this & the lunatic fringe lately, it's probably a good thing I've got activities to occupy my time and incentives to use my brain for good vs. evil.

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