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The Skeevy Wonders of Online Job Hunting

So after two years of unemployment, I've decided it's time to cast the net a little bit wider and seek anything I'm remotely qualified for even if it isn't quite what I had in mind. My principal source for job listings has been Craigslist, which is where I've gotten to at least the interview stage of things more often than any other job site.

Craigslist started charging a nominal fee for job postings in Atlanta, which cuts down on the spammy and scammy listings in theory, but doesn't block them out completely in practice. I've learned already that, for example, if the listing makes you cut and paste the email address to respond to instead of using the option to send an email directly from the ad, you'll find that the job magically mutates from, say, answering phones and filing at a print shop (in the ad) to receiving and processing payments for online auctions (in the email response.)

This one was probably more of a waste of my time than usual, but it amused me in its way.

So I came across an ad for a Receptionist:

We are looking for an organized individual for a part-time front office receptionist opening at newly open office.

Responsibilities include scheduling appointments, data entry, coping, faxing, mailing and other front office responsibilities. Prior experience is not necessary, but a general knowledge of computers and good customer service skills are a expected.

Nothing exciting, but doable, and the compensation was listed as $19 an hour, so I figured it was worth a shot. This was on Monday.

The response was sitting in my inbox this morning, having arrived at approximately three o'clock in the morning. (First hint that something may be up.)

Our recruitment team viewed your resume published on (Craigslist) and we are pleased with your qualifications. Your details as been forward to the senior supervisor (Ms Pamela Petterson) She would like to conduct an online interview with you to discuss your duties and pay scale with our company .If you are interested in this position,set up a screen name with the yahoo instant messenger(www.messenger.yahoo.com) and add up this screen name (hophiredesk@rocketmail.com) Report online at 10:00am(4/13/2011) for an interview. Contact Ms Petterson via the email below to let her know if the time frame works for you. hophiredesk@rocketmail.com.If you got any problems feel free to email back .


I downloaded the latest version of Yahoo Messenger, dusted off my old screen name, sent a reply informing them I'd be there and set Ms. Petterson up as a contact. At about nine o'clock, the IM chirped at me and we had this conversation:

hophiredesk@rocketmail.com: Good Morning
hophiredesk@rocketmail.com: How are you doing today?
sarashay.rm: Fine, thank you.
hophiredesk@rocketmail.com: You are welcome
hophiredesk@rocketmail.com: I believe you are scheduled for an interview at 10am?
sarashay.rm: Correct.
hophiredesk@rocketmail.com: Ok!
hophiredesk@rocketmail.com: I will like you get back at me once the time is 10am.
sarashay.rm: I can certainly do that.
hophiredesk@rocketmail.com: Sounds great!
sarashay.rm: See you at 10:00 AM.
hophiredesk@rocketmail.com: Sure

I did my usual job hunt circuit and a little before ten the IM chirped again.

hophiredesk@rocketmail.com: Morning! May we proceed with the interview?
sarashay.rm: Certainly.
hophiredesk@rocketmail.com: Ok great!
hophiredesk@rocketmail.com: Are you aware that this is strictly an online work from home?
sarashay.rm: That wasn't in the listing.
hophiredesk@rocketmail.com: Hope that won't be an issue?
sarashay.rm: "We are looking for an organized individual for a part-time front office receptionist opening at newly open office. "
sarashay.rm: That implies a physical location.
sarashay.rm: You might want to rewrite your advertisement to be a little more clear about that.
hophiredesk@rocketmail.com: Oh sure... i believe we are on the same page?
sarashay.rm: I'm a bit puzzled how a 'receptionist' can be a work from home position.
hophiredesk@rocketmail.com: You will receive your daily duties via e-mail and i will be here to assist you if any difficulties
sarashay.rm: That's not what a receptionist does. That's a virtual assistant, perhaps, but definitely NOT a receptionist.
sarashay.rm: What is the name of the company?
hophiredesk@rocketmail.com: Kaba Group.

At this point I do a quick Google and find that Kaba Group is a security company based in Switzerland.

hophiredesk@rocketmail.com: I undersand where you are coming from
sarashay.rm: I've come across a number of questionable job offers in the course of my search. I'm still not feeling terribly reassured at this point. Why isn't this position listed on the company website?
hophiredesk@rocketmail.com: This is an online position,but you may pass on if you are not comfortable with this
sarashay.rm: That's not answering the question
hophiredesk@rocketmail.com: Online offers are not listed on the company's web simply because it is not a work done in an actual office
sarashay.rm: What industry is the company in?
hophiredesk@rocketmail.com: I will like you get full details from the company's web
hophiredesk@rocketmail.com: www.kaba.com

This was indeed the very website I was looking at. They only had two positions in the United States, both in Florida and both involving software development.

sarashay.rm: What sort of work would the position entail?
hophiredesk@rocketmail.com: JOB DETAILS Job Duties and Responsibilities: The Position will support both weekly and bi-weekly payroll processes, including: • Entering, auditing, and maintaining new company data, new hire data, change,termination, and benefit enrollment data; • Coordinating with clients regarding deadlines, missing paperwork, time sheets, and other information; • Generating, auditing and filing of payroll reports; • Performing payroll calculations and adjustments; • Research problems and respond to questions as needed; • Assisting with other related payroll processes including year-end activities; • Perform expanded payroll activities if needed for vacation coverage of other team members.

Because you just know an international corporation would farm out its payroll to virtual positions.

sarashay.rm: How exactly does someone perform those duties via email?
hophiredesk@rocketmail.com: The company will provide yu with all required materials
sarashay.rm: What programs will be needed?
hophiredesk@rocketmail.com: I will provide you with further details before training sessions
sarashay.rm: Did you have any questions about my qualifications other than "are you okay with it being a virtual position?"
hophiredesk@rocketmail.com: Thers is no problem with your qualification
sarashay.rm: You did notice that my resume said nothing about having any payroll experience, right?
hophiredesk@rocketmail.com: Payroll is similar to keeping records of payment made clients
sarashay.rm: And which job on my resume did I do that on?
hophiredesk@rocketmail.com: Excuse me
hophiredesk@rocketmail.com: I will not answer silly questions here.
hophiredesk@rocketmail.com: I think positions are closed
hophiredesk@rocketmail.com: Have a great day!

So I sent a quick email to the folks at Kaba Group letting them know that either somebody is doing something hinky and using their good name to do it, or they have an employee named Pamela Petterson who is profoundly unprofessional. We'll see how they respond.

*sigh* So does anybody know of any REAL jobs out there that I could do?


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Apr. 14th, 2011 09:00 am (UTC)
Well, that was creepy and weird. :(
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )