Thought I found a job on craigslist. It's a personal/administrative assistant job that I can do from home on my computer. The guy I'm working for is from Texas and posted the ad on craigslist for someone who could type letters, post ads on craigslist for his clients, meet with him online per his schedule, and there are some other parts to the job that I haven't experienced yet. He said I'd need a fax machine, photocopier, printer, scanner - I have a 4-in-1 machine that does all of those things - and I'd send and receive packages, run business errands, etc. Sounds easy, right? That's what I thought, too.
I started on Monday. Met with the man on Yahoo! Messenger at 10 A.M. to talk and maybe begin the job. He asked me a few interview-style questions - asked me to tell him a little bit about myself, etc. - and was very professional. He gave me my first task. One of his clients wanted a job ad posted on craigslist in many different states and cities. My new boss e-mailed me a document containing the client's login information, the ad's title and description and compensation information, and the list of states and cities where I should post the ad. I logged in on craigslist using the client's e-mail address and password and started to post the ad in the first state and city on the list. I copied and pasted the information from the document into the proper craigslist fields, made sure the client's e-mail address was anonymous, and posted the first ad. A screen came up with a green box at the top that says something about the client receiving an e-mail about the ad with links to edit or delete the ad from craigslist, and I moved on to the next city. Simple enough so far.
I posted ads in the cities on the list one-by-one and eventually was stopped by craigslist. I was posting the ads too quickly and had to wait a few minutes before posting any additional ads. So I waited. My new boss had warned me that this could happen, so I wasn't surprised when I got the error message on my screen. He told me that I should wait about ten minutes and try again. I tried again after ten minutes and was able to post more ads. Well, this cycle continued throughout the day. I'd copy and paste and post several ads, get stopped by the error message, wait ten minutes, and try again. I thought things were going well.
Then, I was kicked out of the client's account. I figured it had timed out or something and tried to log back in using the information from the document. The account was put "on hold" by craigslist, and I couldn't log in. I e-mailed my new boss and let him know what was going on and updated him on my progress. I had made it through about half of the list of states and cities he had sent me, which means I had posted maybe 50-60 ads so far.
The next day, I received an e-mail from my new boss saying that his client had contacted him about the craigslist account being put on hold. He said to forget the task, and when I offered to finish the task at another time once I was able to access the account again, he said that I seemed like a hard worker. He contacted his client to see if that's what the client wanted, but when he returned to give me instructions, he told me that the client wasn't concerned about the job getting finished. The ads I had been able to post before the account was put on hold would give the client somewhere to start, and he would be able to receive applications from those areas where I had posted the ad. So the task was ended without me being able to finish it. I was a little worried that the client or my new boss wouldn't be satisfied with what had happened, but my new boss said that he thought I did good work, and the worry left me.
On Tuesday, my new boss had no task for me in the morning. He said that he would text my cell phone once he had information from a new client. The day progressed, and I didn't receive a text. Mr._C. came home from work, took a bath, and we went out to dinner, and still, I didn't get a text. We came home, watched some TV, and he fell asleep, and still, I didn't have a text from my new boss. So I set my alarm and went to bed.
This morning, I woke up and logged on to meet my new boss on Yahoo! Messenger - as we have done every morning since Monday. We say good morning to each other, and he provides me with a task to do. Today, he had information from a client for some craigslist ads again. Same states and cities as on Monday - but the ad was different. My new boss advised me that I'd have to go slower today so that the account wouldn't be put on hold by craigslist, so instead of copying and pasting, I decided to type the information by hand. The ad was only four sentences long, and I took breaks between every few ads to surf SF or watch some TV or clean up a little bit so that I wasn't posting the ads too quickly this time. Things were going well, I thought, and I didn't hit the error message even once.
But then, I received a message from my new boss. None of the ads were posting to craigslist - he didn't see them being posted at all. I told him that I had seen the green-box screen for every ad I had posted, and I had thought it was working. It seemed to be going well. But he told me to stop posting right then. Now, the client's information wouldn't even log me in. The account wasn't on hold this time; the error message said that the login credentials were incorrect, even though I was copying and pasting them from the new document. I was confused and felt like I had done something wrong. I got more upset than I probably should have and even started to cry while I was on Yahoo! Messenger with my new boss trying to figure out what had happened. I told him that I was going to be honest with him and was starting to think that I wasn't the right person for this position.
I've been unemployed for almost a full year now. I'm depressed and disillusioned and lack encouragement to continue looking for a job. My bills are beginning to go unpaid. Mr._C. hurt his knee, and the clinic where he went to have it looked at told him he has high blood pressure. He's stressed and hates his job and wants to find a new one, but we're stuck. Mr._C. is only 33 years old and has high blood pressure. He's been driving for some job or another since he was 19. We want to get our life back on track, but we just can't. It's hard, and we don't know what to do. I know there are people out there who have things MUCH worse than we do. But I thought I finally had a job that was at least going to pay me a decent wage every week - I may not get benefits, and doing my taxes might be more complicated since taxes aren't being taken out of my pay (as far as I know), but at least I had a job of some kind. I'd be able to catch up and start paying my bills on time again. Mr._C. could look for a new job now that I could support us for a little while. And in the first three days, I've fucked up twice, and I can feel this job slipping through my fingers.
My new boss replied that he understood and said that I was the right person for the job. He said that he didn't know what was going on with craigslist and that we'd try again tomorrow with a new task (that didn't involve posting ads on craigslist). Then, he signed off. What he said made me feel better, and I stopped crying, but I still don't know what to think. I hope this works out and that I can keep this job and continue to do what my new boss and his clients need me to do.
I'm just so frustrated about not being able to do right what should be a simple task.
The story continues in the second part of this blog entry.
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