When will I ever learn? This morning I decided to start the week off in a productive manner by checking all my online resources (all three of them) for new job opportunities. After going the legit route (my only response being an email informing me that my resume was formatted wrong - d'oh!) I decided to stop by that ever-reliable community bulletin board/wacko magnet and other "C" word, Craigslist.
Having had some experience with the site before, I like to call it "Crankslist," as most of the postings on there just cannot be trusted at all. But once again, I found myself returning to the less jaded version of myself that stepped off the Hollywood-bound Greyhound bus way back in '95 (ok, I arrived in a VW Rabbit, but I was far more idealistic in those days) and I ventured into the L.A. job listings thinking that maybe, just maybe, my dream job would be sitting there just waiting for me to apply.
Lo and behold, I found the listing - ok, maybe not THE listing, but A listing that had "me" written all over it. Even though it was sandwiched between postings seeking actors for a film in which they were expected to appear nude yet not be paid (hey, copy, credit, and free pizza goes a long way) and those who desire to "contribute to a blog about a traditional wooden Japanese ball-and-cup toy that is starting to become popular in the United States, especially among skateboarders and rollerbladers," (you can't make this stuff up) my interest was still piqued.
Lofty expectations aside, I figured, what the heck, you have to swing to hit the ball, so I answered this ad which was seeking writers for an "up and coming" entertainment magazine. Seeing as how I currently make zero dollars and zero cents writing this blog, a gig writing for a magazine could only add to my pot.
I spent the next half hour or so prepping my best writing samples, some of which needed some tweaking and reformatting (writing is, in fact, rewriting.) I then concentrated on writing a catchy cover letter/email that said more than just boiler-plate greeting stuff. After pressing the "send" button, I noticed the number 1 instantly appear over my Inbox icon. For a about a half-second I indulged myself in a fantasy in which the magazine editors were collectively staring at their email inbox, waiting for my submission to appear, then realized that made no sense whatsoever. So I clicked my inbox icon and what did I see? A response not from Up and Coming Magazine but from my dear friend, and perhaps yours as well, Failure Notice. My eager email had bounced back quicker than a check from Bernie Madoff. I immediately rechecked the address in the sent from box. It was correct, just apparently nonexistent.
Let's check the scoreboards, shall we? Craigslist Scammers: 5,748,269,112. Hopeful Online Job Applicants: 0.
The frustrating part was not the time wasted, but the knowledge that this was an all-too familiar scenario for me. As I declared in the title of this blog, nothing really good has ever come from Crankslist, er, Craigslist. I threw in the modifier "really" because some good things have actually come from it, which I will list in full:
My current rommmate Mark
My appearance on the game show "Starface" (total winnings - $0)
My first movie review gig (total earnings - zippo)
My appearance on the "reality" makeover show "TV Candy" (total prize winnings - a jacket, shirt, and pants designed by Ben Sherman.)
In the words of Porky Pig," That's all, folks." All that has resulted from my earnest submissions and glass-half-full optimism is a nice living situation, some elbow-rubbing with Danny Bonaduce and Melissa Rivers, and a nice outfit that is in dire need of updating (note: on said makeover show, I had to provide my own belt and shoes, so it wasn't a complete rake-fest.)
In the Silver Lining Department, however, my appearance on "Starface" ultimately led to my most recent single-episode stint on Fox's "Trivial Pursuit: America Plays," in which I bombed on the written test but ended up making a little over $500 for asking (not answering, mind you) a question I made up on the spot. Still, it's a little sad when you have to Kevin Bacon your good fortunes (i.e., that blind date in which you were left for dead on the side of the highway which led to the old codger picking you up which led to him willing you some money for being nice enough to listen to him jabber on unlike his ungrateful grandkids.)
Not that Craigslist is a complete waste of cyberspace. I successfully sold a pair of Jimmy Buffett tickets to a college girl who was anything but a crank (I could see in her soon-to-be glassy eyes though that our distrust was mutual.) And if you need a good laugh, check out the "Erotic" listings on the site wherein every possible sexual predilection is advertised, the laugh coming when you see the photo of the tranny who is doing the offering. Just be thankful that's the only thing in the erotic section that's coming.
Still, I feel the same way about Crankslist that I do about playing the California Lottery - somewhat proud that I'm in the game at all but a little more than embarrassed knowing full well I'm absolutely wasting my time and singles. At least Craigslist doesn't charge every time I submit myself for stuff. If that were the case, I'd have to sell my Ben Sherman duds and get on another game show, stat.