I have used Craigslist quite a bit over the past 3 years or so- I’ve lived in 6 apartments in that time frame and 5 of them were found thanks to Craigslist. I’ve also done a half dozen freelance projects or so that were discovered in the Computer gigs section… this is what I’ve learned from reading a few thousand posts over the years. There are a million other phrases that could be added to this list, but these are the ones I find the most insulting/frustrating.
"Perfect for medical students/law students"
You will usually find this peppered throughout apartment listings near respectable universities and it means these 3 things”:
- The person posting this apartment it has never seen how medical students live. Seriously, no one that studies 70 hours a week, works 50 more and sleeps for only 10 can be expected to clean up their own pizza boxes.
- The poster wants someone ‘quiet’… aka: not home. See above bullet point
- You do not want to live here, because ye shall be judged. (Of course, my experience of this was when I was a 21 year old social media strategist living in St Louis wearing ironic T-shirts.. so maybe that has something to do with it)
This means Bushwick.
"Minutes from Manhattan"
If you have to tell someone you are minutes from Manhattan, you probably aren’t. Look at a map… if it is near a subways stop that isn’t deep into Queens/Brooklyn, then you are probably 15-20 minutes away. No one is “5 minutes from Manhattan”… no one.
Listings for freelance opportunities are almost all one of these:
"Great opportunity for students/your portfolio"
Run. This translates to “I have no money, I know nothing about what actually goes into web/graphic/interactive design or development and I am justifying my $200 budget by trying to con a student into learning a valuable life lesson about weeding out bad clients”
"Your email must include X, Y and Z. Do not waste your time by not reading directions- any emails without this information will be ignored"
This means: “I am an uptight asshole who is more concerned with the format of your email/portfolio than I am with qualitatively reviewing your work”. I worked for a person once from an ad that was very firm like this and it was a quagmire of process and particulars rather than a pursuit of a finished product.
"I can’t pay you now, but I’ll give you a % of profit/possible employment opportunities in the future"
"You will not be getting paid for this. Ever"
I’ve been trolling various cities’ CL for the past couple of days, lining up some freelance work for the spring and I was reminded of how little respect there is for the value of creative work from design to photography to web development to copyrighting.