So very True - Image by Anne Taintor

So very True - Image by Anne Taintor
I would like this on my very own business cards

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Slave Labor in Montana

During my quest for gainful employment (I call it that because my father always used that term because it means a “real” job and not a wayward kind of summer gig or one that will require you live in your Dad's basement for years) I have followed up on a number of promising postings on craigslist for independent contractor positions.  You know, where I do something for someone because I want to not because my boss is lazy and makes me do it so they can then take the credit for it—that kind of work. 

Back in March I saw an ad that really sparked my interest.  It involved distressed properties and vacant properties.  It was for a Field Inspector and it involved using a digital camera or camera phone and knowledge of how to use the computer and email.  BINGO!  I can do this one for sure.  Plus, I had been researching field inspector jobs because the foreclosure rate is rather high and they are in demand.  (These are the jerks that drive by your house and take pictures so the bank can put the picture on the internet before you have been fully foreclosed, evicted and lost everything—I know, times are tough, I need a job,  Jeez...)  I googled the email, backchecked the company = figured it was legitimate and got the name of the person who posted it and found their picture online too (I have also been looking for jobs as a skip tracer and private dick---I just used the word dick and it wasn't naughty, haha) so I fired off an email to the email listed on the craigslist post. 
Dear Courtney:
I am interested in the posting on Craigslist for a part-time field inspector.  I have a laptop, digital camera and reliable transportation. I also have extensive knowledge of Flathead County and the surrounding areas as I used to perform site visits regularly.   I am a professional land use planner by trade however I was recently laid off due to budget reasons.   I am now working part-time as a land use consultant. 
Attached is a pdf version of my resume.  Although I may appear highly qualified, I truly am interested in any part--time positions that may be available.  I look forward to hearing from you.  I may be reached at my home number of 406-000-0000 on my cell phone at 000-867-5309.

Reflecting back I would not have put the part about the budget cutback BS but if a professional anything is looking for a job at let's say, KFC, one would usually assume that they suck and can't get a real job that have training for or they suck and were fired and I don't suck.  That said, I included it and the thingy about being highly qualified.  Have you seen my resume?  I have not always worked at burrito buses (not that there is anything wrong with it...)

A few days later I get a response and without spending as much time as it took me to write this little story or the earlier email, I erased the idea from my memory.  Actually, it was such a sham deal that I rather forgot about it until I was a running a clean up of the folder where I save all the random doo-doo I find on the internet and remembered that I had saved the webpage and then located the emails here for your enjoyment.  Anyway, blah blah, I am talking too much so here is the response and I will let you decide if I made the right choice with not following up... *Note you don't have to read everything she wrote.  I kinda added some large fonts and crap to point out the stupid parts*

Good afternoon Nikki:
My name is Edwina and I'm the rep coordinator for the state of Montana. Please read the information provide below, and we can talk about what area's you can cover.  Here is some information on the types of work we do and compensation: 
Many of our inspections only require a simple verification of occupancy,a description of the property, and a photo.  With every inspection, you need to determine the condition of the property and the neighborhood,the roof type, the color, the type of property (is it single family,condo, apartment?), construction type (brick, frame, etc) and the number of stories.  It's also very important to note if the property is for sale, and if so, we need the realtor name and phone number.  Sometimes these inspections may include a letter or door tag to leave at the property for the homeowner.
If there is a letter to be delivered to the homeowner it must be left at the property in a sealed envelope. Or, the mortgage company may ask that we leave a call back tag at the property.  This simply provides the mortgage company's name and toll-free number with a request that the mortgagor call them.
We also do insurance loss inspections or Loss Drafts.  This inspection requires you to set an appointment with the homeowner to go out and view and photograph repairs being made to the  property.  
Our company does a wide range of inspections; many not requiring any contact at the property.  We are always looking for good; reliable reps within every community.  
Our company also does Property Preservation to keep each vacant property in good condition and within city codes.  We do things like change locks, remove left over personal property and damaged appliances, winterization and mow lawns just to name a few.  As a rep, you are not required to do both preservation and inspection work, however, they do go hand in hand, and both are integral parts of what we do.

Here are the fees we pay for each type of inspection:
  • Loan Service Report/No Contact 7.50
  • Loan Service Report/With Contact 8.00
  • Property Inspection Only 7.50
  • Rush Property Inspection 15.00
  • Loss Draft 12.00
  • Rush Loss Draft 15.00
  • Commercial Inspection 15.00
  • Rush Commercial Inspection 25.00
*Note: I made the font much larger and red so you could see it easier.   I would also like to point out that these prices are in US dollars not abbreviations for larger denomiations although they could be in pesos since it is such a small amount.  Barely covers for the frickin' gas money in most cases.  Flathead County is over 5,00 square miles in size - it is comparable to the entire state of Connecticut for pete's sake.

We require a 25% discount on any preservation work we assign to you. (What???? They will pay me even less than the dribble they quoted above??? Hello McFly....NO!!!!!)

Please let me know either way if you are interested in joining our team at Wewillscrewyouover (name changed to protect anonnimty of slave labor using company that is not Wal-Mart).  If so, please provide all of your contact information including your mailing address, fax number, all phone numbers where you can be 
reached, and your SSN or Tax ID with company name, whichever you prefer. I look forward to hearing from you.  Have a wonderful day.
I have put together a list of counties I need help in, please let me know what counties you can work. [I edited out the list of what looked like all 56 counties in Montana so you wouldn't have to read them but if you are interested here is a list of all of them alphabetically]
Thank you, 
Edwina [I also omitted her last name and contact info because I don't want crazies on the internet contacting her and telling her they got her number from me.  That's not how I roll...]

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