By this point, Craigslist has practically become a routine; or, at least, I’m trying to make it one. Every day I get up and begin the scroll. Every day I come home and, slightly tea-addled and just tired enough to think this might work, I begin scrolling through the endless posts. Between those times is something closer to a real job hunt by actually going out and handing out real resumes to real people in real stores– stores maybe I’ll find myself working at this summer.
Craigslist, I’m beginning to find, is something quite different. It has that snippet or scream of fantasy about it– wish-fulfilling. At the same time, it’s an Asian market in the middle of rush hour, with everyone screaming at you to look at their wares. CAPS LOCK HERE CAPS LOCK THERE GET YOUR FOOD TRUCK JOB GET YOUR RED BULL JOB GET THAT JOB YOU ALWAYS DREAMED OF BUT KNEW YOU COULDN’T DO.
There’s something deeply sinister about most adds on that site, like any that aren’t manual labor jobs (Collegepropainters anyone?) are a bargain with the Devil, and you’re not really sure what you might get or where it might lead you. Of the something like fifteen to twenty emails I’ve sent, the only one that replied back to me was also the one that seemed most unattainable: a professional blog job for a marketing company that “liked my enthusiasm”. They said they were a company which would “revolutionize” the medium of job hunting through a new video resume system. The website– my business-savy friend assured me– was legit. The offer? Maybe not. It’s hard to say. Maybe I’m growing a bit pessimistic, but I do find it a little hard to believe they’d be interested in a not-even-graduated college kid without any experience. The opportunity began to fall apart at its own seams the more I pulled at it.
The internet has done to craigslist what it has already done to porn: turning a rather niche and sullied market (in this case, your local newspaper’s Wanted Adds) into a thriving pulse of the digital body. And it still has that yellow-stained wanted add kind of feel to it: in fifteen years of thriving business, it maintains that white background and eye-bleeding blue font. And I keep scrolling. Because in the end, what more do I have? Every new click is a new promise. And that’s what keeps us all there– whether or not any of us actually find a job on this goddamn platform.