A Very Craigslist “Househelp” Request

I received the following e-mail in my spam folder, which I check compulsively in case I miss a job offer from a prospective employer. Below is the original text of the solicitation, and beneath that is my response.

Hello There.
    I was checking on craigslist and i came accross your post. I’m Aaron Wilson and My wife’s name is Emily Wilson. We are relocating to your neighbourhood from England. I recently got a contract with a company on a private research job with minimum of two years contract and possibility of extending the contract. However, I need someone who will help me to take care of the house by doing some house work while am off to work. Someone that will also help in running some errands or babysitting.

I will be offering you $500 weekly payment, i will be needing your services for 6 hours at any suitable time of yours, Tuesday and Saturday. If you believe you are fit for this position in as much you will prove yourself to be a reliable, responsible and good person, I have a financier that is based in the States and he will be handling the payment and some other expenses. I will instruct him to pay for the first two weeks before my arrival so as to secure your service.

My financier will be making out a check to you before our arrival, you will be receiving an overpayment bank check which you will deduct your pay for the first two weeks and you will be using the remaining to buy foodstuffs, art galley, home appliance and other things needed in the house. You will be getting this foodstuff on the day of our arrival which will be the 30th of Next month. Actually our flights from England will arrive at nights so you will be getting the foodstuff in the morning and making all other preparations.

I just bought the house and as soon as all the paper work is finalize and i will instruct my estate agent to mail the keys of the house to you so that you can do all other necessary preparations before we arrive, I will also email you the shopping list after you received and cashed the check okay..

You have to get all this shopping before our arrival so that we wont have to start running around when we arrive, So my financier would be needing the following Information to make out the check.

Full Name:
Full address with zipcode & Apt Number:
Phone number:
Acceptance of offer:

All I need from you is total honesty and sincerity. I know you will be committed to the work, You will also have a nice period of time working with my wife. I will be waiting to hear from you.

Aaron Wilson

Now, my response:

Hello, Aaron,

Thanks for your e-mail. I’ve got to admit, it was a little TL;DR (that means Too Long; Didn’t Read). Let me just make sure that I got the point.

1. You’re looking for a stranger to organize all your shit before you and your (possibly invalid) wife, Emily, relocate to a new ‘neighbourhood’ (nice touch with the spelling).
2. You want me to cash a stranger’s check (or cheque, if you prefer) and buy ‘food stuffs,’ ‘home appliance’ and an ‘art galley.’ Please clarify this last errand for me, as the internet tells me that a galley is “A low, flat ship with one or more sails and up to three banks of oars.” Does that mean that you want me to buy you a ship? My local Ship Mart only sells ships with four banks of oars. Ugh, America, amiright?! Let me know if this works for you.

3. You want me to send you all of the information you’d need to come to my actual house, put a chloroform rag over my mouth, and stuff me in the trunk (boot) of your car.

4. In the next breath, you say that all you need from me is total honesty and sincerity. Somehow, even though you have no idea who the hell I am, you know I will be committed to the work (namely, the preparation of foodstuff).

5. Please tell me more about this wife that I’ll be working alongside. Is she spooky? Does she have transparent skin? What about her fingernails – would you classify them more as talons? And her accent: would you say it’s more Northern or Southern? How does she pronounce the word ‘scam?’

Finally, you should know that I will only agree to this job if I get to wear a full Victorian maid’s uniform with a bustle.

Fingers crossed I get the job, guys!

Daily Aggravation 38: When you Witness a Missed Connection

It’s a bummer when you realize that the cute guy across the aisle on the subway is not, in fact, making eyes at you, but at the girl you’re sitting next to. It’s even more of a bummer when you realize that she’s making eyes back at him. WTF, guys. We’re not at speed dating. Take it somewhere else before I’m forced to unite you in your pain.

In which Caroline tells you not to fuck with Professor A$$monster, ever.

A few months ago, some friends and I spent a particularly unremarkable (though perfectly pleasant) night hanging out at my friend Nina’s house. The next day, to her horror – but not really to her surprise – she received a truly remarkable e-mail from her INSANE BITCH of a Craigslist-found roommate. The e-mail went a little something (exactly) like this:

hey nina,

now that you’re settled into the apartment, i just wanted to go over a few apartment guidelines that we follow…

-awareness of noise level is really important. since we all have different schedules, michael & i keep our tvs, phone calls, computer, music, etc. in our room so as not to disturb anyone at any time of day.

fyi, my contractor wall is really thin and i hear everything outside in my room at the same level…this is especially crucial during the work week as i wake up and go to sleep hours before anyone.

to be honest, your tv belongs in your room. if you continue to use the common areas as an extension of your personal space, you will be paying more rent since this is not fair to everyone else.

-keeping all misc. stuff in our rooms due to the tight space (and fire hazard). since the living room and kitchen are common spaces we try to keep it free of our things. anything else not related to the living room or kitchen needs to be moved to the proper place outside common areas.

-no smoking- of any kind, under any circumstances. i have asthma and allergies. beyond that, it’s rude to smoke in an apartment that was specifically requested to be non smoking. this was one of the very first questions i asked you when we met.

-letting each other know if we’re having people overnight.

-we also try to make sure to use the vent on the stove top when cooking for courtesy (when things have a strong smell, etc.).

these guidelines have worked for us and create respect among one another.

if they don’t work for you, this living situation isn’t going to work for you.



Did you ever in your life read an e-mail like that? The following e-mail is what I proposed Nina send back to her.

Dear J,

Now that I know these guidelines, I’ll make sure to abide by them. FYI: I would’ve really appreciated it if you’d sent me that e-mail BEFORE I moved in, as I was under the (apparently misguided) impression that paying money to live in the apartment would guarantee me the right to, oh, I don’t know, LIVE IN THE APARTMENT. If I’d known that I would’ve been forced to pay extra to use the apartment’s LIVING ROOM, I definitely would have looked elsewhere – I didn’t realize I was signing up to live in a boarding house in 1902.

Since we’re having this ‘discussion,’ I have a few rules of my own that I must absolutely demand you follow. They are as follows:

1. Please only cook green and orange foods when I am home/going to be home/thinking of being home/saying the word ‘home’. Any other color foods greatly offend me and looking at them burns my corneas (rare birth condition) so it would be really rude for you to cook them.

2. Moving forward, please address me exclusively as “Professor A$$monster.”

3. If you plan on using the shower (an act that is inherently an infringement on my personal space, as the shower is located very close to my room, but one that I will tolerate because it is the considerate thing to do), please only take 1.25 minutes to bathe yourself and make sure the water is no hotter than 57.4 degrees, or else you will have to pay extra for utilities.

4. If you cook food in the “communal” space, you must wash your utensils WHILE you are eating, in addition to before and after, or else we might get vermin and you might have an allergy attack and croak – and we certainly wouldn’t want that, now would we?

Finally, one last thing – my tarantula, Francis, seems to have gone missing. If you find him, DO NOT pick him up – he has been genetically mutated to be poisonous (you knew I worked at a hospital). He really likes hiding under pillows/in dark nooks and crannies/dust-free spaces, so you might want to be extra careful when you’re walking around the apartment for the next few months, until he either turns up or dies somewhere/starts decomposing and we can locate him by the stench of his corpse.

Professor A$$monster

Why she didn’t send this message, I’ll never know.