Did You Know Craigslist Employment Ads Could Be Dangerouus? Now I Do.

I have nothing against Craigslist, the concept. In fact, I love when a community of people are able to get together to transact for goods and services and be able to do so effectively to meet the needs of both parties. This isn’t a feel-good story about a Craigslist experience.

A female friend responded to an employment ad about a month ago. It was for a position with a Virginia company. There came the point when she and a company representative needed to meet, and they did so during the work week at a public restaurant. The meet time was 3pm.

So far, so good.

About 30 minutes into the meeting/interview, the guy started asking my friend about her nationality. He remarked how pretty he found her to be, and took 3 opportunities to hammer home the point.

(In hearing this story, I immediately thought “red flag #1" for being somewhat inappropriate and going overboard)

My friend also thought it inappropriate, deciding to cut the interview short. She felt uncomfortable, and created an excuse of having another engagement.

Ok, good…cuz is the guy gonna be that creepy at work too?

Check got paid, and both started walking out to the parking lot. My friend again thanked the guy, extending her hand to shake his. They shake hands. By this time, it’s maybe 3:30. i.e. it’s daylight outside.

My friend gets into her vehicle, and while buckling her seat belt, sees and hears the guy opening up the passenger side door of her car. Within seconds, he was sitting in her car. She was shocked, but before she could really even ask him what his deal was, he climbed on top of her.

The guy used expletives that I don’t choose to write here, to describe what he was going to do to her as he was kissing all over her and clawing at the fasteners of her pants. To say that was friend was overwhelmed, would be an understatement.

My friend could see a woman crossing the parking lot out of the corner of her eye. She alerted the guy to her presence. The passerby looked their way, but didn’t offer assistance that perhaps she thought wasn’t needed. It was broad daylight.

The story doesn’t end with the guy getting out of the car and not raping her, though that is what happened. My friend tracked down the HR department for the company, and let them know what had happened. It was all she could think to do in her shocked state. She likely wanted to confirm that they did exist, and that the guy really worked there. It was my first thought too that maybe it was a scam. The Craigslist ad had been taken down.

Not only did the dude work there, but the company acted quickly in response to the reporting. But here’s what they did:

  • They asked her to come in to meet with their company’s attorney
  • They asked her if she called the police to report it
  • They told her that the guy was embarrassed because he had a wife

This was the point in the story where I became involved. She told me about it, and I became enraged at the company’s behavior.

The company immediately went into “spin” and “loss mitigation” mode, instead of one with any kind of compassion for what my friend was feeling or going through. Instead of asking her what they could do to help her, they were more concerned with protecting themselves and their douche bag employee FROM her. The first thing on my friend’s mind was “I don’t want what happened to me to happen to others”. The last thing she was thinking was “how can I profit from this?”.

But, because they responded to her with absolutely zero compassion or understanding, she is rightfully now pissed. Add being pissed on top of an injury, and you get a ****ed up concoction that isn’t going to taste good to either party.

It isn’t MY story, it is hers to share with details (if she ever chooses to). For that reason, I’m not going to give the name of the company here on Medium. However, for everyone who she knows who now nows what this guy and company did, the story will be spread around as it will. We’ll never know how this impacts the company unless my friend decides to go forward with legal action. Sexual abuse centers in Virginia told my friend that the process of trying to get “justice” is often times more heinous for the victim than the crime itself.

There are many things that can probably been written about how something like this can be avoided. But sometimes, bad things just happen to good people and it isn’t avoidable. Craigslist relies upon its users policing and protecting themselves. There isn’t anything inherently wrong with that. Problems come when users perform actions that attempt to minimize or relieve themselves of their obligations to act responsibly within the community.

A message to that company: You know who you are, and I know who you are. More importantly, the rest of us who know and have told others also know what you did. Your risk mitigation equations are outdated, and don’t take social media and the speed of communication into consideration. What you tried to minimize, has now been maximized. Was it worth it? Users of Craigslist won’t think so.

You have so much power, did you know that? If you liked what I wrote, show me by clicking that green heart thingy down below. And follow me if you really want to show me some love. No shame in my game…i hold a sign up that reads “Will Write For Praise”!

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