I’m expecting that this Craigslist Vancouver ad (text at bottom of this post) will get so much abuse it’ll be taken down soon, so I’m cutting and pasting it here. (UPDATE: it’s been taken down, but a friend found this one which similar, but we believe it’s not by the same people (this couple has a child), and that seems worse because then there’s more than one of these couples.) My following intro is just a collation of everyone’s thoughts on a related and hilariously angry Facebook thread.
Welcome to the new Vancouver, where gentrification brings Mommie Dearest to the poorest postal code in urban Canada. This building, the Woodward’s Building, is in the heart of the Downtown Eastside—it’s the poorest neighbourhood in the city. Before it was developed into condos, some of which are quite posh, it was a famous squat. Now gentrification has brought a whole new element to the neighbourhood. You know, people who have PAs as well as a housekeeper and demand that you don’t get ruffled if they have a tantrum.
As if the honour of being the world’s most unaffordable city (cost of housing compared to median income) is not enough, with the property flipping, rampant speculation, renovictions and demovictions and outright civic and provincial corruption, we have to deal with all the epiphenomena of all the money: the sort of $$$ petulant adult baby in evidence in this ad.
I’m not sure if it’s relevant in this case, but simultaneous with this new demanding narcissism we also seem to have become an epicentre of weird neoliberal “spirituality” which I think is entirely arising out of the need to justify all the money & political shortcuts. We have the American-dominated EST-derived cult/political administration known as “Vision Vancouver” that’s running the City of Vancouver from its remote HQ on Cortes Island. And in addition to that sticky cult, we have another EST-derived cult in town called “Landmark Education.”
The Craigslist ad has all the fussy behavioural hallmarks of the latter. Its poster boy is Chip Wilson (formerly of Lululemon until he blamed deficiencies in his yoga pants on the derrieres of his customers). Chip has of course bought up half a billion in real estate in the Downtown Eastside, displacing many non-profit and arts orgs and studios where friends work. He is promising (threatening) to open up a Landmark Education centre for the homeless and drug addicted down here so that they can find out how they’re all just really getting in their own way, rather than the victims of an unequal and rigged system. So that’s the money-driven clusterfuck we’re living in already, and now, finally, we have arrived at this infantilized pair of control freaks. I’m not saying the person who wrote this ad is in Landmark, or even real estate, though the chances it’s both are high.
I’m just saying it’s The Devil Wears Lululemon.
Oh and “The Historic Woodward’s Building”? That condo building is 7 years old. But since City Hall, dominated by the faux-progressive, greenwashing Vision Vancouver party, has allowed the demolition of most of the city, perhaps 7 years is how long history is, in the church of Vision Vancouver Creationism.
The ad (check out #8):
WANTED: Personal Assistant for a professional married working couple (no kids)
We live in Gastown at the historic Woodwards Building, and would like to find someone to come to work with us helping to keep me organized at my home and home office. This would probably start out as a 20-or-so hour per week role.We’re looking for someone who:
1) Is highly organized, detail-oriented, and serious about organization and cleanliness. You probably have done event planning or bookkeeping because you’re good at logistics and details, and you like to write lists and work from a checklist at all times.
2) Enjoys working alone most of the time, and with people some of the time. The work you’ll be doing is typically alone. If you’re the type of person who likes to chit-chat with people and friends a lot, this probably isn’t right for you.
3) Has a dependable car, or access to car share services. Shopping and errands are key here.
4) Lives within 20 minutes of Downtown Vancouver.
5) Is “tech savvy” and understands the Mac environment (nothing advanced, but you must know things like Office, Google Docs, scheduling, email, ordering things online, etc.)
6) Can do light food washing and preparation (nothing fancy, but I eat a lot of fresh foods, and need them selected, washed, and prepared).
7) Is dependable (I’m talking about VERY dependable… not the “This usually doesn’t happen, but it happened again” type). I would prefer if you were that person in grade school that got the award when moving on to middle school for perfect attendance in every grade…
8) Doesn’t take things personally, have feelings hurt easily or get offended at all. Stays objective and likes to always use logic to make decisions.
9) Is cool and relaxed, but always pushing to get things done. It’s important that you like to take responsibility, and your main focus is always delivering results.
10) Is available Monday to Friday in the afternoons
The main components of the work would be:
1) Errands, including picking up various supplies and shopping
2) Shopping and light cooking/food preparation. We have a pretty “regimented” diet, and we like to prepare food the same way every day. You would head out to the grocery store (Wholefoods) each week, then prepare food and other relatively “simple” stuff. We also want lunch packed for the next day.
3) Laundry – We work out a lot so we end up doing a lot of laundry. We will want you to do laundry and put away clothes several times a week.
4) Organizing and light cleaning – from keeping things in order to cleaning up after projects. We will have a separate housekeeper, so no heavy cleaning required – but it’s important that you’re always willing and proactive about cleaning up anything that needs it, if you see it. We leave things lying around or clothes lying about. Part of your job is to put things back into place around the house before you leave.
5) Keeping out food, household items (personal hygiene supplies, makeup, dog food etc) in stock. We need someone who is proactive and can keep these things in stock before they run out. We want someone who we don’t need to remind to go buy something that is out of stock or running low because you will already be on it! We will provide you with a list of what we use and what should be in stock so you can stay on top of this easier.
6) Miscellaneous projects. While a lot work will be the same day to day, we do have random side projects that will pop up that we will need your timely help on. Flexibility around this is key!
If you’re the type of person who likes super “creative” work, where you have a lot of variety in your day… work with lots of other people… like to chat… and deal with a lot of different types of complex challenges… then this probably is NOT right for you. This is “organizer” work, and will require you to keep checklists and work from them.
On the other hand… if you’re the type of person who loves organizing things, operating efficiently and using checklists, and basically becoming better and better at running through a pre-planned system, then this might be perfect for you!
We really are looking for someone who is incredibly organized in their work life and personal life, and who really doesn’t like being disorganized or messy. Since there is food preparation involved, it’s important to me to find someone who is INCREDIBLY meticulous about cleanliness. Look around your house. Is it so clean and organized that your friends tell you that you’re too uptight… and a clean freak? Perfect! (By the way, one of the reasons I need someone who’s clean and organized is because I’m kind of a mess!) If you’re a mess, and you try to convince me that you’re organized, I’ll find out. So don’t even waste your time… lol!
We’re looking for a self-motivated, organized person who would like to have a stable role helping me keep my life organized.
Please send us an email and include the following:
-Your career history, with each job you’ve had, what the responsibilities were, who your boss was – along with what each of your bosses would say were your strengths and weaknesses. Please also include contact information for each of your previous bosses, so I can check your references.
-A resume, if you have one.
-Your salary expectations.
-Confirmation that you meet each of the requirements I’ve listed above, including car, time flexibility, availability Monday to Friday in the afternoon.
And it is important that you tell me about why you think you’re a good match for what we’ve listed above, with particular focus on the organizational aspect and time flexibility. We’re going to review every response we get personally, and we’ll contact you if we think that you’d be a good fit.