Ink Paper Words' Profile

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Pacific Northwest, United States
In elementary school, I desperately wanted my mother to order books for me from those flyers Scholastic hands out to kids. She refused, citing the "perfectly good library down the street." I exacted revenge by becoming a card-carrying ALA accredited reference librarian. Ha! Take that!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Clown Monkey Clothing

I've been spending quite a bit of time on CraigsList lately as it seems that quite a few local employers are posting jobs on it. Many of these are obviously scammish work-at-home schemes and can be dismissed out of hand. Others are a little more subtle in their approach and it takes a little longer to figure out what's up.

An outfit calling itself Clown Monkey Clothing posted ads -- throughout the country, apparently -- for virtual customer service reps. Since I'm online most of the time anyway and not that far removed from my call center experience I thought I'd give it a shot. Now, I'm not exactly a neophyte in the work force and I think I have some idea about how to run a business and find employees. CMC has enough seemingly bizarre practices that ultimately one can come to no other conclusion than they are either 1) a scam, 2) a convoluted marketing ploy or 3) incompetent.

It's not that I feel scammed at this point, but I really don't believe they have any jobs, certainly what I thought I applied for at any rate, and no one has approached me for money so I can't really say I've been victimized.

Okay, so I saw the ad, thought it was a job I could do and it would fit into my life easily. I emailed them and was encouraged to go to their site and "audition" for a job on their message boards, as the response to their ad had been overwhelming. Well sorry kiddies, I am not a performing artist and I do not "audition" for jobs as a librarian, editor, author, tech support or virtual customer service rep.

They also offered an option to submit ideas for humorous t-shirt messages, saying that if your slogan was chosen you'd received $100. Again I thought, what the hell and submitted some slogans on shirts at my Cafe Press store. And again, a nice cheap way for them to get content to put on a shirt (and yes, I will be watching to see whether they use any of my suggestions without coughing up the payment). A list of some of the submission was posted and let me tell you: many of these were not original slogans and may be under someone's copyright. Many more were simply not particularly funny.

Threads were started on the message board asking participants which slogans were the funniest. Again, if it were my business I would make those kinds of editorial decisions and not leave it up to people who thought they were applying for work. But still it raises a red flag. If they have the resources to start a t-shirt company, why don't they have content already in place? And when you go to the virtual store (there is only one design offered, and that is the lame monkey logo "commemorative" shirt for $30. My post indicating that I contacted them to earn money, not spend it, was deleted from the boards about 5 minutes after I posted it.

Many posts from alleged staff of CMC appeared bemoaning the flood of resumes received and our indulgence was begged while this sorely understaffed company continued to review job applicants. Meanwhile, clueless people who posted lame resumes (despite being told not to post personal information). Eventually the "founder" posted something about wishing he could hire all 5,000 applicants but since he could not, would people mind if he shared their information with other employers.

As bad as it is that this company seems to be exploiting the economy and the need for people to have something to hope for and jump through hoops to attain, the worst thing of all in my book is that now, after submitting my resume, they see fit to spam me. I don't want to block them because on the off chance that there is a job (highly doubtful) I want them to be contact me. I've have several emails from them, most with the subject heading "re: Employment Application," that turns out to be a link back to the message board. Listen people, what you have posting there is a bunch of suck ups desperate enough for a job that they think posting will actually get it for them. If I want to go to that board I will. Don't spam me with links to it under the guise of offering me work. Homey don't play dat.

Besides, monkeys are just freaking creepy.


  1. I too have run into CMC and believe their is some "monkey business" going on with them. They are stirring up a lot of interest because people are so desperate for work around the country and yet, even now, you still cannot order a Tshirt or any other product from their website.

    I would say something is definitely rotten in Denmark here.

  2. Thanks for writing, Max. I suppose it will eventually all come out in the wash. And then we can sit back and say "I told you so" -- even though that is not in and of itself particularly gratifying.

    For now, monkeys, can you say "don't hold your breath?"

  3. Dang!!
    and here i am, with a cool liddle tee idea, and no-one to sell it to But:But:But!!!
    If any of you peeps know a legit co. I can get my slogan onto, let me know!