Thursday, March 15, 2007

Scent-Free Nightmare

I was going to make fun of this one, but it quickly became overwhelming. I think Laura and Jeremy are good friends and enable each other's delusional behavior. And now I'm thinking, Laura, if you didn't spend so much time writing monster job postings, you wouldn't need so much help around the house, yard, garage, and everywhere else you go.

Thinking Person’s Maintenance / Housekeeping / Yard Work Job (berkeley north / hills)

Reply to:
Date: 2007-03-13, 10:32AM PDT

Dear Reader: This is a long job advertisement. We are quite a small ensemble, not a corporation, so we want to save you and us time by being clear and up-front by trying to imagine all of your questions. [you go, Miss Cleo!]

We are trying to be respectful of you by explaining everything, and want to set a tone and a dialogue process that is indicative of the job and its worth to us and hopefully to you. So settle back with a cup of tea and enjoy! [I love reading long-winded posts whilst drinking tea! however did you imagine that!]

LONG TERM JOB OPPORTUNITY- PART OR FULL TIME COORDINATOR AND HANDS ON WORKER in the hectic household of Laura, a mostly-retired activist, 8 blocks north of UCB with caring people and a gorgeous Bay View!

HOURS NEGOTIABLE between 6am-9pm. One shift needs to be on a weekend day at Laura's, which is the only non-negotiable part. Positions are available for 20-40 HRS per week. A 35-40 hour position would ideally be a 6-day week (including one REQUIRED weekend day) with 6-hour work shifts and some of those hours can be at home each day, as needed. If this doesn't work for you, the next best thing would be five 7 hour days (again, with one REQUIRED shift on a weekend day) with email review and reports at home on a sixth day with fewer hours.

A 20-hour a week position would follow same concepts as above.

Split shifts at Laura's house are also ok; some mornings, afternoons, plus evenings as mutually needed between you and Laura. These times are negotiable for those who have classes, children or other responsibilities, and also to give yourself and Laura quiet time to work together. We negotiate schedules 3 weeks ahead, minimum.

Scheduling further ahead is fine, but once set schedules need to not change. We also ask that you advise us of your away times, as far ahead as possible.


The following must be second nature to you:
= Kind, thoughtful, caring and compassionate.
= Appreciate and value the diversity of others.
= Empathic to the extent that you recognize and appreciate the experiences and feelings of others.
= Have a good sense of humor and the ability to have fun while taking important things seriously.
= Have a positive attitude when it comes to mistakes. They are inevitable, but you need to have the ability to make amends cheerfully and resourcefully, and also learn from your mistakes and teach others.
= Have the ability to take responsibility for and see the results of your actions. You are thorough and can see the consequences of each step along the path. You need not to be someone who takes costly shortcuts.
= Time-conscious as far as punctuality and budgeting time around priorities.
= Love to clean/clean up after yourself
= Love to communicate by email.
= Think consequentially/plan ahead for the prevention of unnecessary crises simply caused by not being prepared, forgetting steps in the process, etc.

The following must be second nature to you:
= Well-developed listening and communication skills.
= Various kinds of life experiences which give you the ability to anticipate and intuit the needs of another and make good judgment calls in situations where you don't have explicit instructions at the time.
= The ability to listen effectively as active listeners, write down all instructions (data, plus the whys and wherefores), and ask for clarification when necessary.
= The ability to explain complex ideas and information clearly and thoroughly to people at diverse levels of life, work and technical experience.
= Valuing your own labor and the labor of others by being organized, clear and staying on task.
= Appreciating the importance of teamwork and values working cooperatively with others.

= It is a large part of the job to think consequentially in order to prevent crises and safety issues which come from lack of planning and prevention efforts. This also requires being sincerely sensitive, aware and caring for the shared environment by picking up after yourself.
= You will need to maintain your own personal organization in order to work in this small house effectively because you will be working among several people coming in and out, as well several years worth of very important paperwork, books, and articles. Your personal organization will help contribute to the solution rather than the problem.
= You will also be taking active responsibility for coordinating and doing all assigned tasks and committing to clearly-communicated time frames.
= Being organized and adaptable while staying centered and clear on your own limits is important so as not to ask of others what they cannot do.
= You will need to watch, listen and encourage people to tell you what their boundaries are, and respect them
= Vital to working here is a very clear sense of self-monitoring and a very comprehensive understanding of your own boundaries. Having a clear sense of the demands of your life outside of work will insure that you are not overextended. We value people who value themselves in general, because they can stay the course if they pace themselves well, and the position is long term.

= Love of email as an efficient organizing and communications tool.
= A home computer with email/Internet access and Eudora Pro
= Fluency with Eudora Pro (the premier and free email management program), Microsoft Excel, and proficiency with accounting software.
= Are conscious about safety (emphasis on your own safety and the safety of others you will be working with/for) and have the ability to work ergonomically on computer, household equipment.
= Being organized/detailed/accurate/reliable/resourceful, self-motivated, having initiative, a task juggler.
= Love of note taking/creating lists and spreadsheets. Note taking and list making are an integral and important part of your everyday life here. This job appeals to those of us who have a pen in each pocket as well as a few behind our ears, and then you dispatch your notes by email to the relevant rest of us.
= The ability to proofread, even your own writing, where Spell Check fails!

= 2 plus years experience in a goodly mix of office work/bookkeeping or accounting, retail - especially for household supplies and equipment, personal assistance, house sitting, safety coordinator, apartment managing/maintenance, co-op maintenance work, other resourceful and fix-it positions as volunteer or homemaker also welcome.
= Other possible job experiences for the mix above: security guard/gate keeper types of jobs in an office (literally as well as figuratively), dorm residential advisor/residential director, butler, camp counselor, top notch receptionist, executive secretary, nurse/nurse administrator, nanny, babysitter (Laura is fully mobile, we are referring to the level of responsibility and level-headedness needed for taking care of business for a quick-moving person, and yourself and locking up a house at the same time!), research assistant.

= A commitment to being smoke and scent free to support others on the job, including Laura, who have allergies, asthma, or are environmentally sensitive.

Please note that you and your household must be willing to refrain from using any products that may be hazardous to other’s health.

Please do not apply if you think you will have difficulty giving up any scented products.

If you are particularly fond of any of the following: perfume / cologne, fabric softener, scented detergents, dryer sheets, toxic cleaning products, air "fresheners", smoking – cigars, cigarettes, pot or incense, scented hair-care products; and unwilling to change your use of the above and use healthier-for-you and us products, this just cannot be the workplace for you, regrettably.

If you are eager and able to make the transition, and simply lack funds to do so, Laura is more than willing to help in hardship cases with the purchase of basic scent-free products after the on site interview. Initially you will just need baking soda and Ivory or Basis soap to remove any previous problematic products. Basically everything here is as cooperative as humanly possible.

= A car will be necessary for errands, split shifts, and occasionally for transporting Laura. A driver's license is required for occasional use of Laura's car and you must be a good driver.

As a side note, if you do not have your own car, Laura's house is easily accessible by bus.

= Must be safety savvy in home and office settings.

= Experience working for an individual.
= Job experience working in people's personal space
= Roommate experience. Would your roommate / mom / spouse recommend you?
= QuickBooks/Quicken knowledge
= Mac knowledge
= Experience in coordinating schedules and resources for others, or human resources work.
= Versatility in previous jobs is critical to fulfill several roles- mainly personal assisting and occasional light housecleaning and maintenance work (coordination/hands on/ finding resources).
= Homeowner or management experience with suppliers, contractors, insurances, fix it issues/responsibilities (schlepping/scheduling/list making)
= Any experiences where you had to be the bad guy, the one who had to hold others accountable whether in your church/synagogue/mosque/temple or your school, college, or living setting as a homeowner dealing with repair people or a project manager dealing with contractors, etc.
= Any experiences where you had to be the fall guy, where you were the sole person responsible and all repercussions fell on your head, such as babysitting, closing/opening stores, home care, crew leader, camp counselor, teacher, anywhere where you had to hold the line.
= A laptop of your own, though we have an iBook available for use here, if the other computers are in use.

Tasks will vary and may require impromptu problem solving. Your hands-on tasks will include household fix-it work, occasional errands and general housecleaning such as dusting, vacuuming, laundry, and yard work. At times you may need to move light boxes and light furniture for helping with cleaning/organizing projects. We emphasize health and safety so a chair lift is provided as well as access to ergonomic furniture and equipment.

Housekeeping also involves heating up Laura's food, making tea and loading/unloading the dishwasher and other light clean up for basic sanitation for everyone's health (i.e.: wiping kitchen & staff bathroom surfaces)- all of which anyone here is supposed to do but you will make sure it happens! :)

ADMINISTRATIVE PERSONAL ASSISTANT Email is the primary tool for communication for all your roles with us. Extensive computer use will be involved, including: managing email, writing daily status reports, sending reminders, writing task reports and taking notes at meetings by phone and in person, maintaining schedules and preparing weekly meeting agendas for yourself with others, and sometimes for meetings between others. Actually, these are mostly fast mini-meetings with busy people, so you want to be thoroughly prepared to limit the meetings for what needs to be done in person rather than by email.

Your tasks will include generating and updating organizational lists, schedules, calendars, itineraries, voicemail retrieval, filing, phones, ordering various supplies and materials from the Internet and stores, faxing, and errand running. You will also be reminding Laura to take her medicines, vitamins and supplements, plus assisting in the communications with and between doctors, pharmacies and occasional doctor/nutritionist visits which facilitates Laura's health program.

Laura travels once a month so she can take care of her parents and her work here in relation to the world at large. You will be packing for her trips (personal and office items), which will require you to follow an extensive packing list with specific instructions. A detail-oriented person is essential to do this task. You will also be needed to manage her household while she is away, just as you do when she is out at events or at the classes she takes. When she is traveling she will call in for you to relay information from people who call and write her as well as to those in the house.

Your communications will not be limited to this hectic household, but will be with many people in Laura's world both across the US and sometimes in other countries. This would range from current and former staff to family, friends and fellow activists. We believe you will find them interesting and enjoy mailing off treasures that she is giving away in order to clear out her house and storage (and sometimes you will get first dibs!)

STAFF COORDINATOR This involves circulating staff schedules, maintaining and updating the Safe Product list, safety coordination and materials, following earthquake safety protocols, maintaining staff paperwork (hiring documents, human resource materials), coordinating events and field trips (we break for movies and more!), and hosting and scheduling job applicants/other visitors, including folks who come to fix things. None of this is daily, of course.

BOOKKEEPING ASSISTANT This involves bill paying and occasional check cutting for repair services or reimbursement for materials and postage etc. which staff pick up, filing, printing reports, data entry, and creating some QuickBooks and Excel reports.

HOW TO APPLY: Just copy and paste our Craigslist ad into e-mail. Please take care to insert your comments between the appropriate lines, just like the oral in-person conversation we hope to have with you down the line after our initial e-mail screening process.

Like a movie script! As you respond to the personal characteristics and experience qualifications, include EXAMPLES of your skills and suitability to the job, as well as the job's suitability to you, plus any comments and questions. Also, please add your available times for us to schedule you (see hours below), and your necessary hourly rate of pay and anything else. For ease of reviewing, use a contrasting color (bright red or deep blue, for example) that visually distinguishes your input from the black text you copy.

After our initial e-mail screening process, we hope you will qualify for the phone intake and then for the in-person interview down the line.

You may append your resume at the end of your e-mail (no attachments, please), but do not use a resume as a substitute for responding to each of the listed items.

Please send us 3 references, and good times to reach your references and you.

Additional Information
Position Starts: Immediately
Hours: Negotiable, between 6:00 am and 9:00 pm / 7 days a week
Work Types: Part Time / Full Time Regular
Thank you for reading this far! This position involving administration, cleaning, fixing, and communication can be a uniquely beneficial, fun and rewarding experience for the right person, especially one with a sense of humor.

Corporate refugees welcome.

[re-read it again with a gallon of tea]


ms. crafty said...

Dear GOD. This sounds like you are completely taking over "Laura's" life. What will be left for Laura to do? I'm sure they couldn't compensate me enough to take over ALL OF THESE TASKS.

Security guard + accountant? Why, I'm sure this mix is growing on trees...

Something tells me that this posting would not even remotely be a refuge from corporate life. Rather, the opposite. More like a "remember when my biggest worry was answering emails and drinking coffee?"

ms. crafty said...

AND...even more...I love the very specific direction about type and color. I mean, come on people, you have to do EVERYTHING.

For your interview you will probably have to read your response (along with the responses of several other unfortunate applicants) out loud.

nootsmaak said...

It's all so overwhelming - I can't imagine what this woman must be like, and how incredibly stressful it would be having every detail of every moment micromanaged to the Nth degree. I'd be lighthing things on fire in a matter of minutes - like, myself.