It’s Hard Not to Eavesdrop


We were riding the Portland Streetcar the other day and a woman behind me was having a LOUD conversation on her cell phone, the volume of which led me to have a re-entry moment where I lamented how much harder it is to tune people out when they are speaking one’s mother tongue.

As she blathered on, I couldn’t stop listening. A funny thing happened though — I soon became riveted by her conversation, which provided a perfect snapshot of the hurdles that exist for those seeking employment in the United States.

She was telling her friend the story of applying for a marketing job in the radio industry, and even with all of her experience, still not making the cut to count herself amongst the top ten applicants. She asked the station manager why and he said, “we have former radio station directors from major markets with decades of experience applying for this job.”

After a sigh, she continued to say to her friend, “this is what we’re up against.”

Then, her story proceeded to get worse.

It turns out that this poor woman fell for a scam in her job hunt that goes something like this: thieves posted job openings for American Airlines on Craigslist. They then set up meet and greets with respondents who revealed their home addresses, and proceed to rob these job seekers’ homes when they were on the way to the phony American Airlines job interviews.

My fellow passenger sent off all of her personal information to these scam artists, but then managed to avoid the robbery/phony interview because she heard about the con on television.

She said she now lives in fear of home invasion, and has a hard time answering Craigslist ads, which are often blind, thereby encumbering her job search even more.

Thank God my stop came up at that point in her phone conversation…I couldn’t handle any more bad news!

4 Responses to “It’s Hard Not to Eavesdrop”

  1. Barbara

    The Craigslist scam sounds like a version of something that can happen during funerals. When my father died, an obituary notice was published in the local paper. Friends advised us to ask someone to house-sit and answer the phone while we were gone to attend the funeral. The house-sitter later reported that there had been a strange phone call, something about a newspaper promotion — it sounded bogus, but it occurred right during the time that the funeral was taking place. The scam is that robbers watch the house, and if they can confirm that it’s empty during that time (hence the phone call), they come clean out the place.

  2. Michele

    Oh, that’s horrible, good Lord what people think of in order to rob one another.

  3. Marcela

    Well, I guess you won’t be missing Argentina, after all!!!

  4. Michele

    Why do you say that? Of course we will…

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