Janai Griesel

This web page details our opinions of and experiences with
Janai Griesel []

How sick are people of Craigslist?

Craigslist Sucks


We all know that Craigslist is an overflowing toilet.

Ever tried to hire someone from Craigslist or just try to meet like-minded people?

We have. And so have hundreds of thousands of others.

Does Craigslist attract quality employees or quality people at all?


In our experience, virtually never.

We occasionally run ads in an attempt to meet up with artsy people on Craigslist. It's almost always a disaster and it makes us wonder why we would ever want to help these people. Fact is, we pretty-much don't anymore. They can rot and die.


Because of people like this.

We placed this ad under "artists" or "activities" (or both) in the latter part of April, 2013. We received one (1) reply, which is normal (artists don't WANT to work). This particular response is typical of people who don't "get the job" or don't "get the guy or the girl" or who don't "get the item" they were trying to buy, or, even, who couldn't convince you to buy the piece of junk they were trying to peddle.

People on Craigslist are simply like this. It's one of the reasons Craigslist doesn't work and why Craigslist sucks.

Here's our ad, followed by an email exchange that ended badly:


Wanna do artsy things?

This is a long ad for intelligent people. Don't like to read? Then skip it please. If you've read it before, please realize that I might edit it often. Also realize that I usually get very few, if any, legitimate replies to ads like this -- just thousands of spams and scams.

This is kind of a help-wanted ad and kind of a Blank-Friday-Wanted ad and kind of a general helper ad and maybe a partner ad and even a co-conspirator ad. If I just make friends that's ok too. So which category does it belong in? Who knows, but I'm sure there will be plenty of flaggers who will try to flag it out of EVERY category. One has to wonder what these people will do when they have finally killed Craigslist completely and there's nothing left to flag.

Here's the deal. Please do NOT email and ask, "Is this for real?" Of course it's for real.

I have a number of small businesses that I've been neglecting for awhile. I sold a big business a few years ago and I just live on that money. That means I've gotten pretty lazy. But these other businesses are fun and they also make money. I just need to get motivated about them. Like everyone else, I don't like doing things alone so I'm looking for someone who enjoys these kinds of things and who would like to help occasionally and part time. Some of it pays, some of it is just for fun. I know that this area California) has a lot (lot) of flakes. I can't use flakes at all. Sorry. I can only use people who show up when they say and do what they say.

I occasionally need people to work on an assembly line putting joke products together. You can learn to do this in an hour. It's regular old work, not fun, but not really hard either. Pays minimum wage or by the piece, depending on my needs at the time. Sometimes you'll get a few hours work and then nothing for weeks or months (or if you didn't do well, you won't get called again at all). Sometimes you'll get many days of straight work doing this. We used to call these jobs "Donkey Jobs" because even a donkey could do it. I need a few people who are stable in the area and have been here a long time and intend to stay here a long time, so I can call on a moment's notice and say, "Ok, I have 12 hours of work, or I have 2 hours of work, or I have four days of work, do you want it?" And the person will say yes.

I need a helper sometimes on photo-shoots. I have a formal photo and videography business and I do all kinds of crazy shoots and projects. If you can imagine it, I've probably done it or will do it in the future. This usually pays nothing. But it's hella fun, and you get free meals in restaurants, and free travel around central Cal. You'll also appear in some of the vids and images (must sign a model release, have photo ID, look "presentable", etc.) It helps if you can talk to strangers and do impromptu street interviews. If you're shy about it, I can help you work into it gradually. You'll learn and laugh a lot.

I have certain products that sell well at street fairs and flea markets. You can make very good money at this if you're "very presentable" and like to sell cool things. No selling of crap. Only the coolest and most unusual things that sell themselves. Women almost always sell better than men.

There is an opportunity here to do some creative writing and actually get paid real cash for it. Not a lot, but it will be worthwhile. A really sharp sense of humor will help in this particular thing, as well as a fair knowledge of current US events (means you watch the news once in awhile).

There's an opportunity here to do some artwork, like charcoal drawings on paper, and get paid a LOT of money for them. I can't count how many people I've worked with on this, and many of them have done good work and have been paid really well, but they all just flake out and stop producing after they get a few bucks in their pockets. I'm pretty tired of it. If you've ever dreamed of actually making money with your art, let's talk. Send me samples of your work or direct me to your myspace or facebook page (I don't have an account so your work has to be in your public area), or whatever. Mostly it involves creating backgrounds, forests, seashores, animals, almost anything you can think of. We usually want charcoal but not always.

I have a tattoo school. I can teach you to be an instructor (which means you'll learn to tattoo, of course). You can do occasional classes for me or with me. It pays well.

I have a bunch of silk-screening equipment and dye-sub equipment for making t-shirts that I haven't used in years. I'm not really into those things anymore, but if you think you can make some money making t-shirts and you're willing to pay me for materials (shirts and ink) then go for it. Maybe your own designs will make you rich. Make some and sell them at flea markets and street fairs, whatever. I don't really care. It seems silly to have all that equipment not being used. I don't sell it off because I think maybe....someday....I MIGHT use it. If you want to, then go for it.

I have some huge printers for making indoor museum prints and outdoor banners. I don't do much of that anymore, so if you think you can sell big things (prints, pictures, art) to stores, retail outlets, restaurants, whatever, I'm willing to work a split with you. You wouldn't be working for ME, you'd be working for YOURSELF. Your customers pay YOU. I don't even want to know who they are.

I have a complete car-wrap and vinyl business that I don't use anymore. It's all completely stocked. I just lost interest in it. I sometimes make deals with people who want to have their own vinyl and sign-making business. They get their own customers and make their own designs on their own computer (or use mine), and I'll cut the vinyl and sell it to you -- then you collect from your own customers. Some people who like to actually WORK have made good money at this. People who don't like to work will flop. It actually pays pretty well if you WORK AT IT.
I have a calendar idea that I want to do soon. I need a tag-along helper who is willing to talk with street people and get their signed model releases while I photograph them. Pays nothing to you but it's very fun.

I like to make custom dance and audio (singing) videos. If you find clients for me, you can make a little money on that.

I need a female to play a "street reporter" acting position. I've hired hundreds for this exact gig and have never been 100% happy with any of them. I'm still looking for the perfect one. Female only; you don't have to be "pretty" but you must be "believable" in that role. It's harder than you think.

I also have some projects coming up that are parodies of TV commercials. Will need a few actors/actresses for those, but I don't have anything concrete yet so I can't describe exactly who or what I need. It's just in the pipeline and will happen eventually. If you're "around" you might become a part of it.

I like to help promote local bands. I like doing video shoots of them in my green-screen studio, then putting different backgrounds behind them, creating different effects, etc. I do these for free and while I'd love to have someone to help me, I can't pay you for something I'm not getting paid for. I'm very picky about the bands I'll help so please don't start bugging me to do a shoot of "your" band. I prefer start-ups, even street bands, who need a little boost. This is just recreation for me. I would always rather work for free than for money, when it's possible to do that.

I like doing practical joke street gags and filming them. If that sounds like fun, you can help. But as I've said, I can't and won't use flakes. If we set up a time and place to do something, I need you to show up. Not showing up will mean that we never work together again. Life's too short.

I can teach you how to make your own money with a relatively cheap point-and-shoot. You have to actually go out and do it. Most people won't because they're lazy (like me). If you can afford to be lazy like me, then go for it. If you can't afford to be lazy, then you'll have to work for awhile until you CAN afford it. That's how life is.

Those are about half of the things I have going. In the past I've said this to people who wanted to get involved: "Please don't get involved with this if you're only 'kind of' interested or if this all seems just 'mildly' cool to you. But if you've read this list and you're going 'OMFG, I LOVE this stuff! I want to do this more than anything else in the world! This is the kind of crazy crap I've always wanted to do! My God, call me pick me call me pick me...', then maybe we should talk. The trouble is, virtually every single person who wants to do these things more than anything else in the world ends up being a lazy dope head or drunk or is addicted to WOW and won't leave the house, and I end up deleting their number. No matter what you say to me I won't believe it at first. You have to SHOW ME.

It's up to you.

I won't actually start you on anything until we've talked a few times in person because I'm tired of wasting my time teaching people things only to have them flake out. So have a little patience with me, show me who you REALLY ARE (because it will come out eventually anyway), and let's start talking.

Can you make an actual living with any of this? No. But if something in all of this clicks and you find a way to shoot off on something of your own, then yes, the possibility of making a living, or of making a LOT of money, is actually there (I did). I have one thing that would allow you to live in any busy tourist area of the world and make extremely good money, but I won't divulge that to just anyone. I'd have to know you very well over a period of time.

Why don't I do more of these things myself? Because I'm lazy, because I've already made my money doing many of these things, because I don't like doing things alone (which is why I sold my big company -- my GF would NOT help me no matter how much I begged. I even offered to GIVE her the company so she wouldn't have to work anymore -- she refused), and because I spend most of my time exploring the southwest states by motorcycle, taking pictures, sitting at sidewalk cafes, etc. If I had no money, you bet I'd be right back there doing these things all over again. But my enjoyment these days comes from setting other people up to do them, and then helping them along in exchange for a few dollars or maybe just to have fun, if it's a thing or a project that I believe in.

Long ago I made an extreme and obnoxious amount of money doing something that was not related to any of this stuff. I learned the hard way that I didn't really like money all that much. I like some, but not a lot. I like being politically embarrassing, and I like creating art, and I like watching people succeed, and maybe most of all I love discussing silly, hair-brained ideas over coffee at sidewalk cafes.

I'm in Merced. I travel a lot through Central California, but it would be mucho best if you were in Merced as well.

You're going to have to actually TALK to me and tell me who you are, what you like, what you enjoy doing, what kind of profession you want or have, how much time you have to spare, whether you have a car, and anything else you can think of that might seem appropriate.




First response from Janai Griesel:




Hello Sir, 

I think I'm still pretty much in awe about your post. It is very inspirational and restores my faith in humanity a bit knowing there are people like you out there. Just wanting to help others succeed in a variety of ways is very touching. I believe if I were to get involved with something like this it would be helpful in more ways than one can imagine.

I am more of an art person. Art is life. Everywhere you go, everything you see and smell is a work of art. I love drawing and painting with acrylics. You mentioned charcoal, I've never really had the chance to work with it, but I love trying new things. And landscaping is my forte, so to say, haha. Anything to do with nature really. My dream has always been to be known for my work, maybe one day it will be a possibility. Life is hard, everyone has their ups and downs, I lose motivation, and try to find new ways to get it back. When I was younger I was full of bright plans of I'm going to do this, I'm planning on that. But, sometimes life doesn't let you do things as planned. I am currently unemployed, but living and taking care of my 90 year old grandfather. Even though that is a job in itself, there is no income and I feel stuck, and not as happy with my life right now.

I live in Modesto, and I've never really been a fan of it. I suppose sometimes it seems suffocating. I love the bay area, and really wish I could afford to live there, or even move back to Oregon. I think it's really the people, they just seem so much friendlier and caring, or maybe I haven't found many of those around here. I have a car "so to say" it's my grandfathers, but I can use it around here, maybe from Turlock to Manteca but anything further is really pushing it because what he says " if something happens to it we're dead". And sometimes it's difficult to even use it at night because "people are going to steal it".  He is very stubborn but it's his and I respect what he says. I've been trying to save money to buy myself another car, so none of it will be an issue. I really miss being able to just get a full tank and drive, wherever seems fun. I love traveling, and sadly I haven't had a chance to do much of it recently. 


The tattooing, another thing that fascinates me. I personally have quite a few tattoos. My left sleeve is finally almost finished after five years in the making, due to my artists moving away. And, I'm also very picky about my artist, and I'm very happy I found one that understands my art. All my tattoos except for two are my work. I figure if it's going to be on me for the rest of my life, it will be mine and me. I also have a couple piercings (the snake bites, labret, and the middle of my top lip) which I think makes it difficult for me to find employment here. As much as I wish people were accepting to appearance, Modesto isn't quite there yet. I've always loved the thought of being a tattoo artist, but it scares me just the same. I am a perfectionist when it comes to anything I do art related. All my friends, and even random strangers say that's what makes a great artist. But, I'm nervous that I would mess something up on someone for the rest of their life, because I really do care about the tiny details.

I do suffer from depression, and it's not an easy thing to break. If I was able to do this, it would be such an opportunity I would be beyond grateful for. Not to mention something great to break me from my shell. And ANY chance to get out of the house, is a great chance. I'm giving you a link to my deviant page, although these are a bit older. I really keep forgetting to upload my new ones. But, I guess you can say it's a taste of what I love to do.

Thank you for taking the time to read this, and hopefully we can talk soon.





We read that reply actually quite a few times. The decision to get together or not with this woman was mine. I looked at her art and saw no future in it (less than none). I also looked at her and decided that she was not even remotely "presentable" enough to do sidewalk sales or to "work a crowd". I also saw something in her demeanor that made me slightly nervous. She was a bit too revealing, and I got the impression that she had the capability, maybe even a propensity, to be nasty. All of these things made me decide to delete her response without replying, but I changed that decision in order to be at least somewhat polite, and to not just "leave her hanging. To that end I replied as follows (these are verbatim cuts and pastes from the actual emails):




Hi Janai,
I’ve read through your email several times. Thanks for sending it. But I just don’t feel there’s any spark of connection.
Thanks though.




In truth, the woman was, to me, a complete waste of time and it took considerable effort to go through the motions and be nice to her. Almost immediately we received the following vomit from this putrid nut-case:




After actually taking the time to be a little open about myself to get the shortest reply possible. I take back everything I said. YOU DO NOT want to help those in need. You are just an asshole, that's probably trying to make more money off of others. You could have shown SOME sort of compassion you heartless prick.

Fuck you.




Not one of us here will stand for this kind of insulting, childish tantrum. We picture this woman holding her breath and banging her head against a wall, screaming, "I will kill you all!"

We concluded this case with the following reply, then blocked her:




....Please get help.




THIS is what you get on Craigslist.

No one needs or wants it.

Indeed, no good deed goes unpunished.