Gumtree. I’m sure we’ve all heard of the name. That handy website where you can search for jobs, flats, cars, pets and Gumtree Fun (this ominous, baffling category is one I shall elaborate more on later) to name a few. Like most websites, Gumtree has its ups and downs; personally, I’ve found several jobs on there in the past, two of which I’m currently in and rather satisfied with. The same can’t be said for a close friend of mine, who unwittingly applied for a role as a P.A and is now being bombarded with calls from ‘companies’ who are asking for an £80 deposit in order to train her how to use a telephone. So yes, the P.A role turned out to be bogus. As mentioned,the calls still come streaming in and she either doesn’t answer or (if she accidentally picks up) tells them she’ll ring them back in five minutes and leaves it at that. Being of a rather peaceful stature, my dear friend would prefer to avoid telling them to shove off, though I would happily do so if I were in her shoes. The cheek of these scammers is unbelievable.
Landing a job on Gumtree is really a question of pot luck; you could get lucky like me, you could fall victim to scamming sharks like my friend or you could wind up in a role which truly does sound too good to be true – and this is the truth of it. Another friend of mine ended up in one of those charity chugging roles. You know the type … You’re walking down the high street one day and some zit-face fresh out of university with his bogus degree in Politics or Philosophy stops you in your tracks, comments on how attractive your four-year old trainers are and then starts bleating on about starving children, endangered species or the homeless. It might have some credibility if these people actually cared about what they were campaigning for, but you can practically see the pound signs flashing in their eyes as they eye your bag with almost wolf-type salivation. If I want to give to charity, I will do so of my own free will – not due to some late-teen or twenty-something hounding me down the street and spewing a memorized script at me in an attempt to gain commission for himself. Anyway, back to my friend who was in such a role – lasted three months and then quit. Which is why the turnover of staff is so appalling in these roles – you see them advertised in their sackfuls on Gumtree everyday. So much for the genuine, caring nature of the campaigners – it appears their compassion only extends to about twelve weeks. And £8 to £12 an hour? With managers that appear to be rolling in it? This is what you call the concept of charity being tainted to extreme levels. Sickening. And let’s not forget those fearsome ‘charity bucket jobs’. You stand outside a supermarket for eight hours a day with a bucket in your hands for £6.19 per hour, while passers-by occasionally drop their 1ps and 2ps in your little bucket, pennies that contribute towards greater sanitation of public toilets. Life doesn’t get much better than that.
Then of course you have the infamous money laundering roles. If you are stupid enough to accept a role whereby you’re earning something like £2000 a month for something as easy as having money deposited in your account, then steer clear of this site. Gumtree chews up and swallows the brainless for breakfast. And let’s not forget the rich mums and dads who need someone to take care of their little darlings; of course, some of them are pretty decent and genuinely do have a couple of little darlings to look after (like my own current ones) – others, however, are the epitome of the ignorant rich person who has so much money but absolutely no concept of life, and regularly indulges their brat in materialism while encouraging them to be as ignorant as they are. My friend recently got accepted for the role of nanny for a family that owned a successful recruitment company – on her one and only trial day, the mother ordered the elimination of all dust in the house, stressed on the importance of ensuring the dogs were kept to their own bedroom (complete with bed, TV and Wi-Fi) and how crucial it was that the dogs were walked for exactly one hour in the park – and no, the hour does not count from when you leave the house, it counts from when you step foot on the grass in the park! No mention of the kids then. Needless to say, my friend was quite unable to live up to this woman’s preposterous high- maintenance standards and was given the boot after the first day after being bluntly told that she was not quite ‘active’ enough for the role. Charming.
Then we come to the pet section. It always deeply saddens me when I see how many dogs, cats and other animals have to be given away because some irresponsible owner was incapable of foreseeing that they wouldn’t be able to look after them in the long-term. Undoubtedly, there are the rare, few genuine cases but the majority of them are nothing more than lazy, good-for-nothing excuses. Really, your flat’s too small for the animal, so why exactly did you get one then? Or you’re about to have a baby and simply cannot have a dog running around the house – no chance of you properly training it or making the appropriate arrangements so that everything can work out, oh no, certainly not. I will never understand this; my pets have been like my children – the thought of ever giving away my dog would have appalled me and if it meant making certain sacrifices, then I would do so. The attachment an animal, particularly dogs, feels towards their human is no different to the attachment a child feels towards his parent and I am firm in this belief.
The ‘For Sale’ section is an interesting one too; there have been numerous reports of people paying for their goods and not receiving them on Gumtree, then expressing their anger in a rage of froth and spit on various web forums. Again, scammers who prey on the vulnerable. But just as you have the slimy, deceitful man who will profess undying love to the gormless woman on a dating website and then run off with her money, so you will have the scammer who will promise you goods, only to disappear with your cash. Stick to the websites that track this type of thing – Gumtree fail miserably at this. And let’s not forget the ‘Flats and Homes’ section; it’s always wonderful to see some cheap little room in some dirty dingy estate running for £120 a week – and that’s not including bills. Ah – London and its fair, affordable prices.
Earlier I mentioned ‘Gumtree Fun’ which is always good to have a skim through if you’re in a bad mood and fancy a laugh. You get all types of weird characters on there, ranging from the desperate, single (or not) Asian man in his thirties who is pleading for a ‘hook-up’ on the same night he posted the advert, or the melancholic, woebegone depressed businessman who hates his job and can’t find anyone to rant to except other poor saps on Gumtree who can also share in this great depression. You also get the incredibly strange people who will post about how they intend to travel in the summer, usually to the likes of Spain or Portugal, and are looking for a ‘travel buddy’ to accompany them. How is this possible? You would go with a complete stranger to another country – and possibly pay for them too? And find them on Gumtree of all places, the hangout of many creeps and turds; I’m amazed that the thought of not being murdered in your bed by this complete stranger wouldn’t even cross your mind, but that’s just me. More recently, I stumbled across a heading with these enraged words, ‘I have been lied to’ and the following passage:
Ok so I put an advert on here few weeks ago looking for a travel partner to Paris. I received a message from this guy who was interested in going with me. We booked a hotel and travelled and got back last night.
Whilst on the trip we grew very fond of each other and he told me he loves me and I started to love him too. It was perfect we had a lovely time. When we arrived last night I seen lots of miss calls on his mobile which to my amazement was his wife.
This was not true as the lady I spoke to was indeed in love with him and it was a real relationship. I feel I’ve been lied too and really hurt about it I also feel used and let down.
All advice is very much appreciated.
Not sure what type of advice this person is looking for but the words ‘gullible’ and ‘idiot’ spring to mind. Not to mention ‘downright dangerous’. Sometimes, I wonder if people like this actually exist or if it’s all just one big fat joke designed to toy with my head.
Anyway, Gumtree advice over; some of it can be pretty beneficial but, of course, like with most of the online realm, you have to watch out for the numerous sharks, scammers, scumbags, cheaters, liars, frauds, psychos and desperadoes. Not too different from the real world then.