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pandoraharper
Member

Crazy Job Postings Part II

Most of you already know the drill here, but if not........

 

Folks, feel free to share crazy job postings you see. I've been wanting to create a thread like this for a while, and think it would be fun of we can keep it updated periodically.

 

Warning: Do not copy paste a job description, do not include a link to the post, or client details. Keep it within forum post guidlines!

 

Not sure what those guidelines are? Go here: https://community.upwork.com/t5/Announcements/Upwork-Community-Guidelines/td-p/3/jump-to/first-unrea...

 

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andregutierrez22
Moderator
Moderator

Hi all,

 

We are closing this thread due to its size. Feel free to visit this new thread if you'd like to continue sharing your experience with odd and curious jobs.

 

We encourage you to have fun and discuss your experience. That said, please be mindful of our Community Guidelines and refrain from posting links to job postings, names of persons or companies, or any other identifying information. Additionally, if you come across a job that violates Upwork TOS, please flag it as inappropriate following the steps outlined here.

 

~Andrea
Upwork

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tlsanders
Member

Also...any job posting looking for a writer to help write the client's life story, which is sure to be a "blockbuster" or "best seller" because that person has the most interesting life ever.

 

And often no money.

 

I can't single one out--there are too many.


@Tiffany S wrote:

Also...any job posting looking for a writer to help write the client's life story, which is sure to be a "blockbuster" or "best seller" because that person has the most interesting life ever.

 

And often no money.

 

I can't single one out--there are too many.


 I responded to one of those on Elance once.

 

The guy sent me a list of things he'd done in his life, along with the approximate lengths of time he had done each. When I added them all up, it turned out he was more than 200 years old.  


@Reinier B wrote:

 I responded to one of those on Elance once.

 

The guy sent me a list of things he'd done in his life, along with the approximate lengths of time he had done each. When I added them all up, it turned out he was more than 200 years old.  


So your pen name is Isaac Asimov?

 

8e50c46f45c2909d51713cf0ca67cba3.jpg

-----------
"Where darkness shines like dazzling light"   โ€”William Ashbless


@Rene K wrote:

@Reinier B wrote:

 I responded to one of those on Elance once.

 

The guy sent me a list of things he'd done in his life, along with the approximate lengths of time he had done each. When I added them all up, it turned out he was more than 200 years old.  


So your pen name is Isaac Asimov?

 

8e50c46f45c2909d51713cf0ca67cba3.jpg


 I wish...


@Reinier B wrote:

@Tiffany S wrote:

Also...any job posting looking for a writer to help write the client's life story, which is sure to be a "blockbuster" or "best seller" because that person has the most interesting life ever.

 

And often no money.

 

I can't single one out--there are too many.


 I responded to one of those on Elance once.

 

The guy sent me a list of things he'd done in his life, along with the approximate lengths of time he had done each. When I added them all up, it turned out he was more than 200 years old.  


 Well..that IS a great story. He's a good bit beyond the oldest known living human, so you just might have a blockbuster on your hands.

 

Especially since I'll bet he had some time-travel element that let him do all of these things in the modern world.


@Tiffany S wrote:

@Reinier B wrote:

@Tiffany S wrote:

Also...any job posting looking for a writer to help write the client's life story, which is sure to be a "blockbuster" or "best seller" because that person has the most interesting life ever.

 

And often no money.

 

I can't single one out--there are too many.


 I responded to one of those on Elance once.

 

The guy sent me a list of things he'd done in his life, along with the approximate lengths of time he had done each. When I added them all up, it turned out he was more than 200 years old.  


 Well..that IS a great story. He's a good bit beyond the oldest known living human, so you just might have a blockbuster on your hands.

 

Especially since I'll bet he had some time-travel element that let him do all of these things in the modern world.


 I think most biographies, and especially autobiographies, have elements of fiction and/or fantasy in them.

 

However, if someone is going to make his/her life "interesting" they should at least make an effort to fit all of their "rich and rewarding" experiences into a normal human lifetime. The client withdrew his offer when I told him this.

renata101
Member

This week in sound effects...

 

There's one billed as a cute monster movie where someone is looking for cute baby monster noises and "a slime jumping sound."

 

Unfortunately, the marmot video game job has disappeared since I saw it last. It's a pity, since they had a bunch of cool 3D renderings of the marmot for inspiration. The requirements were to supply sound effects for a marmot planning, a marmot waving and a marmot tapping his toe.

 

It's a bit like contemplating a Zen koan: What is the sound of a marmot waving, planning and tapping his toe?

 

(Is it possible I've just reached enlightenment on that one? I notice my forum status just updated to "Community Guru.")

 

 

 

 

 


@Renata S wrote:

This week in sound effects...

 

There's one billed as a cute monster movie where someone is looking for cute baby monster noises and "a slime jumping sound."

 

Unfortunately, the marmot video game job has disappeared since I saw it last. It's a pity, since they had a bunch of cool 3D renderings of the marmot for inspiration. The requirements were to supply sound effects for a marmot planning, a marmot waving and a marmot tapping his toe.

 

It's a bit like contemplating a Zen koan: What is the sound of a marmot waving, planning and tapping his toe?

 

(Is it possible I've just reached enlightenment on that one? I notice my forum status just updated to "Community Guru."

 


I just snorted my Fireball whisky drink, and have sticky stuff all over my monitor. Wow, thanks a ton. <extreme sarcasem there>

 

In other news, I think you should be the mascot of this thread. I was actually thinking this 2 posts before this one, and now, having read this one, I am sure.

 

(also, I am so busy with two active clients that I haven't looked at my job feed for a week).

 

Finally: Slime. seriously? On a related note, I got stuck side-watching some kids cartoons today. The sound affects were very ah...obvious.

allysonk_h
Member

Last night, I received an invitation for a fixed price online filing job that supposedly would only take an hour to complete.  I just laughed to myself when they said they were paying $500.00 for it.  Decline.

 


@Allyson H wrote:

Last night, I received an invitation for a fixed price online filing job that supposedly would only take an hour to complete.  I just laughed to myself when they said they were paying $500.00 for it.  Decline.


You were worried about having to file with a webcam? I haven't heard that one yet.

I pulled that job up. One of the client's past jobs was marketing for a charity event for orphans. 


re: "One of the client's past jobs was marketing for a charity event for orphans"

 

Again with orphans...

 

If it was a charity event AGAINST orphans I might be interested...


@Preston H wrote:

 

If it was a charity event AGAINST orphans I might be interested...


Orphans can be nice people. I don't understand why you're against orphans.

-----------
"Where darkness shines like dazzling light"   โ€”William Ashbless

Wait, what?  Are you implying what I think you're implying?  lol

 

Sometimes I like to mess with these people and I reply just to see what they'll say.  I did actually respond saying I was willing to discuss the job (I wasn't, really), and they asked if I could talk on the phone later in the day.  I said I wasn't available but Upwork messenger would work fine for me instead.  They never got back to me.  Of course.

 

I have actually seen postings where (I'm assuming male clients) specifically ask for female freelancers, which is creepy.  It's even creepier when they say be from the Philippines or whatever other country...Yuck.

or the client i just spoke with who wants 20,000 words translated for 200 $. Or the ones that wanted me to proofread and edit a google translate file of 2,000 words for 20$. >yikes< Talking about chancers.

" The bond with a true dog is as lasting as the ties of this earth will ever be "

re: "Talking about chancers."

 

Chancers?

 

I prefer to think of clients like these as "cancers."

Preston, maybe as in, "Taking a chance?"  *shrug* 


@Allyson H wrote:

Preston, maybe as in, "Taking a chance?"  *shrug* 


 I'm going with "cancers". Definitely, "cancers", just like Preston meant it.

@Allyson

 

Because I work as an editor, I'm occasionaly approached by, how should I say this... uh, people with fairly tangential and otherworldly thought processes who have massive and highly detailed book projects...  I once scanned through a manuscript that seems to have been written during a manic phase (spiritual theme, all caps). It's hard to navigate these types of requests when my main response to the work is that what's needed might not be editing. 

 

So I had this in mind when someone sent me an invitation for a job involving a large number of pdfs of scans of typescript pages about "the physics of living in space." 

Sometimes what's happening is actually a lot more mundane than what I'm imagining. It turns out the client was a physics prof trying to digitize his course notes. 
 

Renata, 

 

   Ha, I completely misunderstood what you said initially.  Smiley Embarassed

Okay. Cool. I'm not sure if I should announce my creative research program just yet. Cat LOL

The other experiment I'd like to do is to apply and send someone recommendations of who I would hire since I'm not qualified. I was thinking of doing this with one, and they did end up hiring the FL I would have chosen for them. Or, I could find them some candidates who are even further out of left field than I am and promote their "transferrable skills" in a creative way. 

Does it actually cost us anything in connects to apply? I've only applied to one and I didn't keep track of the connects count.


@Renata S wrote:

Okay. Cool. I'm not sure if I should announce my creative research program just yet. Cat LOL

The other experiment I'd like to do is to apply and send someone recommendations of who I would hire since I'm not qualified. I was thinking of doing this with one, and they did end up hiring the FL I would have chosen for them. Or, I could find them some candidates who are even further out of left field than I am and promote their "transferrable skills" in a creative way. 

Does it actually cost us anything in connects to apply? I've only applied to one and I didn't keep track of the connects count.


I'm sure this idea has some merit, but this is qusi-legal at best. I'm sure the Upwork ToS has something to say about us bidding on jobs we dont actually intend to take.

 

Just trying to keep you out of trouble, heh.


@Pandora H wrote:

@Renata S wrote:

Okay. Cool. I'm not sure if I should announce my creative research program just yet. Cat LOL

The other experiment I'd like to do is to apply and send someone recommendations of who I would hire since I'm not qualified. I was thinking of doing this with one, and they did end up hiring the FL I would have chosen for them. Or, I could find them some candidates who are even further out of left field than I am and promote their "transferrable skills" in a creative way. 

Does it actually cost us anything in connects to apply? I've only applied to one and I didn't keep track of the connects count.


I'm sure this idea has some merit, but this is qusi-legal at best. I'm sure the Upwork ToS has something to say about us bidding on jobs we dont actually intend to take.

 

Just trying to keep you out of trouble, heh.


Cat LOL Yes, I will try to stay out of trouble because this is where I earn a good part of my living. But, technically, isn't this just a really bad referral? That's basically what the Talent Specialists are doing - spamming us with really terrible referrals - and that's legit. I mean, they're recommending me for jobs I'm completely inappropriate for. Can't I just recommend someone who's even less appropriate? That's still a referral, isn't it? 


@Renata S wrote:

@Pandora H wrote:

@Renata S wrote:

Okay. Cool. I'm not sure if I should announce my creative research program just yet. Cat LOL

The other experiment I'd like to do is to apply and send someone recommendations of who I would hire since I'm not qualified. I was thinking of doing this with one, and they did end up hiring the FL I would have chosen for them. Or, I could find them some candidates who are even further out of left field than I am and promote their "transferrable skills" in a creative way. 

Does it actually cost us anything in connects to apply? I've only applied to one and I didn't keep track of the connects count.


I'm sure this idea has some merit, but this is qusi-legal at best. I'm sure the Upwork ToS has something to say about us bidding on jobs we dont actually intend to take.

 

Just trying to keep you out of trouble, heh.


Cat LOL Yes, I will try to stay out of trouble because this is where I earn a good part of my living. But, technically, isn't this just a really bad referral? That's basically what the Talent Specialists are doing - spamming us with really terrible referrals - and that's legit. I mean, they're recommending me for jobs I'm completely inappropriate for. Can't I just recommend someone who's even less appropriate? That's still a referral, isn't it? 


I have had that exact same thought, but have pulled myself away from the brink more then once.

 

It's not worth risking Upworks/the clients wrath.


Pandora H wrote: 

I have had that exact same thought, but have pulled myself away from the brink more then once.

 

It's not worth risking Upworks/the clients wrath.


 Wise advice.


@Allyson H wrote:

Wait, what?  Are you implying what I think you're implying?  lol

 

Sometimes I like to mess with these people and I reply just to see what they'll say.  I did actually respond saying I was willing to discuss the job (I wasn't, really), and they asked if I could talk on the phone later in the day.  I said I wasn't available but Upwork messenger would work fine for me instead.  They never got back to me.  Of course.

 

I have actually seen postings where (I'm assuming male clients) specifically ask for female freelancers, which is creepy.  It's even creepier when they say be from the Philippines or whatever other country...Yuck.


I think I'm finally starting to put together what you might have been thinking I said.(there's no "cat confused" emoji).

For myself, I really wouldn't know what I do with something like $500 request. That seems to fall into the too-good-to-be true scenario. Conceivably, it could have been something mundane like a typo. Although, for the job you're talking about, there seemed to be a lot of invitations sent out (something like 60?).

 

That said, I have had unusual jobs on this board that were legit and I've actually never run into anything seriously odd that wasn't easy to suss out. It was really slow for me last week so I took a couple last week. One guy invited me to interview him, which seemed a little bizarre and there was only about five questios. He did request a Skype or an UpWork video call, for which my webcam was conveniently broken (Cat Wink catwink). So we just did a voice call. And it actually was an interview. It was a really silly phone call and I didn't know if it might have been that he was demonstrating to someone in the background how easy it was to hire a freelancer, but it didn't come across that way and he seemed totally sincere. It turns out he works for a really cool tech company. 

For something like that, I usually navigate it by looking at the client profile and seeing what comments freelancers have generally left. Or whether there's evidence of people just leaving star ratings without saying anything. If there's good specific commentary on the client, I tend to be more willing to check things out. 

I remembered why I never scan the RFPs on the weekend up until Sunday night, if then.  

There is not a single reasonable RFP in W&T. Not even one. 

What is there is so mundane and insulting that none of them are even vaguely worth the effort of reposting for laughs.

 

 

 

 

 

I'm with you, Wendy. There's nothing wose than a completely ridiculous job ad that isn't funny. 

 

I see what you mean, though. I found this one in a posting for a press release writer:

"We need someone who has the skills to sit behind a computer for long periods of time and write article after article for months."

 

 

And just for laughs, even though the jingle pickings are slim this week, I have this:

A real estate company requires a jingle (music and words) with "all-encompassing verbiage." Is that like "surround sound" or something? I thought at first they might mean a hedge, but that would be "all-encompassing foliage."


@Wendy C wrote:

I remembered why I never scan the RFPs on the weekend up until Sunday night, if then.  

There is not a single reasonable RFP in W&T. Not even one. 

What is there is so mundane and insulting that none of them are even vaguely worth the effort of reposting for laughs.

 

 


 I think everything depends on your client base. I find a lot of good possibilities on the weekend--off the top of my head without counting them up, I'd say it might be the majority of my good clients. I think it's because most of my clients are solo and small law firm attorneys who don't have time for this sort of thing during the week. They see clients and go to court and such during business hours and attend to the business of running their businesses on what should be off time.


@Tiffany S wrote:


 I think everything depends on your client base. I find a lot of good possibilities on the weekend--off the top of my head without counting them up, I'd say it might be the majority of my good clients. I think it's because most of my clients are solo and small law firm attorneys who don't have time for this sort of thing during the week. They see clients and go to court and such during business hours and attend to the business of running their businesses on what should be off time.


 A great example of "adaptation" that seems to confuse a lot of freelancers.

Good point, Tiffany. 


@Wendy C wrote:

I remembered why I never scan the RFPs on the weekend up until Sunday night, if then.  

There is not a single reasonable RFP in W&T. Not even one. 

 


 I think what Tiffany says is true. But the timing for it might off for this. It depends who your clients are. September seems to be a time when people are using their weekends to get things done because their kids back in school. So the last couple of weekends might not have been that active for some people. And it could be settling down. I'm fairly busy at the moment, but I haven't been in the past week or two. I'm not sure if that might be a factor.

pandoraharper
Member

Re: slow RFP days

 

And sometimes, it's because it's during a Blue Moon, on a Friday the 13th, in a leap year.

 

Or some other gobbledy **bleep**. I was logged in a lot today, and my feed (of mostly Digtial Agency and PM job stuff) was fairly active, but other weekends it can dry up to nothing at all).

 

And now we are about 40 days from Halloween, followed by 30 days to Thanksgiving, 30 days to Xmas, etc etc. On my feeds, things will start to dry up any time, and be pretty slow until the holidays are over.

 

I've never been out of work during the holidays, but that's because I'm already locked in with my clients:  I often start jobs just after the end of summer, and the contracts don't end until sometime in 2nd quarter the following year.

pandoraharper
Member

re: Client looking for a Project Manager with proofreading and editing skills. Decent job description, excellent hire rate, great pay rate history. However, requirements are pretty specific, which means what they really need is:

An editor that has some pm skills, with past experience in the publishing world, who also belongs to a pretty specific Christian community (and likely will need to prove it), as well as long term exposure to the Evangelical lifestyle.

That is quite a combination, and I found it interesting that all their other jobs don't have these religious requirements. Apparently, they don't want too closely work with anyone who does not share in their personal faith. I realize this job is not in the OMG REPORT THEM category, but give me a break. They can't do this in the brick and mortor world, why are they allowed to do it here?

pandoraharper
Member

My takeaways for the last week of Crazy Job Posts โ€“ Going to try to do this every week, and it wonโ€™t always be the same format.  If you think this silly, Iโ€™ll try to come up with something else โ€˜informativeโ€™. ๐Ÿ˜› heh.

 

So, this last week, the most discussed jobs were Writing, Editing and Proofreading. Again. I don't know why this is. I noticed this in the old Crazy Jobs thread too. Do you all have more time than the rest of us? Do you spend more time looking for work? Is your category the most annoying? Just curious ๐Ÿ™‚

 

However, we had some tangents, one offs, and some semi-lively chatter about a couple of random topics.

 

Vesna M reported that she received a job invite titled to another freelancer. -  Talk about double insulting!

 

Tiffany S reported that after sending a detailed, very on-target proposal, the client still came back to her and asked if she could do the job.  - Wow, that's not a good sign. (She didn't take the job).

 

Renata S reported a couple weird writing gigs:

 

  • Wanted: Criminal Law Attorney with an Overactive Imagination - Maybe they were hoping to hire John Grisham?
  • Survivalist Proofreader and Fact Checker - Great oxymoron. Survivalistโ€™s are often (but not always) big conspiracy theorists.

 

Nichola L reported a job that appeared to be for a "webcam ambassador", with all the usual "hype". And the job post was squeaky clean.  - So clean, in fact, that reporting it would have been pointless.

 

Preston H reported that a client was looking for someone to answer 3 "money laundering" questions. - And this developed into a mini-tangent about the TV show Ozark, which now I want to watch.

 

Tiffany S tells us that "life-story" gigs are not worth it. - And this developed into a mini-tangent about an Isaac Asimov novel.

 

Renata S reported some quirky "jingle" jobs, and then realized her forum status updated to Community Guru. - I am not sure if I should say โ€œcongratzโ€, or "you have too much time on your hands" ๐Ÿ˜Š

 

Allyson H reported a job that was listed as being "clerical" in nature, with a time frame of 1 hour, at $500.  -  That's an expensive typo!

 

Preston H tells us he's tired of orphan charities.  - This might have gone horribly wrong in the thread, but either members were distracted, or nobody cared. I'll admit I laughed, but I like weird humor.

 

Preston H likened some cheap client types to cancers - Several members agreed, what a shock.

 

Several members bemoaned the existence of Upworkโ€™s Talent Specialists. - Which is saying something when there were not even any specific jobs mentioned.

 

Several members also bemoaned slow "RFP days". -  Mostly related to the Writing, Editing and Proofreading gigs. Not the case in the category I follow, but I expect a lot of jobs to be posted for maybe 30 more days, and then poof, the holidays will shut it down.

@ Pandora, you wrote "Client looking for a Project Manager with proofreading and editing skills." and I had to laugh.

 

I just completed a job that was 95% art direction/web redesign direction and 5% rewriting the copy.  The former is not in my profile skill set repertoire. 

 

Invite Only job and after the client and I discussed what was really needed, I offered to put him in touch with a qualified provider. His response > "You tell me what is needed. I'll tell the dev. team. You totally understand what is needed. Drawing pictures is okay. Lousy PowerPoint skills are also okay. You Get It!!!"

 

The client was a delight to work with and the site a zillion times better.  Maybe there's some logic to those odd RFPs after all. ๐Ÿ˜‰


@Wendy C wrote:

@ Pandora, you wrote "Client looking for a Project Manager with proofreading and editing skills." and I had to laugh.

 

I just completed a job that was 95% art direction/web redesign direction and 5% rewriting the copy.  The former is not in my profile skill set repertoire. 

 

Invite Only job and after the client and I discussed what was really needed, I offered to put him in touch with a qualified provider. His response > "You tell me what is needed. I'll tell the dev. team. You totally understand what is needed. Drawing pictures is okay. Lousy PowerPoint skills are also okay. You Get It!!!"

 

The client was a delight to work with and the site a zillion times better.  Maybe there's some logic to those odd RFPs after all. ๐Ÿ˜‰


This really makes me think. I've been complaining about the Talent Specialists because their offers are so outlandish. However, I do really enjoy any opportunity I have to take outlandish contracts. I think the TS referrals get me down because there's just no way I can reasonably apply to most of them. 

I think I had a similar experience when I ended up as a writer, depite insisting that what was needed was developmental editing. Possibly a similar sense of synchrony with the client (I posted a video that I used to try to explain the editor-writer relationship on the post called Nerdy Monkey Movies. Although I initially thought I'd made my point, I still ended up doing a lot of researching and writing which I really enjoyed - despite the fact that I wouldn't have applied for that part of the job).

It made me consider an interesting idea: maybe the feeling of knowing what we're doing is somehow overrated.  

Renata, I should probably have included the fact that working in agencies and TV I have a solid background in conceptual visualization. The point I was trying to make is one I believe you picked up on ... and that is that some or many of us do see the 'full picture' of what is needed.


@Wendy C wrote:

 

Invite Only job and after the client and I discussed what was really needed, I offered to put him in touch with a qualified provider. His response > "You tell me what is needed. I'll tell the dev. team. You totally understand what is needed. Drawing pictures is okay. Lousy PowerPoint skills are also okay. You Get It!!!"

 

The client was a delight to work with and the site a zillion times better.  Maybe there's some logic to those odd RFPs after all. ๐Ÿ˜‰


@Wendy, this was interesting to read because I generally don't 1) get invites, or 2) bid on jobs unless it's for PM + Team management + Digital Agency + Process Development.

 

Howver, I'm very slowly branching out some, and your post is related to something that Preston says all the time, to clients; "get a project manger to help you plan your project and recruit the talent you need".

 

I also liked your point from a more recent post, where you said " some or many of us do see the 'full picture' of what is needed."

 

That, in a nutshell, is what I can do for Digital Agencies, and up to a point, for any business. But sometimes, I get mired in the details, and a little clarity is needed when it comes to service planning.

 

Someday in the not so far away future, I plan to offer that sort of short-plan + recruitment service. And your post, at least to me, totally relates to that. Thanks for sharing! I've saved in a text file for future reference.

Pandora, I don't get a lot of invites either because I removed myself from the Talent Specialist roster; don't belong to any U. groups, and, like you, can tell in a nanosecond the difference from an invite sent as U suggestion v. a buyer generated invite.

 

Seeing the full picture is something that only comes with years of experience - something you have.  It is also an attribute that we often fail to list or sell unless in potential client discussions.  Based on your comment, it is something I'll plunk into my profile. ๐Ÿ™‚ As you should ...

 

The problem, IMO, of a FLer recruiting other providers based solely on their profiles is that personalities need to sync as well. And if the providers don't participate in the forums, is darned hard to get a true read of work ethics and communication skills. Checking portfolios does not supply this in-depth knowledge.

 

When I have a client who needs translation skills, I know who to approach and bring in via suggesting the client talking with them. The same goes for editing skills. More recently a client and I found a superb illustrator/book formatting FLer ... who, if we hadn't culled through tons of profiles, talked with a few and then worked with the individual on a couple of projects, I would never have known about.  That FLer has now moved to my 'personal referral list'.

 

I don't have proper PM training (despite having worn the hat for a few clients) but what jumps out at me as the biggest problem is having the time and people insight skills to get the best people.  You are in a tough and time consuming field - esp. when clients want immediate gratification.

 

@Preston - pls. note this does not apply to coding skills as these can be very apparent from the first 15 minutes.

 

 

david_gregory
Member

I just thought I would post that I got some great contracts from the talent specialists. In fact, I got the biggest contract I've ever had on the site through an invite from the talent specialists. That job is also the first job where I finally met the criteria for only paying 5% in fees.

 

Yes, some of the invites have been a bit weird but some of them have been spot on as well.

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