Must love dogs: Is this viral SF Craigslist ad for real? – SFGATE

A lengthy Craigslist ad for a personal assistant and its request for help with, well, life itself has gone viral just hours after its posting.
The ad starts off simply enough: Two 30-something — or 40-something, as it was later updated to — executives with a dog are looking to get their lives organized since their work hours keep them busy. They’ve accepted reality, they told Craigslist readers. They need a personal assistant.
Yet despite its straightforward beginning, the listing then devolves into what at best could be called a personals ad. Filled with minute quality-of-life problem descriptions, the hopeful future-employers created a laundry list — sometimes literally — of issues they wished their future assistant would solve.
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In a very stream of consciousness manner, the writer describes how nothing gets done in the couple’s household. “Nail polish gets chipped and remains chipped” and “instead of dry cleaning something it will just never be worn again,” the ad laments in its 248-word “problem” section of the ad. 
“Does the idea of helping us to go from zero to hero in all of the above areas make you smile OR cringe?” the ad asks. Cringers can exit to the right, thank you.
The solution? You, if you’re chill and willing to get the job done. Along with a (very long) list of ideal qualities, the job posters get down to the nitty-gritty. Among typical requirements one would seek in an assistant (drug-free, no criminal record, valid driver’s license), were some eccentric items, mostly having to do with the aforementioned dog.
Among them: You must be “able to swim well in the ocean (dog likes swimming; you may need to get him when he goes out too far)” and “able to protect a dog from being attacked by another dog,” while being “willing and happy to clean up occasional dog vomit and/or diarrhea.”
Poor little guy. 
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Among the many qualities that would earn the applicant “bonus points” (including “enjoy[s] giving manicures/pedicures”), the would-be employers asked for an email with the subject line “[INSERT YOUR FULL NAME] + [INSERT YOUR WORST QUALITY],” a five-minute video of yourself answering a specific list of questions and links to four personal social media profiles of yourself.
Phew. Did I cover everything?
Twitter, of course, quickly glommed onto the ad, picking apart everything from the details of the employer’s lives, the entire “bonus points” section (for the full ad/list, see below), with most sharing the link to the full ad with an air of incredulity.
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Twitter reactions to a San Francisco Craigslist ad looking for a personal assistant.
Twitter reactions to a San Francisco Craigslist ad looking for a personal assistant.
Twitter reactions to a San Francisco Craigslist ad looking for a personal assistant.
Twitter reactions to a San Francisco Craigslist ad looking for a personal assistant.
Twitter reactions to a San Francisco Craigslist ad looking for a personal assistant.
“Folks, FOLKS, I think I have found the most bananapants job ad of all time,” started one such tweet
“Tag yourself. I’m ‘nail polish gets chipped and remains chipped,'” one writer declared on her Twitter account. (“I’m ‘I buy fresh flowers but don’t have time to trim daily and change the water,'” another quipped. “I’m ‘cringer,'” another replied.)
“A mom. They need a mom,” one social media user chipped in.
“I love that in San Francisco you can just buy a wife now,” one Twitter user mused.
“My greatest hope is that either this is a fake ad or that the person who takes this job slowly destroys these people’s lives from the inside,” one concluded at the end of a string of tweets on the topic.
Is the ad real, and as horrible as people are making it out to seem? Judge for yourself and read the full text of the original ad below. Keep in mind that not all heroes wear capes, sometimes they’re just someone’s personal assistant. Good luck to whomever applies.
UPDATE, Aug. 10: The couple in question answered some questions via email. To read their responses to the ad, head here.
(Note: The latest version of the ad has since had some revisions made, but can be found here. This is a version of the ad that appeared on Craigslist as of noon Wednesday.)
Personal Assistant MUST LOVE DOGS – PT/FT, $25-$30/hr (SOMA / south beach)
—Interviewing daily—
Hi and thx for visiting.
We’re two 30-something executives living in the city with a sweet medium-sized, hypoallergenic dog. Work is crazier than ever which means that we don’t have time to maintain our personal lives. We’ve finally accepted that we need a full-time (or part-time) personal assistant.
We’re resorting to unhealthy take-out and processed foods — anything we can grab and munch on in-between working on our computers, we aren’t getting enough sleep (8 hrs/night is a must but rarely achieved), that very cute dog I mentioned doesn’t have someone to play with daily, personal social media accounts are neglected, I buy fresh flowers but don’t have time to trim daily and change the water, indoor plants are dying, vacations and fun trips aren’t taken because there’s no time to plan them, dirty laundry is neglected until we run out of clean clothes to wear, merchandise that should be returned doesn’t get returned, phone calls to customer support don’t get made, prescriptions aren’t refilled, instead of dry cleaning something it will just never be worn again, pants that are too long never get hemmed, that cute dog doesn’t get taught new tricks or get his coat brushed out as often as it needs to be, things that we’re meaning to order don’t get ordered, items slated for donation sit in a corner for months, groceries aren’t put away into the cabinet, the sink is eternally filled with soaking dishes/pots/pans, picture frames hang on the wall with no photos inside, the closet is in need of reorganization, appointments aren’t scheduled, information isn’t updated, nail polish gets chipped and remains chipped, investment opportunities go un-researched, and that crucial”date night” consists of collapsing onto the sofa and watching a movie because we’re so exhausted from the work week.
Does the idea of helping us to go from zero to hero in all of the above areas make you smile OR cringe?
For the cringers, feel free to exit now 🙂 Good luck with your search!
For the smilers, you’re making me so happy. I know that you’re going to help us so much.
Our ideal full-time (or part-time) personal assistant is chill but also gets sh*t done.
Ideally, you have experience being a personal assistant for a CXO in the past (and you really liked it).
You aren’t dramatic or tightly wound, however, you’re also not lazy or sloth-like (nothing against sloths). You’re level-headed and your friends think you have great judgment. You’re down to earth, not cocky, humble, and always willing to admit when you’re wrong. You aren’t too stubborn to apologize. You don’t get defensive and deflect. You own your mistakes and see them as opportunities to improve. You have confidence in yourself and although you are very empathetic, you rarely get overwhelmed by your emotions. You aren’t dramatic and you aren’t having regular melt-downs. You’re warm, welcoming, and always down for a good time. You take pride in your work quality (no matter what it is — big or small) and believe everything you create is a reflection of you and your character/abilities so you want it to be good. You notice inefficiencies and tend to find ways to save time, streamline, or automate where you can. You’re observant and detail-oriented. You always know where your keys are or where your wallet is because you make it a point to place them in the same place. You have a great memory and rarely have to say “Oh, I forgot.” You believe that there’s a place for everything and everything should be in its place. You’re naturally organized and clean. You don’t like messiness. You feel compelled to straighten items if they’re crooked. Aesthetics, design, and beauty in life are things that you notice and appreciate. It genuinely makes you happy to help others and make others smile. You find it rewarding to do things for others. (If you don’t feel this way, you will either hate this role or it will be awkward for us because you won’t seem happy.) Your friends think that you’re the one in your group who has their act together the most in terms of being responsible, responsive, and risk-averse. You take pride in working smart vs. working hard. You do things well AND you do it as quickly as possible. You consistently strive for both quality and speed. You like to laugh and your friends think you can be funny. You smile and/or laugh when you tell a joke or say something humorous (dry senses of humor need not apply)! You care about visual presentation and delivery of your words. You enjoy making things look nice. You enjoy making things smell nice. You have a kind heart and try to not be selfish. You are generous with your attention and love. You are a strong communicator and can tell an engaging story. If something needs to get done, you find a way. You’re very comfortable with technology and devices. You use your smartphone all the time. You use your laptop all the time. Google is your best friend. You take pride in how you look — whatever that “look” or style may be for you. At the same time, you also want to be practical and functional (e.g., you’re “bohemian chic” but avoid the giant wedges that will prevent you from hustling around town, you’re “cool hipster” but don’t wear the super tight jeans that won’t leave you room in your pockets to hold my dog’s potty bags, you’re totally “minimalistic modern” but avoid the white on white look so you’re not afraid to get dirty when cooking, etc.)
Location = SoMa
Commitment = on-call 24/7 for emergencies/urgent/important matters
Hours = Approximately 40 hrs/wk (mostly during the workweek)
Mon – Fri
– 10am – 11am = dog time (feeding, brushing, walking, washing, play with, teach tricks, take photos)
– 11am – 12pm = cleaning home (dishes, laundry, vacuum, dusting, wiping down countertops, clean up rare dog accident, etc.)
– 12pm – 1pm = improving look, ambiance & functionality of home (reorganizing cabinets, refreshing flowers, etc.)
– 1pm – 3pm = run errands (dry cleaning, tailor, groceries, clothes shopping, dog store, picking up Rx, stop by the office, etc.)
– 3 pm – 6 pm = on your computer/phone (investment research, post on our social media for us, planning a trip, ordering things online, scheduling an appointment, organizing receipts & other bookkeeping, taking notes while listening in on a meeting or call, cooking us dinner, food prep for the dog, book us dinner reservations or schedule our “date nights”, etc.)
Sat or Sun
– Take the dog to the beach before dropping him off at the dog groomer for a wash and blow out
– Sometimes you may need to help us with something over the weekend
* Written and spoken English language FLUENCY
* Able to maintain strict confidentiality
* No smokers (cigarettes, marijuana, other)
* No heavy drinkers (max of 5 drinks per week)
* No drug users
* No past criminal record
* Must love dogs and animals
* Valid drivers license (car will be provided if necessary for work) with experience driving in SF
* Experience with GSuite, MSOffice, Adobe Suite
* Experience with MacOS and iOS (computer and phone will be provided)
* Touch typing 60+ WPM
* Prior experience as dog owner
* No injuries or physical constraints that would impede your ability to rearrange furniture, lift a 40 lb dog up several flights of stairs, carry heavy grocery bags or luggage, etc.
* Able to swim well in the ocean (dog likes swimming; you may need to get him when he goes out too far)
* Able to protect a dog from being attacked by another dog
* Willing and happy to clean up occasional dog vomit and/or diarrhea
* Multilingual
* Experience as a personal/executive assistant
* Experience with a high-maintenance dog (long haired, allergies, etc.)
* Experience with long hair in general (you have long hair and know how to brush tangled hair without causing pain)
* You are a great cook and know how to make both rich, savory vs. lean, healthy meals
* Enjoy giving manicures/pedicures
* Well-traveled
* Experience in high-end/luxury retail or hospitality industry
* Good eye for design and style
* Prior experience reviewing and negotiating contracts
* Prior experience with home redesign, remodel, contractor management
* Physically strong
* Lift weights and/or tone as exercise
* Practiced in self defense or fighting styles (you can protect someone who is in danger)
* You like fashion
* You watch GoT and/or Silicon Valley
* Former or current aquarium owner (know how to set up a tank and create an ecosystem)
1. Submit an email with the subject line: “[INSERT YOUR FULL NAME] + [INSERT YOUR WORST QUALITY].” We’re confirming that you read the job description thoroughly, as well as breaking the ice by seeing if you’re aware of how you’re not perfect :p No one is so feel free to be candid 🙂 If you don’t follow that formula for the subject line, your email won’t be opened.
2. With your computer webcam or handheld smartphone, record and attach a 5 min video of you answering ALL of the following: What did you like about this posting? Confirm if this posting applies to you 100% (including personality description, qualifications, schedule, responsibilities, etc.). Tell us in what way(s) you’re not ideal for us (be transparent, no one is perfect and that’s okay, bonus points for honesty). Have you been a personal assistant before? For who? What was a typical day? Why can you be trusted to care for a dog? Can you cook us delicious food? What else should we know about you?
3. In your email response, include these 4 social media profiles if you have them (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram) so we can confirm your identity. Also, tell us where you live, how long would it take you to get to SoMa? Do you have a car? If so, what make, model and condition?
If you don’t follow #1 – 3 then you won’t be considered for an interview.
Doodle Lovers
Dianne de Guzman is the Food + Drink Editor for SFGATE. She previously worked as a public safety reporter for the Vallejo Times-Herald, writer for SFist and a web producer for the Los Angeles Times. She is a graduate of UC Berkeley and the University of Southern California, and is a Bay Area native. Email:


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