A post I really shouldn’t need to write…

…but here we are.

From the beginning of OffStageJobs.com, I have received emails from people asking that I not post jobs from particular companies, or listings that do not offer pay, or pay below an (arguably arbitrary) threshold.  And from the beginning, I have always held that one person’s nightmare job may be another’s dream job, and that there are those who may be interested in a listing that honestly states “no pay.”

OffStageJobs.com has a listing reporting system which registered users may use to alert me to potentially problematic listings.  As listings are posted automatically, I may not immediately catch a listing which obviously should not be on the site, such as “Actors/Actresses,” or “Scenic Carpenter to build my home kitchen.”  Additionally, users may notice a listing that is missing any means of contact, or only offers a web-based application process through a 3rd-party site (which is a violation of our rules).  These are examples of listings that should be reported using the system in place.

For other issues with listings or listing companies, users may alert me through the reporting system, or email me directly.  This includes listings from companies that the user believes to be inaccurately representing themselves or the job listed, or companies that the user believes to be abusive to employees.  While I will not remove a listing based on one person’s allegations, I do keep track of all complaints against companies who post on OffStageJobs.com.  Companies that have a pattern of similar issues reported may be banned.

However, a user may not maliciously report every listing posted from a company simply because it is from that company, nor may they continue to report listings from a company they previously reported simply because the listings are from that company.  This is abusive behavior itself, and does not help me deal with any legitimate issues the company may have.

Furthermore: a user may not contact a company or representative of a company to complain about the content of the company’s listing on OffStageJobs.com.  In addition to being completely unprofessional and potentially constituting harassment, it is expressly prohibited by our terms of use:

4. Contact information posted for any theatre, company, or person may only be used to contact that person or company for potential employment related reasons. You may not use information found on this site to send unrelated, unsolicited, or harassing e-mail, mail, faxes, or phone calls. (You can use it to apply for a job, or try to hire someone. That is it.)

I am very frustrated that I apparently have to state all this.  This is common sense, common courtesy behavior, especially if you have no prior connection to the person or company posting a listing you have an issue with.  Your interactions with individuals and companies you found through OffStageJobs.com are a reflection of your professional self.  

I have always said that a company’s listing reflects on the company.  A university’s job listing which is riddled with typos does not speak well of the academic standards of that university.  A company’s job listing which asks for 10 years experience in lighting, audio, rigging, and technical direction for an unpaid internship does not speak well of that company.  But that information is right there, out front, for all to see and make their own judgement as to if they would apply for that job.

If you don’t like that a listing offers no pay: don’t apply for it.  If you don’t like that it doesn’t offer moving expenses: don’t apply for it.  If you think the pay is embarrassingly low: don’t apply for it.  If you worked there in the past and had a bad experience: by all means, tell me about it.  If the listing stated one thing about the pay/job duties/benefits but the company then claimed something completely different when you applied for the job: definitely tell me about it.

If you flag a listing which you believe to be problematic but I find no issue with: that’s fine.  No harm, no foul.

But don’t flag every listing the company posts every time you see one from from them.  Don’t waste everyone’s time flagging listings that are unpaid:  we allow them to be posted, and always have.  Don’t contact the employer of a position you have no intention of applying for to complain about their listing:  employers you don’t work for don’t contact you to complain about your skill set.

Fortunately the overwhelming majority of OffStageJobs.com users understand this.  But (and I don’t know if this actually more people doing this or the same percentage as before but our user base has grown) I have been increasingly dealing with this problem in the last several months, and I’m growing weary of it.

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