Gaucho jobs: phone sex operator?

Phone Sex Operator? Appropriate or not? (Oliver Yu)

Keith Cousins

Jobs are hard to come by, the unemployment rate is at 9.6% and many unemployed citizens are struggling to gain even part-time employment. One resource many Saddleback College students turn to for employment opportunities is Gaucho Jobs; a job search engine run by the college’s career center.

Lisa Johnson, 20, business administration, decided to use www.Gauchojobs.com to find work after she was unable to find employment from other job sites.

“I chose to look on Gaucho Jobs because I was job hunting and I figured that would be a good site for college students,” Johnson said.  “Most retailers at the mall and other jobs close to Saddleback use Gaucho Jobs to find employees.”

It was during this search that Johnson came across a very unusual job posting.

“I stumbled upon the ad when I searched for ‘part-time jobs’ in southern Orange County. All of the other jobs had titles I have heard of before,” Johnson said. “When I stumbled upon the “phone actress/actor” I clicked on it because I didn’t know what it was.”

The job in question was posted by U.S. Services Inc., advertising the need for “phone actresses” at a salary of $23 an hour. According to the post, the company would train these actresses and provide them with a cell-phone, “enabling you to have maximum flexibility regarding your location and hours”.

The only stipulations for applicants is that they be more than 18 years old and adding that, “articulate and open minded women are especially welcome to apply.”

Before providing company contact information, the ad states that anonymity is guaranteed.

After viewing the posting, Johnson had an idea of what the job was for.

“My first thought on the ad was that it was for a radio station or something,” Johnson said. “I fit the 18-years-of-age requirement and the pay was really good.”

However Johnson was looking for a more traditional job.

“I wasn’t actually going to apply for the job since I was looking for more of a retail position,” Johnson said.

The posting still left Johnson curious, and she approached her parents with questions as to what the job actually was.

“When I showed my dad the ad, he told me that it was for [a] phone sex actor/actress,” Johnson said. 

“Once I found out what it was, I was shocked and bewildered that you could post such a thing on a Web site,” Johnson said.   “I was concerned because I wasn’t sure if the company had to be approved to be posted on the job site, and if they were, I was upset that Saddleback would allow that.”

A simple Internet search confirmed her father’s conclusion.

Although a search for U.S. Services Inc. results in no listing for the company in question, searching the company’s provided email address brings up many similar postings.

For example, a posting for the company is found on the Web site backpage.com. The first thing that jumps out when viewing the site is that this posting is located under “east Oregon adult entertainment” with the subsection “east Oregon adult jobs,” clearly implying that the job is much more than the Gaucho Jobs posting lets on.

Further investigation of the post confirms that the job in question is a phone sex operator. Everything written in this ad is the same as the one on Gaucho Jobs, however, the post also says, “now hiring for the ‘sexy and submissive’ category.”   

The Lariat tried to contact the several emails and phone numbers on the Web site to further confirm that this was in fact a posting for a phone sex job. None of our phone calls were responded to, and only received an automated email in response to our inquiries.

The Saddleback College career center offers many services to students when it comes to transferring to colleges as well as gaining part-time and full-time employment. The career center also helps students to find internships in their fields of interest.

A service of the career center is the Gaucho Jobs Web site, which career placement officer Eric Hilden helped to set up and monitor.

The Gaucho Jobs Web site was purchased from a third party corporation that provides job and internship postings for over 850 universities such as Cal State Fullerton and Notre Dame.

The third party system also provides a basic level of security to monitor job postings.

“It has good security and can detect fraudulent postings,” Hilden said.

However the staff at the Saddleback College Career Center does not have the resources to personally monitor everything that goes on the site.

“On a day to day level there is not enough time to check every posting, we simply do not have enough employees,” Hilden said.

Hilden added that while they cannot go over every posting, they try to cover the basics of the job postings to ensure that legitimate ads are being posted.

In fact when students create profiles on the Gaucho Jobs Web site, part of the stipulation when they agree to the terms of the Web site is that the career center does not monitor and check everything posted on the Web site.

When the U.S. Services Inc. posting was brought to Hilden’s attention, he took action.

“Absolutely, that will be pulled immediately,” Hilden said. “By all means we do not want this on our Web site.”

As a result of his meeting with the Lariat, several actions were taken. Hilden detailed these actions in an e-mail.

“The job posting was investigated, contact was made with a company representative, and the position was deemed to be misleading and misrepresentative of actual duties,” Hilden said.

“The job posting was immediately deleted from the Gaucho Jobs system.”

The employer account was also disabled with promise of further investigation into and discussion by the staff to make sure that the postings by the company meet the policies of Gaucho Jobs.

NACElink, the provider of the Gaucho Jobs system was also notified on the fraudulent job posting in order to share the information with other campuses as needed.

News additions to the Gaucho Jobs Web site help inform students on job posting safety.

“It is a good reminder that for job postings on third party Web sites, you must be very careful and not immediately provide legitimate information,” Hilden said.  “Do your research first, in workshops and one on one support I stress that you always go to the company first.”

For students who had already applied to the job, Hilden sent an email informing them that the posting was misleading of the actual job duties.

Hilden encouraged students to reply to the email with their thoughts and experiences with applying for the position. He also stressed that students must be diligent in researching the companies who post jobs before sending them personal information.

“On the plus side: Gaucho Jobs averages 100 to 150 jobs monthly, last month we had close to 700 users,” Hilden said.

While this was an unfortunate and misleading incident, the Career Center acted promptly to ensure student safety and continue the programs success in providing jobs to students of Saddleback College.

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