Meet the One Who Needs a Dumpster Diver

Meet the One Who Needs a Dumpster Diver

by Kerry Scott on 1 May 2009


Photo by James Fischer

This ad appeared on Craigslist here in Milwaukee yesterday:

We are a co located outside of WI, we have a competitor in WI zip code 53089 that we hear might be going out of business in the near future.
We would like to get a hold of their customer list so in the event they close up we can solicit their business. This would mean going through their waste container every night for a few minutes and seeing what you can find. It’s legal!! because it’s in the waste container, but you would need to be smart about it as if someone sees you they’ll stop throwing things out.
You would be mailing these items to us, and we will pay for your time and shipping cost.
Please respond with a phone number and best time to call you.

  • Location: MI WI 262
  • Compensation: cash
  • Principals only. Recruiters, please don’t contact this job poster.
  • Please, no phone calls about this job!
  • Please do not contact job poster about other services, products or commercial interests.

I love that they give the ZIP code.  I looked it up, and it’s actually a pretty rural part of the Milwaukee metro area with few businesses.  So if they were looking to be discreet, that was probably not their best strategy.  Also, I’m totally picturing this as the beginning of a Law and Order episode, where somebody’s diving in the dumpster looking for corporate secrets, and they find a body.  Then you hear that cha-chunk sound.

Sometimes the cluefree are the ones doing the hiring.

Tales of the Cluefree appear pretty much every Friday.  Past stories are here.

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class factotum May 1, 2009 at 5:57 pm

I wonder if I’m overqualified for this one.

class factotum’s last blog post..Hoe, not ho

Charles May 1, 2009 at 6:01 pm

“It’s legal!! because it’s in the waste container” – maybe in WI; But not in New Jersey.

I tried to google the case that made the news quite a few years ago but could not find it. If I remember correctly it involved a reporter going through someone’s trash to find credit card receipts, phone records, pill bottles, or something like that. The NJ court found that the reporter was in the wrong to assume that trash was “free for the taking.” The court ruled that when people place trash in closed containers (including opaque plastic bags) until being picked up by the waste removal company they are expecting a certain level of privacy. This expectation of privacy does not disappear simply because they are throwing the stuff out.

You’re right. I also hear a Law & Order episode coming on with this; a dead body for the main murder investigation and a side plot about privacy rights. I can already hear Munch and Tutuola bantering the pros and cons of the privacy issue!

Ask a Manager May 1, 2009 at 7:31 pm

This is awesome. One would think that this is the kind of thing that you don’t openly advertise for.

Ask a Manager’s last blog post..don’t mention your "affluent family" in your cover letter

Amy Boland May 2, 2009 at 9:10 am

It is actually illegal–it’s theft of physical AND intellectual property.

Rob May 3, 2009 at 8:38 am

Love the Principals Only and no phone calls! Too funny!

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