A few years ago (five, seven?), during a time when I was looking for a job and not having any luck, I came across a classified ad that exemplified everything I didn’t want in a job and I cut it out, almost as a reminder to myself that, no matter how bad things got, I could never allow myself to sink to the level of what this ad was asking someone to be.
Last night I was looking through some old papers and found the clipping again. I’m going to reproduce it here because I know a lot of people are looking for work right now and maybe this clipping will help them clarify in their minds what they will or won’t do or remind them that, yes, things are bad but maybe they’re not so bad.
Administrative Assistant w/a Baby Blanket
Now that I have your attention… Are you one of those people that are multi-talented in being a caregiver and in doing clerical work as well? This unique opportunity allows you to make a difference in the life of a newborn baby while utilizing your administrative skills. The owner of a small company providing caring residential group homes to individuals with developmental disabilities is having a baby and needs an assistant. The office is equipped with a baby room, and the assistant’s role is to care for the baby during business hours as well as run personal errands for the owner. During down time, the assistant will be responsible for filing, phone support, typing, purchasing supplies, data entry, financial duties and creating new systems as well as organizing existing systems to increase efficiency in the office.
Qualifications: Experience with infants and 2+ years of clerical experience as well as a valid driver’s license with a good record. Candidate will be a professional who is dependable, highly organized, detail-oriented, good at multi-tasking, a fast learner and independent worker and is highly accurate in their work. Candidate must also be energetic, creative, caring and is good natured. This full time permanentÂ position offers great health, dental and vacation benefits and is salaried at $25,000/year.
It’s now my pleasure to re-write the ad to say what it really means:
Administrative Assistant Shaped Like a Door Mat
No man will ever take this job, realizing it’s essentially career suicide, so let me talk to all the ladies out there. Do you have a couple of kids you need to support? That means you know what to do with an infant and you’re desperate for some money. Have I got a job for you!
You know how you like small, cute things – kitties, puppies, babies? This is your chance to take care of a small, cute thing, have a job and change the world! Take care of my infant during the day in my baby room while also answering phones, filing, running errands (buy diapers, get me a new watch battery, take back my library books – all those things I don’t have time to do), and developing new systems that will change my life. While you’re at it, buy office supplies, make coffee, hand-squeeze orange juice, research the best digital camera for me to buy, balance my accounts, make bank deposits, e-mail companies to stop my junk mail, wash my kitchen floor and buy me a dress for that charity thing I have to go to.
I’ve accepted that I’m not Superwoman. But maybe you can be. All for $25,000 a year! And vacation time! Which you’ll never be able to take because the baby will get sick. Or I’ll get sick. Or I’ll be overwhelmed by my overwhelming life. So much to do. So much to do! You don’t want to see your children every evening, do you? You’re available on weekends, right? Because I don’t want to give up that pilates class I enjoy so much on Saturday afternoons.
Please know what to do when an infant starts screaming. Please have worked in an office setting for two years but somehow be mysteriously just fine to becoming a filing, phone-answering nanny. Also be dependable, highly organized, detail-oriented, good at multi-tasking, a fast learner, independent but not too independent, have a lack of self-confidence, be used to being treated like crap and be highly accurate in your work. Candidate must also be energetic, creative, caring and good natured. I will then suck all these qualities out of you until you are but a husk of the energetic, caring person you used to be, fire you for no reason and forbid you to ever see the baby you helped raise for two or three years.