The status quo when you post a job ad is to be friendly, welcoming and upbeat.
But a London theatre company flouted this unwritten rule in spectacular fashion recently, when it advertised an vacancy aimed at millennials that was part tongue-in-cheek, part nakedly aggressive.
Tea House Theatre near Vauxhall drafted an open letter for the job of office administrator, a position that it has apparently struggled to fill (perhaps not surprisingly, given the somewhat passive approach of the recruitment team).
“Dear Millennials,” the missive begins. “… It saddens me to be putting this advert up for the third time in as many months. Are you just not taught anything about existing in the real world, where every penny counts. Did no one teach you that the end of your studies is the beginning of your education?”
“We need a grafter who can commit… we have not been impressed so far,” the letter concludes.
The scathing advert was posted on Arts Jobs, an online service run by Arts Council England
Needless to say, the caustic gambit was greeted with disbelief on social media, where millennials and others branded it “obnoxious”, “patronising” and “appallingly sneery”.
Others pointed out that such a rigorous set of demands was likely to be rewarded with a pittance salary.
Tea House Theatre is wondering why they can't get a 'grafter' to work for £15k. In London. In 2017. Hmmm, that's a tough one....— Moonraker (@CombeGibbet) July 18, 2017
Tea House Theatre sound a bit like a sad angry misogynist who gets angry at women for not wanting to date him— Ned Glasier (@nedglasier) July 18, 2017
That Tea House Theatre advert is typical of so many arts jobs tbh, orgs want to pay you a pittance but have you dedicate your whole— M (@glueandyarn) July 18, 2017
Neither of the theatre directors who signed the letter - Freddie Rushton and Harry Iggulden - have commented on the advert, or the consequent outcry.
Arts Council England has since removed the opening from its site, not in objection to the cutting style but because it breaches the site’s terms by targeting a specific age group.
We can only hope that the unlucky soul who ends up bagging this far-from-covetable job is treated better than the letter suggests.
Images: iStock, Art Jobs