Friday, May 25, 2007

Job Descriptions: To Tell the Truth...

... or not.

Isn't it nice when a job description actually tells it like it is? I've been reading plenty of job descriptions at the NAIS Career Center website, and I suspect not all of them are being totally frank.

I read recently about a firm in England looking for someone to "trample on willing men." That's right; they're looking for a dominatrix, someone to
earn £100 a day for "wearing leather and stomping on S&M fetishists who enjoy being trodden on".
Tom Stern at Fast Company has a few job descriptions he thinks would tell-it-like-it-is. Here's one that fits, perhaps, with the independent school world:
Must be able to work long hours; proficiency at showing resentment about same will help you blend in with our staff of embittered, power-hungry people all of whom think they have the one right answer. An early awareness of the fact that non-profits are often not mellow at all, but microcosms of competitiveness and dysfunction to rival your average Hollywood studio is helpful. Experience shopping at Whole Foods essential.
My favorite job description I've read recently was from the Motley Fool. They were looking for an Office Jester (I kid you not). The job seems easy enough at first blush:
The ideal individual will embrace our core value of Joyful Optimism, bringing humor, entertainment, and amusement to all employees and visitors of Fool Global HQ. This is not a new position but it offers great flexibility in execution.
But once I read the primary responsibilities, core competencies, preferred qualities, and educational requirements, I realized there was no way this was really my job.

Current on all reality TV? Nope. Pop Culture expert, able to postulate about Season 3 of Lost? Well, pop culture, perhaps, but Lost; no way. Always at the ready with a quip or comeback? Sure, but do they have to be painless? Equally comfortable in a jester cap and bear suit? Okay, finally something I can handle. Proven game room skills as a formidable adversary in Halo, Ms. Pacman and Bubble Hockey; ability to convincingly let management win on occasion? Management will definately win since I don't do arcade games. Crazy hair? Hey, come on; I'm bald, darn it! That's just not fair. And, as to educational experience, albeit I have a fine pedigree, it just doesn't measure up to the Fool's requirements: Clown college, Improv school, Brown, or equivalent experience.

Here's my ideal: Teach, coach, counsel, and lead in a small, independent, secondary, boarding school. Bring it on, please.

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