Did You Say What I Think You Said?

I never took a speed reading course, but since being laid off, I have become adept at reading in between the lines – very speedily, I might add – in many of the employment ads I come across. I’m thinking I might hire myself out to companies to write their employment ads for them – spinning the ads to make them sound enticing by using frilly words and descriptions to make even the most hardened HR Director weep with joy over such alluring content. Why, I could become rich. Such an entrepreneur, this one.

One insult to my quasi intelligence is the ad that details a list of grueling requirements and demands of the job that Schindler himself would be proud of – one that Superman himself couldn’t master with or without a daily dose of Cryptonite – all for the measly pay of $10.00 an hour.

One phrase I often see is, “There is no pay for this job, but you will get recognition for your work.”  Uh, where…in the latest edition of the “There’s-a-sucker-born-every-minute” chapter of the latest Who’s Who?

I’ve compiled a list of translations that should help you save time – even though you have plenty of THAT on your hands – and help you separate the gravy from the yucky stuff while you pursue that new dream career.

They say: You must be a professional required to perform tasks competently, notwithstanding frequent interruptions and competing demands.

I hear: Nobody knows what the hell is going on in this office, and we are totally unorganized.  We’ll interrupt you a lot for no good reason because we’re too stupid to Google something ourselves for an answer, read the instructions for unjamming the copier, or wash our own filthy dishes in the office kitchen.

They say: Please do not apply if you have too many “personal commitments.”

I hear: You should only apply if  1) you don’t have a life; 2) you don’t have children, spouses, pets, plants or hobbies; or 3) you look at porn a lot.

They say: Must have excellent writing and proof reading skills.

I hear:  …because we don’t know how to spell “proofreading.”

 They say: Join our fast-paced company.

I hear:  We don’t have time to train you, ya putz. It’s not rocket science. Be ready to hit the ground running.

They say: Must have good communication skills. 

I hear:  Management communicates. You listen. We tell you what to do. And, no, we don’t want your opinion, feedback or suggestions. Yeah, we really meant good “one-way” communication skills, but we’re too cheap to pay for the extra words in the ad. Communication via body language is a plus, especially when displaying a talent for inserting one’s nose far up management’s ass.  Cheerleaders welcome. Uniforms not provided.

They say: Seeking candidates who have a wide variety of experience.

I hear:  We recently had a reduction in force and laid off three people, so we’re hiring you to replace them…all of them. We need to cut costs, so expect to work weekends and overtime. No, you only get one title.

They say: Duties will vary, and you must have the ability to juggle multiple projects.

 I hear:  Basically, anyone in the office can be your boss at any given time. Choose your battles wisely.

They say:  Great growth opportunity for a recent college graduate in marketing or public relations.

I hear:  If you just graduated from college, we won’t pay you diddlysquat.  And if you majored in [insert airquotes] marketing or public relations, you have generic decision-making skills at best and don’t know how to commit, so we’ll tell you what to do. Besides, you can still live with your parents, so you don’t need any money.

So, there you have it. If you find yourself wondering about hr jargon you read in an ad, submit it to me, and I’ll be glad to translate it for you…for a slight fee, of course.  Always thinking, this one.

And, no, I don’t mean that kind of translating. I’m not multilingual or even bilingual, so for God’s sake, speak the Queen’s English.

Could be why I haven’t found a job…


Filed under At Work

2 responses to “Did You Say What I Think You Said?

  1. hi catclause! i’m mihiro from Tiny Traveller blog. I’m back!

    thank you for still having me on your blog roll!



  2. modown

    awe…it’s too bad you have to have worked multi-quasi years to FINALLY get that this is what you should know when looking for a job!


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