Scrooge-like advert for interns at publisher 'tongue in cheek'
Interns are familiar with operating at the more unpleasant end of the jobs market, but one advertisement posted yesterday had a particularly Dickensian feel.
Dalkey Archive Press is on the hunt for staff and interns at its London office. Candidates, it warned, must not “have any other commitments (personal or professional) that will interfere with their work at the press (family obligations, degrees to be finished, holidays to be taken, weddings to attend in Rio, etc)”.
The advert contained a long list of grounds for dismissal including “being unavailable at night or on the weekends; failing to meet any goals; giving unsolicited advice about how to run things; taking personal phone calls during work hours; gossiping . . . surfing the internet while at work”.
Within hours the posting had gone viral, leading Salon.comto wonder if this was the “worst job posting ever?”
John O’Brien, director of the press, said while the positions on offer were legitimate, the ad was tongue in cheek.
“I thought people reading the advert would get it or wouldn’t get it. I can’t believe it has been so misinterpreted.”
Few people familiar with the company’s work would be rushing to contact the National Employment Rights Authority.
Rather than a corporate monster, Dalkey Archive Press, named after Flann O’Brien’s book, is a non-profit publisher of literary fiction, and O’Brien intended the advert as a satirical dig at the internship experience.
“We’ve had interns for almost 25 years and it’s been a great experience. They say that in previous internships they got to make coffee or put labels on catalogues. What did they get out of it? Nothing.
“I’ve always taken internships seriously when they’ve finished here; they will have learned something – and that may be that they don’t want to work in publishing.”
So far O’Brien has received a few dozen genuine applicants.
Those without a sense of humour need not apply.