Classified Defined

Have you noticed? The whole fucking world is looking for a job
right now, here in the midst of all this economic recovery (yeah,
right). The worse the economy gets, the more everybody wants to
grab his or her own special place as an insignificant cog in the
economic machinery and realize that New American Dream: subsistence
wages and a cheap apartment on a bus line.

The odds are ugly. Despite the fact that the media suddenly got
bored with the whole subject (they, after all, have jobs… sort
of), there are still 8 million people officially recognized as
unemployed, and another 5 million that even the government
considers underemployed. Taking into account the flawed methodology
in gathering such statistics, throw in a few million more, then add
all the disgruntled, dissatisfied employed folks desperately trying
to network their way out of the dreadful jobs they’ve got. Add ’em
up and whoa! you’ve got virtually 100 percent of the American
workforce out there playing a nasty, cutthroat game of musical

We all know the most important qualifications: age, sex, race,
religion, marital status, political affiliation, sexual
orientation, credit rating, who you know and how you look. And
never you mind the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. No one
gives a shit what color your parachute is.

What the Job Ad Says What It Means
Advancement opportunity Shit job
Entry level Really a shit job
No experience necessary The mother of all shit jobs
Administrative assistant Shit job with a title
Ground floor opportunity Shit job with a company that will file bankruptcy within a
Progressive company Employees get to wear jeans every other Friday
Team player Must deal with dangerously territorial co-workers with rabid
Upbeat personality Must neither threaten us with any kind of lawsuit nor use the
drug & alcohol rehab benefit within the first year
Word processing skills essential There’s a crippling case of carpal tunnel syndrome in your
Public relations Receptionist
Professional appearance important $20 K/year job that requires a $100 K/year wardrobe
Pleasant telephone manner Be the voice of 1-900-SUCK
Earn up to $300/hour! Be 1-900-SUCK
Salary range $24,000 to $32,000 The salary is $24,000
Jeans job! Minimum wage temp job in concentration camp
Will train Prior conviction of a felony or two no problem
B.A. required, master’s preferred Must be an M.A. willing to work on a B.A.’s salary
Civil service This job was filled from the inside six months ago
Women & minorities encouraged to apply White males need not waste the stamp
Outstanding benefits package Health insurance
Tons of variety! We took all the heinous tasks no other employee would do and
rolled them into one job
Top-notch communication skills Telemarketing
Beautiful offices in attractive location Brand new ticky-tacky windowless building where the picture
frames all match the carpeting
Secretary Woman-only job with the responsibilities of management and
wages of a migrant worker
Executive secretary The most powerful position in any company
Dedicated You’re looking at a minimum of 80 hours a week from now until
we force you into early retirement
Salary commensurate We’ll pay you whatever the hell we feel like
Salary negotiable We’ll take the lowest bidder
Competitive salary We’ll pay you up to 10 percent more than your last job, and not
one penny more
Competitive starting salary Ten cents above minimum wage
Pleasant atmosphere A staff of pod people
Professional atmosphere Zombie pod people
Fun, creative atmosphere Pod people from hell
Dynamic atmosphere Zombie pod people from hell
Gal Friday Anyone who actually applies for this job deserves it
Self-starter Open to very broad interpretation since no one really knows
what this means

From Lumpen (April 1995).
Subscriptions: $30/yr. (12 issues) from 2558 W. Armitage Av.,
Chicago, IL 60647.

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