How was your summer? If your answer was “It sucked,” read on. From my experience with summer employment, I have found that employers tend to sugar-coat job descriptions, leading to unfortunate surprises once summer begins. To avoid another summer sitting in a hot office looking at porn to pass the time between runs to the copy machine, read these job descriptions, and learn how to spot bullshit before you even interview.
Advertised: Looking for an intern with at least a high school level education. Applicants must be hardworking and punctual. The job requires basic technical and computational skills. Interns are expected to know how to operate in an office environment. Opportunities for promotions exist.
Actual: Looking for anyone young enough to be intimidated by middle-aged men and women in suits. Applicants must know how to follow orders quickly and unquestioningly. The job requires the operation of a photocopy machine and a coffee maker, and applicants should know how to deal with a bill after getting lunch for the whole office. Interns are expected to be seen but not heard. Opportunities for promotions will be waved in front of interns’ faces but do not actually exist.
Advertised: Employee needed to deliver pizzas during store operation hours. Applicants should have a legal driver’s license and basic knowledge of local neighborhoods. Lunch will be provided every day. Tips from deliveries will be divided evenly among all staff on duty. Reimbursement for gas will be discussed upon interviewing.
Actual: Employee needed to deliver pizzas and do personal errands before, during, and after work hours. Applicants should know how to operate an automobile. We follow a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy on licenses. Applicants should also be able to navigate through local neighborhoods without treading on rival pizza joints’ turf. We don’t want another “Domino’s Incident.” A smorgasbord of expired ingredients will be provided for lunch every day. Management will keep all tips. Reimbursement for gas will never be discussed.
Advertised: Camp counselor needed for medium-sized group of second grade boys. The job requires bringing the group to scheduled activities on time. Counselors must know how to swim. Applicants must also supervise the group during rest time. Employees will be given lunch and will get one break each day. Counselors must make sure the group is neat and presentable at all times.
Actual: Camp counselor needed for a group of 45 screaming, kicking, flesh-eating seven-year-olds. The job requires making sure that at least 75% of the group makes it to each activity without getting lost, hurt, or sacrificed to the camp mascot by other campers. Counselors must be willing to wade into knee-deep diluted urine for daily swimming lessons. Applicants must also entertain campers during “chaotic unscheduled time” (inquire about “rest time” during interview). Employees will be served leftover sloppy joes for lunch and will be required to take campers to the nurse during breaks. Counselors must be comfortable dealing with all bodily fluids.
Advertised: Research assistant needed for biochemistry lab. The job will require 40-50 hours/week. Work will change from day to day, as assistants will be expected to help researchers with their experiments. No prior experience in chemistry or biology is needed. Please note that if hired, assistants are required to sign a waiver due to hazards that exist in the laboratory environment.
Actual: Applicant will be the subject of never tested, dangerous biochemical experiments.