What a field day for the heat
A thousand people in the street
Singing songs and carrying signs
Mostly saying, "hooray for our side"

Friday, May 13, 2011

Long haired, hippy people need not apply

Do you have killer design skills, fresh style, an insatiable hunger for our digital world and boundless creative energy? You belong at (fresh, young sounding company name).

We’re looking for an (Art Director/Designer/Production Artists/Goldfish) who’s looking to take their career to the next level.  With some of the best (meaningless business group metric) companies as clients and a wildly creative and equally fun group of people as coworkers, you’ll have endless opportunities to stretch your wickedly inventive mind. In a single day, wow us with big, bold ideas, crank out killer layouts, add a dash of inspiration from a cool new APP and wrap things up with an intense game of (whatever physical we do to blow off steam, but really, mostly we drink).

Since you’ll be working closely with (meaningless titles that include everyone from the person in the front office to the person who scrubs the toilets, which maybe you, BTW), members of the account team, external vendors and clients to help grow the business and sell through your best work, you must also be able to play well with others. In other words, divas need not apply.

Okay, about the only edits, other than genericizing some of the bits, the only other edit I made was to remove the double spacing after periods. Double spacing? Really? Hey, might want to get a copy of the excellent Robin Williams (not that Robin Williams) book The Mac Is Not a Typewriter. Originally published in 1995. 1995. Sixteen years ago.

One of the things creatives do is obsess over their own communications. You just wouldn't believe the time sink it is for a studio to create a new logo/ID. Seriously. There were articles (also, strangely enough from the mid 90s) that said because it was so traumatic and such a time killer that many studios may want to think about outsourcing those projects to create a workable distance between the principals and the work. We try to be creative, to do the "best work EVAR!" on them.

And then we punt when it comes to writing help wanted ad. Really. I've read this ad a hundred times in the past year and a half. While the words themselves may change order, all of that is in:
Help Wanted
for designers/creatives. Everybody says their position will help "take you to the next level" (yes, we have an internal cultural myth of "leveling up"). Everybody has great, high profile customers (highly unlikely, but you know the Ames Corporation that makes rakes, they're a Fortune 500). Everybody says they have the best staff in the industry EVAR. So let's deconstruct some of the language, shall we?

That first sentence, if you really do have all those things, why aren't you building your own studio? Really.

Killer design skills (I slay my clients… oh, wait, that isn't what you're talking about), insatiable hunger (have you seen my waist line?), and boundless creative energy (hell, I'm a frickin' Tesla Megawatt Coil, I am) and you're going to go in studio? I don't think so. You're pouring all that into your own brick making machine, not selling to another.

"Wildly creative and equally fun group of people as coworkers". You can read that as "overly sexed, highly frustrated, and people who aren't, but wannabe, creatives." It's like "cosy kitchen" means "so small you'll be scratching you ass with the cabinets on one side while you squirm to pour the cereal on the counter on the other side."

"… endless opportunities to stretch your wickedly inventive mind." Until we crush your little soul beneath our five inch heels.

"… wow us with big, bold ideas, crank out killer layouts, add a dash of inspiration from a cool new APP…" basically translates into, "We've got nothing to support you, so you're doing soup to nuts here."

"Work with… members of the account team, external vendors and clients to help grow the business and sell through your best work." See earlier comment on having no support. So, not only are you going to be doing all the creative work (design to production, actually not all that strange these days), you're going to have to handle the billing crap, and do presentations and demos. Yes, you're going to be working your little tail off, and we'll just sit back and attend the chamber lunch meetings while you're prepping for the last minute design job we just told you about to use our cell phone to look important in front of the other chamber members who were doing the same thing to us.

"In other words, divas need not apply." And after we suck every last ounce of creativity out of you, work you 12 hour days, including weekends, undercut your decisions after you've presented them to the client, and kick your body (which now looks like the gelfling after their essence had been drained by the Dark Crystal) to the curb, we don't want to hear you bitch and moan about it.

Really, you can't write better copy than this? We're in "communications", people. Time to start communicating.

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