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Pserious Job Pseekers Need Not Apply

A lot of my peers are constantly scouting the job market. They insist that it’s always a good time to be on the look out, whether you want a job or not. Tell us how some of the ads you’ve seen compare to these upsetting finds. They’re absolutely crazy, but do they have an air of truth to them?

Associate Professor of Design - Tenure Track
University of Platt > Platt, NE
The College of Design at the University of Platt-Nebraska invites nominations and applications for the position of Associate Professor of Design for those interested in an isolated environment far away from any real design activity that pays well. Despite the meager design climate in Platt, you will have summers off and thanks to the internet be able to telecommute with clients on either coast that will pay five times what you’d get in our small town for designing church flyers and bumper stickers.

Business Development - Computer Products
Raydiatron Products, LLC > Beijing, PR of China
Assumes responsibility for the efficient and effective systematic operation of Raydiatron’s business development concepts and sales activities evaluation in the consumer products business segment of Beijing. Because of the critical importance of design and product development excellence to the firm’s success, the leadership performance of this position will have a major impact on the company’s performance and reputation in the industry. Do a good job and everything will be peachy. Must have presence, credibility, and be able to effectively engage clients who think they know more than you and probably do.

Cybercamps Counselor
Cartif’s Gigantor Campus of the Rocky Mountains > Boulder, CO
Fluent in Illustrator? Have a knack for using PhotoShop? Able to put up with 7-16 year olds, who will be a general nuisance? Located in residence at the Pine Whiteman School, Cartif’s Gigantor Campus of the Rocky Mountains is a nationally recognized summer digital school and festival. The ideal applicant has experience working with troubled youth and is prepared for handling fights, settling arguments, settling students down, and getting these homicidal head cases to use a mouse as a computer input device instead of a bludgeoning device. Must have first aid certification and high tolerance for pain.

Digital Painter
Ootico* Ltd. > Phoenix, AZ
We complete wire removal and digital masking for some of Hollywood’s top studios. Must have tenacity for sitting in front of a Trinitron for 10-20 hours. Please include your medical history, name of primary care physician, or current insurance carrier’s point of contact with all submitted resumes to info@ootico-asterisk.com. If we discover that you have a bony bum or back problems, your application will be disqualified. Outside of this screening process, applicants must (1) know how to use a mouse (2) withstand loud music played for 8 hours a day (3) know how to ask “Can we change the station, please?” if you hate the music being played, and be able to back it up with action. Artist or artsy types need not apply. We do not discriminate based on acne or super hero allegiances. Bring your portfolio of oddball Net links. Benefits Package: we have a large stock of ephedrine, Hasbro action figures, and Fisher Price board games, but bring your own Xbox controller. Experience: Knowledge of PhotoShop, QuickTime Pro, Final Cut Pro, DVD Authoring Studio, and microwave oven.

Experience / Exhibit Designer
Griffon & Associates > St. Louis, MI
Skills Sought: 3-5 years experience as an exhibit designer that understands the experience of experiencing exhibits with 5+ years experience or exhibition of design. Candidates should illustrate experience in all phases of design experience and demonstrate experience with strong conceptual skills in moving beyond 2D experiences and into the experiential roles of exhibition and experience design. Should have excellent experience communicating complex ideas in a clear and meaningful way without experiencing difficulty. Experience: yes.

Footwear Designer
Axiodis Inc. > Wayne, NJ
Seeking a highly motivated and creative individual to join our dynamic design team. Our company designs and manufactures athletic footwear for men, women, and children under several popular American name brands: Nike, Adidas, Avia, Puma, Converse, Roos, New Balance, Pony, Saucony, and any other hot labels you can copy for us to sell in China.

Graphic Designer - Juvenile Furniture
Plybtzco LLC > Canada, Ontario
Plybtzco Ltd (www. plybtzco-toys.com)—known for the “Farty Party” and “Flying Pigglies” products—is recognized as one of North America’s fastest growing company that doesn’t take itself too seriously. We need help raising our furniture through these awkward years and into adulthood. Proven ability to create a unique image that sells stressed, discomforted, and generally premature chairs / sofas.

Human Resources Agent - Animation Studio
Las Vegas, NV
Responsibilities include: keeping our hourly staff from taking 3 hour lunch breaks while they log 1 into their time cards; instilling creativity with a bowling ball, loaf of bread, and pencil (or other combination of heavy, soft, and sharp objects); discrimination; treating employees who come from a broken home like they come from a home; and creating fresh ideas for casual Fridays when the temperature reaches 120�. Education: Bachelor’s degree preferred, but if you have a good understanding of human beings and are a good listener, we’ll waive the degree requirement. Special consideration given to those with human and resources experience as opposed to only resources experience. Must be proficient with slang words and other jargon used by our staff of males age 17-28 and 33-45 who act like they’re 9-16.

Industrial Designer
Ω Prime, Inc. > Chicago, IL
Industrial Designers needed for long-term contract positions in Chicago and Rockville, IL. Must have 3+ years of experience with wire bundles and modification plus a proven track record of making parts for planes that stay off the ground when flying and on the ground when landed. Remote control enthusiasts need not apply.

New Business Development
Sam Rockwell, LLC > Hackensack, NJ
New business is good and the money earned from it is even better because it goes into your pocket as commission. Prior experience necessary and if you don’t earn your keep in the first month, you’ll lose the company car and have to walk to all sales meetings until you earn us some dough. This job does have a high degree of telephone usage, when you’ll frequently endure “Sorry, I’m not interested,” “No thanks, I’m eating right now,” “Wrong number,” or “Sawy, I na wtspeeko Indglitsch,” without hanging up on leads. Immediate opportunities are available for experienced candidates who know how to get money, give it to us, and chart the results on a convex graph with as little chart junk as possible. PowerPoint expertise a plus. Other responsibilities include losing at golf, tipping big, dressing well, and delivering a solid handshake with agreeable breath.

Project Architect
Boink-ID™ Design > New York, NY
Seasoned CAD guru to lead production of CDs for a NYC exhibit design firm. Experience organizing and coordinating large sets of information delivered at random by the egoists needing it visualized. Must have a familiarity with Modernist and Post-Modernist principles and possess a diverse wardrobe to match each. Experience: visualizing large septic tanks, prisons, and torture devices using autocad. Additional information: new hire will receive our trademark black on black uniform.

Research Associate
Trade Magazine Development, Inc. > Cincinnati, OH
Marginally successful trade magazine seeks a research associate to analyze human page turning methods. This is a temporary position that will provide you with a string of warts, sores, and paper cuts if you do not follow our mandatory rubber glove rule. Exceptional career path and compensation. Non-smokers preferred! We prefer applicants with clean hands that have a proven track record of neither sucking their fingers nor biting their nails. Capability to locate precise information in a lengthy publication. Some will be without page numbers, while others incorporate a 6 to 8pt-numbering system. All eye exams and eyewear prescriptions are included in a hefty benefits package.

Senior Researcher
Trade Magazine Development, Inc. > Cincinnati, OH
Marginally successful trade magazine seeks a Senior Researcher to analyze human page turning methods. Exceptional career path with health and dental plan. Applicants should have turned a minimum of 716, 253 pages in their lifetime. If you fall below that page count, please see our other ad posted here.

Toy Designer
Plybtzco LLC > Canada, Ontario
Plybtzco Ltd (www. plybtzco-toys.com)—known for the “Farty Party” and “Flying Pigglies” products—is recognized as one of North America’s fastest growing company that doesn’t take itself too seriously. We are an innovative and entrepreneurial designer, marketer, and distributor of entertainment and lifestyle products ranked among the top 10 toy companies internationally, although you may not have heard of us. (If you have any new ideas for a name, we’ll humor them.) Required Experience and Skills: 10+ years of playing with yourself or others; hands-on experience with various toys and games; and willingness to travel to Asia as required. Competitive salary and all the free toys you can handle.

Web & Print Design Internship
The Frugal > Jackson, TN
Our name says it all. We have no money and that means you won’t get paid for your hard labor. Still, our quarterly that’s published January, April, July, and October will give you plenty of experience. What we are looking for: ability to work long hours with little sleep through the months of January, April, July, and October; willingness to meet quarterly demands without having a grand mal seizure from sleep deprivation; and your promise not to sue us when carpal tunnel syndrome sets in. We supply wrist braces and ibuprofen. This Internship will give you a notch in your resume, carving the path for a real job when you decide that you’ve given us enough free labor.

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ARCHIVE ID 1858 FILED UNDER Miscellaneous
PUBLISHED ON Mar.05.2004 BY Jason A. Tselentis
JonSel’s comment is:

Many people think they can jump jobs and rapidly increase their salary. That can happen to some extent, but often one will then find themselves in golden handcuffs —�stuck in a job they don't like but unable to find anything else with a salary even remotely comparable. There's something to be said for sticking it out a few years, learning all you can, then parlaying that into salary and greater responsibility.

My fondest recollection of a want ad is one that was in search of Quark users to design newsletters. The ad mentioned that "layout skills are essential." Glad they specified. I almost applied.

On Mar.05.2004 at 07:50 AM
Greg’s comment is:

I remember an ad that was up in the art building on my campus when I was in school a couple years ago, it was looking for "graphics designers" to come up with a logo for some new brand of soy sauce, and submit it to their "competition." The best idea was going to win *gasp* $300 (no, that's not a misprint) and the knowledge that their logo would be on store shelves sometime in the near future.

On Mar.05.2004 at 08:34 AM
Armin’s comment is:

When I first started looking for jobs in the US back in the days I came across an Adult Content Designer classified… not sure that would look great on a resume or how it would look on my Visa when I entered the US but still seemed like a great career-launching opportunity.

On Mar.05.2004 at 08:49 AM
James Craig’s comment is:

The reqs I come across most often today are the absurdly unrealistic ones:

Designer/Developer with 10 years experience in Photoshop, Illustrator, Flash w/ advanced ActionScripting, Quark, Fireworks, AfterEffects, Final Cut Pro, CSS, XHTML, 508, JavaScript, JSP, EJB, XML, XSLT, FO, Oracle, and Apache administration... Salary: 35K negotiable.

What? I you can find that superhero, you need to pay him at least three times that much.

On Mar.05.2004 at 09:50 AM
Darrel’s comment is:

I got my current gig to a completely unrealistic ad posting. I think it required that I build web sites, employ hacker counter-measures, understand .NET development, and be able to 'update files via the FTP'.

Remember these are often written by committee and then completely re-edited by HR drones. ;o)

And, damn...I can't get to the site with the Farty Party furniture.

On Mar.05.2004 at 10:01 AM
Sam’s comment is:

Of related interest: AIGA's 2003 salary survey.

Anyone relate to these numbers? (Bearing in mind the salaries represent only people who reply to such surveys, ie, aren't so demoralized by their bottom line that they can fill out such stuff.)

First seen on a place called MetaFilter.

On Mar.05.2004 at 11:31 AM
Zoelle’s comment is:

How unrealistic are salary surveys?

On Mar.05.2004 at 12:10 PM
Brook’s comment is:

since they are regional, i'd imagine they are pretty realistic

On Mar.05.2004 at 12:14 PM
jesse’s comment is:

I was asked (repeatedly, by mail, even lured by a crisp one dollar bill) to participate in the salary survey this year. I'm not an AIGA member so I was suprised to be chosen. I seriously considered not participating in the survey as I figured my responses would pull down the average. But in the end I did. Looking at the numbers Sam linked to, though, I'm not sure my responses were even included. I sure can't relate to those salaries.

On Mar.05.2004 at 12:20 PM
Zoelle’s comment is:

I was given the title "Graphic Media Designer" just so that I could be paid less than a Graphic Designer. (imo)

On Mar.05.2004 at 12:25 PM
Mark T’s comment is:

While searching for freelance projects recently, a friend suggested I take a look at Craigslist. The posts there look very much like these in terms of unrealistic expectations and insulting fees. One in particular jumped out at me: they were looking for someone to build their e-commerce website for $50. I was shocked and disappointed. Two questions popped into my head. One, do these posters really place so little value on design as a business tool, or are they just unaware of what these things cost in terms of time and skill? And two, are there actually people out there taking these jobs?

A loosely related and possibly apocryphal anecdote regarding the value of experience:

Picasso was in a bar in Paris, when a woman recognized him and asked for a quick portrait scrawled on a cocktail napkin. Five minutes later he handed her the portrait. "How much?" she asked. He replied, "One thousand dollars." The woman was shocked. "One thousand dollars? But it only took you five minutes to do that!" "No, miss," he replied, "that took me my whole life."

Like I said, probably not true, but I love it regardless.

On Mar.05.2004 at 01:12 PM
Armin’s comment is:

> Anyone relate to these numbers?

I do… but that's all I'll say 'bout that I guess — it ain't up to me to disclose my salary.

> And two, are there actually people out there taking these jobs?


On Mar.05.2004 at 01:21 PM
Jason’s comment is:

And two, are there actually people out there taking these jobs?

So, if the answer is Yup then do any of the Pserious Jobs resonate with yours? Or if you had to write your own Pserious Job description, what would it be?

On Mar.05.2004 at 04:43 PM
Armin’s comment is:

> So, if the answer is Yup then do any of the Pserious Jobs resonate with yours?

How do you mean?

On Mar.05.2004 at 05:00 PM
Jason’s comment is:

Here's what I mean. Oftentimes, we overlook the real labor and grunt work and focus on the glamor.

Do any of the pseudo jobs ring close with your own?

When does the dirty work overshadow your glamor work?

And which matters more to you, the job title or the job description?

On Mar.06.2004 at 05:41 PM
Armin’s comment is:

I see,

Do any of the pseudo jobs ring close with your own?

Well, if the job description is serious, as in the type that turn up in AIGA's job board or CA's hotlist they are pretty close to my job description. But of the pseudo jobs no, rarely. They are just too wacked out and place high emphasis on knowing how to use PowerPoint or Word.

When does the dirty work overshadow your glamor work?

I don't know if it necessarily overshadows… but it definitely makes the glamour work more appreciated when it comes.

And which matters more to you, the job title or the job description?

I guess neither (it's all about the work in the end, glamorous or not), but if I had to choose I would go with job description. Job titles are OK though — if they have don't have junior or associate at the beginning.

On Mar.06.2004 at 06:05 PM
Jason’s comment is:

They [the pseudo jobs] are just too wacked out

Sometimes the truth is stranger than fiction.

On Mar.06.2004 at 07:40 PM
Jason’s comment is:

And, damn...I can't get to the site with the Farty Party furniture.

They're still in development, but be on the lookout.

On Mar.07.2004 at 06:32 PM
Roballoo’s comment is:

The problem with Craig's List isn'tt just those looking for workers, but also those looking for work. A recent perusal showed designer types marketing their skills at rediculously low prices. Now some of them had cheap web sites to go along with what they were charging, but others had some pretty spiffy sites showing off some nice work, again at low low prices. How's a fellow to compete?

On Mar.08.2004 at 01:27 PM
Jason’s comment is:

I hear you, Roballoo. I consider you check out this past thread on the high/low nature of design.

Here, the thrust is clearly on absurdity in your tasks, job description versus job title, and grunt work versus glamour work. I'm not at liberty to say what the ratio is between fiction and non-fiction in this post, but what's most interesting to me is how designers often focus on the glamour instead of the scut work. And my god, what about all the little tasks that come up along the way that we never even expected from the job? Like when you have to learn ActionScripting all of a sudden for a new media job. We evolve and learn along the way, oftentimes without adequate compensation.

I've been told to never take a job unless it will make me happy. Sure, you've got to have a balance between good and bad, but how do we know if a job will make us happy unless we've already worked a day, or even a week? Don't you need experience to know if the experience will suit you?

On Mar.08.2004 at 05:27 PM
bryony’s comment is:

this guy may have nothing to do with design, and he was asking for a job instead of offering (courtesy of CNN):

Pole uses unique job-hunt technique

On Mar.11.2004 at 04:22 PM
Armin’s comment is:

I assume billboard rates are lower in Poland than in the US — I mean, if an unemployed guy can afford it…

On Mar.11.2004 at 04:47 PM
jesse’s comment is:

I was just kicking around the idea of taking out a full-page newspaper ad myself.

Maybe I can get my aunt to pay for it ....

On Mar.11.2004 at 05:31 PM
bryony’s comment is:

What does it mean when you read in a resume:

Skilled at high-end typography...

On Sep.15.2004 at 09:04 AM
Armin’s comment is:

I would take it as at least meaning: I don't stretch type horizontally.

On Sep.15.2004 at 09:05 AM
Jason T’s comment is:

...and I know type families outside those supplied for Microsoft Office.

On Sep.15.2004 at 09:47 AM
Gunnar Swanson’s comment is:

What does it mean when you read in a resume:

Skilled at high-end typography...

Impeccable ascenders. No skills guaranteed for descender use.

On Sep.15.2004 at 12:53 PM
Armin’s comment is:

Guaranteed x-height consistency on all lowercase characters. Uppercase characters are $15.00 extra per hour.

On Sep.15.2004 at 02:30 PM
Nary’s comment is:

HAHAH HAA! you guys crack me up. :)

On Sep.15.2004 at 06:39 PM
Bryony’s comment is:

OK. I can see what kind of stuff this guy is capable of. Yeah. Should I bring him in for an enterview? it sound as if this is something rather unusual and that few posses...

any other information before I take the next step?

On Sep.15.2004 at 08:18 PM
pk’s comment is:

incidentally, this popped up on chicago craigslist the other day. someone's in a bad mood.

On Oct.24.2004 at 06:38 PM
Armin’s comment is:

"A solid understanding of all design principals"

All design principals? Do they require we know them alphabetically, by state, by years in business? I mean, if they need "solid" understanding…

On Oct.24.2004 at 09:47 PM