Photo: Getty
Show Hide image

“The absolute dogs in office skills”: why aren't millennials queuing up for this amazing job?

Did no one teach you that the end of your studies is the beginning of your education?

The millenials (sic) have been at it again. The most disappointing generation in history has gone too far this time – not only do they dare complain about spending half their salary on paying someone else’s mortgage, having to pay for the education their elders got for free, or about the threat of incineration in the climate-changed hell world of tomorrow: now their ruddy ENTITLEMENT is getting in the way of the dreams of local theatre entrepreneurs.

According to a job advert (since pulled), Tea House Theatre, a small arts venue in a former strip club in south London, has spent three months generously offering millenials (sic) the chance to become an Office Administrator, and yet, mysteriously, they’ve not managed to fill the role. Instead of knuckling down for some serious filing, millenials (sic) are playing on their Nintendo Game Boys, saying “cowabunga”, doing sick tricks on their skateboards etc, and the Tea House Theatre is sick of it.

“Are you not taught anything about existing in the real world, where every penny counts. Did no one teach you that the end of your studies is the beginning of your education?” reads an actual real advert that someone typed into their computer while thinking “this is a good idea”, before going on to describe the huge amount of hard work they want you to do for as little as £15,000, in London, in the year two-thousand-and-seventeen.

“The absolute dogs in office skills, the ability to run a paper filing system as well as a computerised one, the ability to complete and keep track of a huge to-do list, to make our office work, create and develop business management systems that help the business to grow, giving space for more creative work to go ahead.” Is that all? You should be paying them!

Self-reflection is a tough business, but maybe, just maybe if every single millennial candidate you’ve seen during a three-month hiring process has disappointed you, maybe the problem isn’t with them. Maybe you’ve set yourself unrealistic expectations about how much office-based “bang” your limited salary-based “buck” is going to attract. Or maybe you can’t get anyone to work for you because you are an absolute nightmare who couldn’t even stop yourself flipping out when typing a job advert.

It would be unfair to speculate which of these is true, but one Twitter user claimed that when they replied to a less “excitable” version of the ad, the interviewer for the position “was eating breakfast”, “emphasised that he would shout at me a lot”, referred to her as a “diversity hire”, and wanted candidates to complete two to three days of unpaid trial work. Still, probably just one of those vile online trolls we read so much about these days.

Artsjobs.org.uk, which hosted the ad, has since removed it – hilariously, by “generously” targeting millennials with this “appealing” opportunity, the venue actually breached a rule about advertising to specific age groups. After all, they could have just hired “one old lady” with an “IBM computer” – like the one who used to run a drama school single-handedly, according to a definitely relevant and not exaggerated anecdote that’s in the middle of a job advert for some reason? They used to send children up chimneys, you know, aren’t policeman getting younger, bring back National Service.

Ideally, this whole thing will turn out to have been viral marketing for a bold new show about intergenerational relations, but on the off-chance that it is real...

Dear the Tea House Theatre,

As a professional millenial who sometimes works in the arts industry, I am sad to report that I *was* only ever taught to exist in the cyber world, where we don’t have pennies, because of bitcoins and such. I *didn’t* know that the end of my studies was the beginning of my education: I guess I was too busy catching Pokemons :(. Please can I have a job so I can pay for more apps?

Not sure about creating and developing business management systems, but I can do two fidget spinners at once. Also I didn’t even need the funny paperclip to help me type this letter and my mum says I am so good at the internet. (What’s an “IBM” computer LOL?)

Looking forward to impressing you.

Cowabunga,

EH Jefferson

Professional Millenial

Getty
Show Hide image

Our union backed Brexit, but that doesn't mean scrapping freedom of movement

We can only improve the lives of our members, like those planning stike action at McDonalds, through solidarity.

The campaign to defend and extend free movement – highlighted by the launch of the Labour Campaign for Free Movement this month – is being seen in some circles as a back door strategy to re-run the EU referendum. If that was truly the case, then I don't think Unions like mine (the BFAWU) would be involved, especially as we campaigned to leave the EU ourselves.

In stark contrast to the rhetoric used by many sections of the Leave campaign, our argument wasn’t driven by fear and paranoia about migrant workers. A good number of the BFAWU’s membership is made up of workers not just from the EU, but from all corners of the world. They make a positive contribution to the industry that we represent. These people make a far larger and important contribution to our society and our communities than the wealthy Brexiteers, who sought to do nothing other than de-humanise them, cheered along by a rabid, right-wing press. 

Those who are calling for end to freedom of movement fail to realise that it’s people, rather than land and borders that makes the world we live in. Division works only in the interest of those that want to hold power, control, influence and wealth. Unfortunately, despite a rich history in terms of where division leads us, a good chunk of the UK population still falls for it. We believe that those who live and work here or in other countries should have their skills recognised and enjoy the same rights as those born in that country, including the democratic right to vote. 

Workers born outside of the UK contribute more than £328 million to the UK economy every day. Our NHS depends on their labour in order to keep it running; the leisure and hospitality industries depend on them in order to function; the food industry (including farming to a degree) is often propped up by their work.

The real architects of our misery and hardship reside in Westminster. It is they who introduced legislation designed to allow bosses to act with impunity and pay poverty wages. The only way we can really improve our lives is not as some would have you believe, by blaming other poor workers from other countries, it is through standing together in solidarity. By organising and combining that we become stronger as our fabulous members are showing through their decision to ballot for strike action in McDonalds.

Our members in McDonalds are both born in the UK and outside the UK, and where the bosses have separated groups of workers by pitting certain nationalities against each other, the workers organised have stood together and fought to win change for all, even organising themed social events to welcome each other in the face of the bosses ‘attempts to create divisions in the workplace.

Our union has held the long term view that we should have a planned economy with an ability to own and control the means of production. Our members saw the EU as a gravy train, working in the interests of wealthy elites and industrial scale tax avoidance. They felt that leaving the EU would give the UK the best opportunity to renationalise our key industries and begin a programme of manufacturing on a scale that would allow us to be self-sufficient and independent while enjoying solid trading relationships with other countries. Obviously, a key component in terms of facilitating this is continued freedom of movement.

Many of our members come from communities that voted to leave the EU. They are a reflection of real life that the movers and shakers in both the Leave and Remain campaigns took for granted. We weren’t surprised by the outcome of the EU referendum; after decades of politicians heaping blame on the EU for everything from the shape of fruit to personal hardship, what else could we possibly expect? However, we cannot allow migrant labour to remain as a political football to give succour to the prejudices of the uninformed. Given the same rights and freedoms as UK citizens, foreign workers have the ability to ensure that the UK actually makes a success of Brexit, one that benefits the many, rather than the few.

Ian Hodon is President of the Bakers and Allied Food Workers Union and founding signatory of the Labour Campaign for Free Movement.