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18 July 2017

“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?

By Ed Jefferson

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.

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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