Thursday, January 15, 2009

I Have Anger Issues

While perusing the help wanted section of Craigslist, in what has become a daily and fruitless search for gainful employment, I came across an ad for a bartender/bar manager position that made me hopelessly, illogically angry. It was for a job in a place in Brooklyn called the Galapagos Art Space that refers to itself alternately as a "cultural venue" and an "arts facility". Rather than try to describe it, I'll just reprint the post:

Galapagos Art Space is rapidly expanding, and – unlike other cultural venues in our city – unaffected by the funding severe crisis in the arts. Why? We don’t seek grants or public monies of any kind and succeed only by the strength of our programming, our ideas and our excellent, efficient, responsible service. You will work in an extremely active venue full of ideas and execution. You own extraordinary, and we mean extraordinary organizational skills.

You’ve done this job before, you’re a bar manager extraordinaire – you have a minimum of five years experience being one. You ‘get’ infrastructure and can create it independently and with enthusiasm. You know what fast means because you’re a faster bartender than any of our current staff. You’re a comfortable leader, an excellent trainer, you write manuals and get people to follow them, assured that if they do they’re happier and perform better. You know that a good system made once empowers a staff to excel. You know excel, you know the Mac platform, you know the office suite, you’re proficient in using it, and you’re unafraid. You have five years detailed experience doing this job and you’re ready to join a team that depends on you, and you’re ready to offer as your contribution the extensive, detailed lessons and solutions you’ve learned in the past.

Importantly - you love the arts and culture. You consider it a service and a privilege to work in them, as we do.

You'll be depended upon to manage and staff a busy bar with very high standards. You'll be expected to think on your toes and step up to new responsibilities as they come and then template them, manual them, and train them so the solution can be maintained and improved. You're a high energy, happy person who can catch ideas and run with them.

Please only respond if you have the experience we’re looking for. If you’ve been an assistant manager please know that we’re not looking for assistants right now. We are indeed looking for a very experienced manager who has five years experience.

You should have a NYC Dept of Health Food Handlers Permit.

When responding, and yes - this is a test - put in the subject line; your name, the words "bar manager" and the date you're responding on.

Optional task; describe in a few sentences a previous experience where you created and implemented a system to solve a problem, and explain the results.

It's nice if you include a photo in your reply, we'll be gong through a lot of resumes and it's hard to keep track of only words on paper.

Do keep in mind that this is for a job that seems to amount to a head bartender position, although it reads like you will be going in to the Sudan and building schools and digging out aquifers. And what the hell does it mean when I'm supposed to "template, manual and train" my responsibilities? And again, where behind a bar pouring relatively cheap, possibly donated, insufficiently chilled white wine will this be taking place?

To top it all off after insisting that this person have five years experience, be the fastest bartender in the place, know how to use the Office Suite, Excel and a Mac, be in posession of a Health Department Food Permit and have experience as a trainer and be able to write training manuals, they only offer an hourly pay rate and the opportunity to work shifts for (I presume) tips! Oh, and I dearly love the implied insult to the intelligence of the reader by the snarky (and meaningless) "test" line they slip in at the end. ASSHOLES!

I know it was immature, but I couldn't resist responding to the post by email:

Good afternoon.

That was the most pretentious, unrealistic, obnoxious and self-important help wanted posting I have ever read. I feel sorry for whatever bartender or manager is stupid enough to respond to such utter nonsense, and have the misfortune of working with the insufferable ass that composed that job description. Is this a bar manager job or will this person be expected to solve the conflict in Gaza?

Oh, and the pay you offer for the enormous commitment of time and energy you seem to require absolutely blows major donkey dick.

Have a nice day!

Now, this kind of goes against my "Live and Let Live" Gay-A credo, but sometimes you just have to call a foul on the field. And it made me feel a little better for most of the afternoon.

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