How To Translate Passive Aggressive Job Ads
What they say vs. what they really mean
If you’re part of the 3.6% of America looking for a job, I do not envy you. I feel so bad for you that I wish I could bake you all some muffins just to comfort you. Muffins aren’t magic, but they’re something.
I was helping a friend with a job hunt for a project manager job. I have questions. So many questions.
What fresh hell is happening out there in the workforce? Sweet Baby Jesus. Have all job ad writers been trained in passive aggression?
But, I am here to help. I want to let you know that I am fluent in passive aggression. Do not be overwhelmed in your search just because you legitimately want to find a nontoxic environment to work in because you’re not a douchbag.
I took the liberty of translating some actual job ads in order to help you navigate applying for a job in 2019. I’ll apologize now and probably again later.
“Young, vibrant, fastpaced workplace.”
What they mean: Dude. If you are over the age of 35, don’t even think about it. We can’t tell you that you can’t apply or that we won’t hire you, but we won’t hire you. No one needs your workaholic vibe harshing our mellow. I mean, what are you even going to wear on Skinny Jean Friday. That’s every day, by the way.
“These positions are perfect for college grads or those just hungry for the opportunity to prove themselves in a new career.”
What they mean: You are desperate and we can smell it. We are circling the water. Fins up, bitches! We are going to set unrealistically high expectations. Then we’re going to change them so you never meet them. We’re going to fire you right before the end of your 90 day probationary period so we never have to pay you medical insurance.
“You’re keen on turning training and feedback into action and continuous self-improvement- you don’t take rejection personally.”
What they mean: We’re going to level with you. Our CEO is a dick. Our upper management? Dicks. Middle management? Dicks. Everyone here is a dick. We have worked hard to create a toxic environment where we will berate you and tear you down. If you have any feelings, leave them in your car in the parking lot. Cyborgs would be great employees for us. Definitely apply if you’re a cyborg.
“Access to fully stocked kitchens.”
What they mean: You work at the Hotel California. You are never going home. We’re actually considering putting cots in the room next to the ping pong table in case you need to take a nap while working 15 hours in one day. But, hey. We have all the peanut M&Ms you could ever want. You’re welcome.
“If it’s unauthentic and boring you can bet it’s not happening at X company.”
What they mean: We know every single band playing at Coachella. We elongate our vowel sounds. We are absolutely 372% cooler than your last company. Just ask us. If you have visible tattoos, that is totally cool with us. Unless they suck and lack irony. If they do, you can’t sit with us at lunch. On Wednesdays, we wear pink.
“We are looking for upbeat, positive people who are money-motivated and want a fun, competitive work environment.”
What they mean: Tell me, exactly how much shit are you willing to eat with a smile on your face? Because Jeff? Jeff eats a lots. Jeff also lives in a two bedroom apartment with three other guys. He’s wants to make a Benz out of his Datsun. He’s got hustle. He brings the clients. He’ll act like your buddy and even buy you a beer after work. But, get in his way and he will shank you in the men’s room like it’s a prison yard.
“If you are not AFRAID of hard work and want to make $200k or more next 12 months with NO previous experience, we are the company for you.”
What they mean: We’re going to tell you that you can make a boat load of money. It’s possible. You just have to hand over our soul to us. No, really. Some seriously sketchy shit is about to go down.
Look, folks. I am so sorry. Looking for a job these days seems a lot like walking through a fun house. Distorting the appearance of the clowns isn’t helping. Don’t kill the messenger here. Remember, I bake muffins.