Because we here at Pharyngula care deeply about you our readers and commenters, and because we like to share possible rewarding opportunities for professional advancement when we find them, I submit this really rather enticing notice of available positions with the London office of Dalkey Archive Press.
What is Dalkey Archive Press, with additional offices in Dublin and Champaign Banana, Illinois? According to founder John O’Brien, it’s a subversive organization that publishes books:
Several years ago someone in an interview tried to get from me a one-word description for the kinds of books we publish… I finally said that the correct word was “subversive,” which is still the word I would use, though I know it’s rather useless in terms of trying to pigeonhole what it is we publish. My point was that the books, in some way or another, upset the apple cart, that they work against what is expected, that they in some way challenge received notions, whether those are literary, social or political.
And as you might expect, the jobs Dalkey Archive has available are also quite subversive in character. For instance, the Archive seems to intend to subvert the notion of wage slavery:
The pool of candidates for positions will be primarily derived from unpaid interns in the first phase of this process, although one or two people may be appointed with short-term paid contracts.
If an applicant is lucky enough to land one of these positions, they can expect to be challenged by deliberate subversion of any hewing to the patriarchal family model or bourgeois personal success fantasies:
The Press is looking for promising candidates with an appropriate background who… do not have any other commitments (personal or professional) that will interfere with their work at the Press (family obligations, writing, involvement with other organizations, degrees to be finished, holidays to be taken, weddings to attend in Rio, etc.)
Aw, hell. When you come right down to it, the whole notion of individuality is really a decadent petit-bourgeois fetish. Same with the dignity of labor. We’d better subvert those too:
Any of the following will be grounds for immediate dismissal during the probationary period: coming in late or leaving early without prior permission; being unavailable at night or on the weekends; failing to meet any goals; giving unsolicited advice about how to run things; taking personal phone calls during work hours; gossiping; misusing company property, including surfing the internet while at work; submission of poorly written materials; creating an atmosphere of complaint or argument; failing to respond to emails in a timely way; not showing an interest in other aspects of publishing beyond editorial; making repeated mistakes; violating company policies. DO NOT APPLY if you have a work history containing any of the above.
Bold emphasis added.
Oh, and speaking of delights that surpasseth understanding, here’s the first “job” listed:
Personal Assistant to the Publisher, part of which will be to learn how to raise funds for the Press, travel with the Publisher to other countries when necessary, meet all key authors the Press publishes, learn the history of the Press and its culture, work closely with all of those the Publisher must work with, be a liaison between the Publisher and other staff, know what the Publisher needs or wants before he does; in brief, do whatever the publisher needs done so that he can concentrate on major projects that this person will also be involved in; this is best suited for a younger person who wants to learn publishing directly from a founder
To be honest, as good as all the above sounds, I’ve worked in a different end of publishing for 20 years or so, and based on that experience there are a few other avenues to success in the publishing world that I suspect might be more pleasant and effective. Diving into a tank of electric eels, for instance, or gouging your eyes out with a garden trowel. Your mileage may vary.
Sadly, my work history contains three decades of providing my employers with unsolicited advice regarding how I think they should run things. Between that and my resolution not to seek employment with pathologically shit-headed, psychologically abusive tinpot office dictators with delusions of relevance, I suspect I don’t meet the Dalkey Archive’s HR standards.
Still, I think I may apply. I do have some excellent references that might make up for my admitted deficiencies. For instance, here’s a character reference from John Scalzi: