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A new life awaits you in the off-world colonies^W^W^W Dalkey Archive Press

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:

 

Comments

  1. carbonbasedlifeform says

    So if you are not willing to give yourself, body and soul, to Dalkey for no pay; if you are prepared to take any and all shit they dish out without complaint; if you are prepared to keep your mouth shut even when they are obviously fucking up by the numbers; they might be prepared to consider you.

  2. says

    So if you are willing to give yourself, body and soul, to Dalkey for no pay; if you are prepared to take any and all shit they dish out without complaint; if you are prepared to keep your mouth shut even when they are obviously fucking up by the numbers;

    THEN YOU’LL BE A MAN, MY SON.

  3. texasaggie says

    Why do I get the idea that the advertisement was done tongue in cheek with a liberal coat of sarcasm slathered on top?

  4. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    Why would they even think anyone would sign up for this? Of the pool of potential candidates, who is going to be significantly wealthy enough that they can devote their every waking hour to working for this company?

  5. John Morales says

    texasaggie, because you imagine that nobody could possibly be so egoistic as to write that and mean it?

    (Had it been posted on the first day of April, you might have had a point)

  6. says

    “…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.)

    In other words, nobody to contact the proper authorities about your suspicious sudden disappearance or complete loss of will to live, bwahahahah, snort!

  7. says

    I am assured by acquaintances with experience dealing with the publisher in question that this is completely on the level. He really is that big of an abusive egotist.

  8. John Morales says

    PZ, if such a wonder were provided, it would still be subject to the prohibition against such infractions as “taking personal phone calls during work hours; gossiping; misusing company property, including surfing the internet while at work”.

    (And it would likely need to be signed-out and placed in secure storage upon ceasing work for the day)

  9. Rey Fox says

    “I’ll keep it short and sweet. Family, religion, friendship. These
    are the three demons you must slay if you wish to succeed in business.
    When opportunity knocks, you don’t want to be driving to a maternity
    hospital or sitting in some phony-baloney church. Or synagogue.”
    -C. Montgomery Burns

  10. Stevarious, Public Health Problem says

    “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”

    Damn that sentence is creepy.

  11. John Morales says

    Stevarious, the job description is for a factotum.

    (Very old fashioned, and implies more than “personal assistant”)

  12. says

    Gosh, sounds like my first “job” in publishing. Luckily, I figured out that it was complete crap after a month when the reality of being somebody’s buttmonkey for exactly zero dollars hit me. My time was better spent blogging. I could actually make a little bit of cash doing that.

    Sadly, there are enough desperate people that publishers like this almost always have a steady supply of free labor.

  13. zeepaul says

    I saw Dalkey in the title of the post and wondered to myself how the heck my local village had come to the attention of the folks at FTB. My first thought after reading the ad was that it was a spoof. I don’t think this publishing outfit will get many applicants who possess ‘multi-dimensional skills’, are willing to start off on a low-level salary and then be at someone’s beck and call.

  14. nms says

    Dalkey Archive Press is really failing to challenge my received notions about the publishing industry, or indeed anything else.

  15. Stevarious, Public Health Problem says

    Stevarious, the job description is for a factotum.

    (Very old fashioned, and implies more than “personal assistant”)

    What he seems to want is his own Pepper Potts. Except Pepper Potts undoubtedly pulled in at least six figures for her steadfast devotion and patience. This turd wants her for free, and seems even more egotistical than Tony Stark on his worst day.

  16. Rodney Nelson says

    O’Brien sounds like a real gem of a boss. I wonder how often he gets told to fuck himself.

  17. Outrage Zombie says

    I know I can’t be the first to point this out, but just how in the hell are you supposed to be able to work for these guys and have no other jobs or obligations when they ain’t payin ya?!?

  18. echidna says

    uk law
    This arrangement is clearly illegal. Performing work for no pay is only legal under certain circumstances; this is not one of them.

  19. nohellbelowus says

    …work closely with all of those the Publisher must work with…

    A clause that ends with a preposition? I would never work for a publisher who stooped to such practices.

  20. Nepenthe says

    My thoughts reading the job description were, in order, “Wow, they really need a copyeditor” and “I would rather clean out sewers in Kolkata than do this job”.

  21. ckitching says

    How did this part of the “requirements” get passed over:

    Any of the following will be grounds for immediate dismissal during the probationary period: [...] being unavailable at night or on the weekends;

    Maybe the labour market in the U.S. is messed up enough to accept this without a second thought, but frankly, if you expect me to be available for work when I’m not at work, I expect to be paid for the inconvenience. I suppose that’s what happens when you spend decades dismantling labour laws.

  22. carlie says

    know what the Publisher needs or wants before he does;

    So being a psychic is literally required for this position.

  23. carlie says

    but frankly, if you expect me to be available for work when I’m not at work, I expect to be paid for the inconvenience.

    But the person in this position is not being paid while at work, so why would they get paid when they’re not at work either?

    I wonder if wearing a newsboy cap and calling the boss “guv’ner” is also required.

  24. John Morales says

    nohellbelowus:

    A clause that ends with a preposition?

    Yes; so what? It’s in no way ambiguous.

    (Perhaps it’s even… subversive!)

    Of all the things one could fault, this is what you focus upon that upon which you focus?

    <snicker>

  25. nohellbelowus says

    @32:

    Winston Churchill’s response:

    This is a rule up with which I will not put.”

  26. Menyambal --- son of a son of a bachelor says

    If all the job promises is experience, it’s probably going to be a bad experience. I might consider something like this if it were a college-based internship with a good grade at the end, and some lovely connections made, but this guy would probably dump his used butt-monkey with never a reference. And who’d want a reference from this guy or his firm, anyhow?

    The ad reminds me a bit of the mead-brewing plant that advertised for a mead brewer recently. They wanted an experienced mead maker, who could run the business top to bottom, advertise, administrate, supervise … every damned thing. I read the ad and wondered what the owners would be doing, and why they wanted to be in the mead-making business. Well, it turned out they were in the meth business, and their new mead-brewery is up for police auction.

    I’d not touch that Dalkey job with a stick. I hope this post gets everybody else to stay away from it. Thanks for posting, Chris.

  27. John Morales says

    [meta]

    nohellbelowus @33, your appeal to authority (via an apocryphal example, no less!) is less than weak.

    (Your rebuttal ain’t a refutal)

  28. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Troll appeals to authority rather than presenting evidence. Film of pointless incompetence at 11:00.

  29. says

    And who’d want a reference from this guy or his firm, anyhow?

    To be (somewhat) fair, Dalkey is a pretty highly regarded press — or it was, until about five seconds after this insane ad was posted. Though it’s funny in the context of their “subversion” of proper employment practices, the “subversive” bit that’s quoted in the OP (on the charming “Pharyngula cretin” background, which brings back memories) is actually true — there’s really nobody in the increasingly bland publishing world who’s doing what they’re doing, especially their work in publishing young and emerging European writers in translation. Which means it’s doubly sad that they’re apparently surpassing the worst excesses of the mainstream publishing biz.

  30. frog says

    I keep wanting to append things to this ad…you know, the stuff that I imagine he wanted to say but found a crumb of brains to edit out.

    “Applicants must provide their own tools and supplies. Whips must be regulation black or brown. Chains must be regulation iron or steel. You may choose whether the company logo will be a brand or tattoo.”

    If I had any way to place a bet or confirm the answer, I would place a year’s salary (a real salary, with money!) that the first draft had some discussion about how the applicants must be good-looking and physically fit.

  31. microraptor says

    Hmm, I could see working at a job like that…

    But only long enough to embezzle everything they had.

  32. Koshka says

    I also wouldn’t be surprised if they had some restrictive (and probably illegal) clauses in the employment contract that restricts their right to work with a competitor if they quit.

  33. rq says

    I have issues with being available on weekends (which is what jumped out at me first), and always did, even when I wasn’t a family person. How does he expect to hire anyone?
    (Is he available on weekends and doesn’t have any other commitments? From the sound of it, he doesn’t sound like pleasant company; maybe he wants everyone to be as lonely as he is.)

  34. sonofrojblake says

    How does he expect to hire anyone? Easily – people are getting desperate, and he clearly knows it.

    just how in the hell are you supposed to be able to work for these guys and have no other jobs or obligations when they ain’t payin ya?!?

    It’s called “having a rich Mummy and Daddy”. The upper echelons of British society have run that way for centuries. There are plenty of professions in this country (and, I suspect, others) where it’s simply not possible to get a job unless you’ve first worked for at least a year, for no pay whatsoever, in one of the most expensive cities in the world, at a job where your job description could be adequately summed up as “do as you’re told and never complain”. Of course, what you’re told will vary according to who your Daddy is. If your Daddy is Woggo who was Ginger’s fag and never made the first XV, you’ll be treated like dirt (obviously if your Daddy didn’t go to the same school, you won’t ever even get through door, oik). If your Daddy’s name starts with “The Honourable” and he was in the Bullingdon Club, you’ll pass an agreeable year in restaurants before getting the nod for a six figure increment.

    This advert is clearly intended for the latter types, and the author is obviously having a little fun into the bargain winding up the plebs whom he wouldn’t deign to spit on, much less employ – and he’s been very successful, judging by the comments above. It’s a nice little bonus for him that his advert has been noticed by a bunch of colonials who lack the breeding even to realise what lowly scum they are. Chuckling into his brandy glass at every additional outraged post he reads, I’d bet folding money.

  35. Beatrice says

    Yeah, people get desperate enough to apply for all sorts of jobs. Trust me, I know.

    sonofrojblake,

    Your words make sense. I have never seen an advert quite like this one, but I’ve seen shit that made it absolutely obvious the job advert was only for show.

  36. Emrysmyrddin says

    This is quite common in the publishing/media/political (and more I’m sure) fields in the UK despite being technically unlawful. I have no hope in hell of breaking into the industry that I trained for, because, well, I need all those miscellaneous things like food, rent, underwear, the ability to travel to said job…y’know, all the little insignificant things that contribute to helpful job-orientated skills like standing upright and pushing air in and out of my lungs.
    .
    It’s also how the rich kids form connexions that lead to well-paid Old Boy Network jobs later on; they don’t need to find work as soon as they’re out of secondary school, or Uni, and so can take up this modern-day slavery for six months to a year with very little negative effect.

  37. Brain Hertz says

    If your Daddy is Woggo who was Ginger’s fag and never made the first XV…

    I strongly suspect that some of this may require translation…

  38. Beatrice says

    I know, I’m lucky that over here (not UK) we have a thing where employer pays nothing, but we get something little from the unemployment services. And even more lucky that my parents can support me.

    I have often argued that the year long unpaid training is only for people who can afford it instead of a great opportunity for young people just out of uni, as it was lauded by the politicians.

  39. Beatrice says

    If your Daddy is Woggo who was Ginger’s fag and never made the first XV…

    I didn’t understand that sentence, I’m just hoping the “fag” isn’t the gay kind of fag, but the smoking kind of fag.

    If it’s the gay kind, kindly refrain from using it again, as it’s derogatory.

  40. chigau (test) says

    Beatrice #50
    I will defer to the soon to comment Brits who will define it better than I can but it is neither smokes or gay.
    (something about boarding school)

  41. Beatrice says

    chigau,

    Ah, thank you.
    Found it now that I’ve refined the search.

    fag 1 (fg)
    n.
    1.
    a. A student at a British public school who is required to perform menial tasks for a student in a higher class.
    b. A drudge.
    2. Chiefly British Fatiguing or tedious work; drudgery.
    v. fagged, fag·ging, fags
    v.intr.
    1. To work to exhaustion; toil.
    2. To function as the servant of another student in a British public school.

    (source)

  42. says

    The press in question is an American non-profit business. They’re expanding a London office, but I suspect that analyzing this one person’s assholery in the context of Oxbridge mores is not precisely right.

  43. Emrysmyrddin says

    ‘Woggo’ will be a nickname. In private school everyone has a nickname, whether they like it or not. ‘Fagging’ is the ancient term for ‘having a slave in a younger year'; the boy who polishes your shoes, stokes the fire in your study, toasts your, er, toast. Roald Dahl notes in his bio that his chief fagging duty was to warm the toilet seat for his master before the other boy used it, below-freezing temperatures being considered a bracing way to bring up children. ‘Making the XV’ is a rugger term: you’ll have to ask Louis about that, I went to a comprehensive, not a private.

  44. Emrysmyrddin says

    Possibly related to the phrase “I’m fagged out!”, lit., “I’m bloody knackered,” or “My exhaustion after that consumingly labour-intensive task is extreme in the least.” Fun things, words.

  45. Emrysmyrddin says

    chigau = ‘Chiggers’
    Beatrice = ‘Beezy’
    Chris Clarke = ‘Clarko’

    Upper-class twittage mocking can be fun :D

  46. sonofrojblake says

    If your Daddy is Woggo who was Ginger’s fag and never made the first XV…

    I didn’t understand that sentence, I’m just hoping the “fag” isn’t the gay kind of fag

    Funny you should jump on that word, which has no politically-incorrect connotation at all, this being the English as spoken by the, y’know, English, rather than colonial bastardisation (with an s, fuck you autocorrect) that seems to think fannies are round the back and the pavement is the middle of the road), but didn’t jerk your knee at “Woggo”, which would be a nickname one might acquire if one’s father was, or was suspected to be, of foreign origin, i.e. a wog. Which would be another reason you’d have a miserable time, of course. Charming people, the posh.

    (Note: please read the above paragraph and indeed my previous post in a tone of viscously (and I do mean viscously not viciously, although you can have that as well for free) dripping contempt for those in question and their apparently inherent racism and wildly hypocritical homophobia).

  47. kangxi says

    Chris Clarke said, somewhere upthread, “I am assured by acquaintances with experience dealing with the publisher in question that this is completely on the level. He really is that big of an abusive egotist.”

    I’m curious. I’ve started to notice the phrase “that big of an” quite a lot recently, especially (or perhaps exclusively) by Americans. When did that superfluous “of” creep into American English usage? I would myself only attach it to “that much”, and seldom if ever to “that [any other adjective]“. “It was that warm of a day”? Nah, doesn’t sound right. There may be others followed by an “of” but I can’t think of any right now. I’m not saying it’s wrong, just that it would seem odd to other English speaking countries.

    Regards,
    Kangxi (hoping not to derail an entertaining thread too much)

  48. Beatrice says

    I will make sure to jerk my knee at “Woggo” next time too, now that I know it’s racist. Unfortunately, I don’t know every insult in English, it not being my first language.

  49. Emrysmyrddin says

    It’s the public-school students who are most likely to benefit from these unpaid work schemes, as I said above – there was reportage recently that the gap in the professions between those who came from Oxbridge and other Fine Institutions, and those who went to less salubrious establishments, i.e., everywhere else, is as wide as ever. Politics, journalism and law were the biggest (and most obvious) differences. I’ll have to see if I can find an article. Hell, our current Education Secretary is nicknamed ‘Oiky’ Gove amongst his cabinet colleagues for committing the cardinal sin of Not Going To Eton.

    Ah, it was the Sutton Trust that produced the ‘percentages’ release.

  50. bradleybetts says

    “I prefer to work with publishers that have mastered the period, by which I mean the dot at the end of the sentence, not the menses nor the era.”

    Seriously, you guys need to start callig it a full stop. It’s a lot less confusing.

  51. says

    What is Dalkey Archive Press, with additional offices in Dublin and Champaign Banana, Illinois?

    Are we sure this is not a hoax? Apart from the surreal ad, there is no place called Champaign Banana in Illinois. (There is Champaign, IL, which has a Banana republic store in a shopping centre)

  52. Louis says

    Sorry but this advert is weak sauce compared to what my old PhD supervisor required of us, lo those many years ago.

    But then of course, we had it rough…

    ;-)

    Louis

    P.S. Emrysmyrddin, you, or anyone, can ask me about fagging, public school and rugby if you wish. But I went to both a public school and a comp. I did the comparison test. Here’s my one sentence breakdown: Public school: great facilities, amazing education, mostly arseholes; state school, less great facilities, fewer great facilities, reasonable education, some arseholes mostly decent folks who I’m still friends with 20 years later. YMMV.

  53. eveningperson says

    I suspect it’s a Poe.

    But would anyone be advised to work for someone so unconfident of success that he can’t raise seed funding adequate to pay well-qualified people for any of the positions his business?

  54. carlie says

    Apart from the surreal ad, there is no place called Champaign Banana in Illinois.

    The area is usually called jointly with another close city, Urbana, as Champaign-Urbana. I assumed it was a joke on the name.

  55. madtom1999 says

    Chris #53. Kinda says it all – a non-profit business with its HQ in London. Most expensive place in the UK. They obviously cant afford salaries for the workers because the ‘management’ want to be able to pop out for double-ginger espresso’s and subsidised opera.
    We’ve just been told in the UK that most of our ‘charities’ are going to fold because they cant afford to keep running. Keep running London HQ’s and CEO’s on massive salaries. A lot of charities here spend less than 5% of their income on charitable work.
    Having said that I’ve worked for several ‘real’ companies who spend more on office space than salaries so they can pop out for 3 hour lunches somewhere posh.

  56. Emrysmyrddin says

    My Right Honourable Friend Louis, thanks – I was mainly after your oft-touted rugby expertise with regard to defining the aforementioned XV ;)

  57. robinjohnson says

    Gosh, I wouldn’t want anyone to ruin life at their offices by creating an atmosphere of complaint or argument!

  58. says

    carlie, maybe that wasn’t a joke but was instead a manifestation of the auto-correct? In which case Dalkey really needs an editor.

    adamcolley,

    Founded in 1984.

    Figures.

    Superb economy of snark.

  59. says

    If L. Ron Hubbard and Rev. Moon weren’t both dead, I would surmise that one of them was looking for a personal assistant. Capitalizing “publisher” is what would have been giving away the cult leader.

    But it’s not one of them. A newly founded cult, perhaps?

  60. Louis says

    Ah well the first fifteen (1st XV) is a special subset of the school combined of people called Duggy, Meat, Tombo, Chuggers, The Beast, Girlshair, Buster Gonad (there’s always one), Mudfucker, and sundry names.

    To get into the 1st XV there are a variety of means a boy at a British Public School can employ. Here is a small selection.

    1) Be very good at rugby. Nice if you can do it, but by no means essential unless you are playing for a school with a very impressive rugby history and a couple of ex pupils who are international captains and the like.

    2) Be good friends with the Rugby Master. “Good friends” can mean anything from being the star pupil in their other classes, to someone who helps out with their car repairs, or even to someone who the Rugby Master runs away with in the middle of the Michaelmas term and there’s a cover up so it doesn’t make the tabloids. WHICH NEVER HAPPENED ALL RIGHT? The Headmaster made that very clear at that special assembly. Which also never happened.

    3) Be good friends with the Captain/a senior player. See above.

    4) Being very, very thick and generally impervious to pain. This is particularly helpful if, when playing for the Juniors or Colts, you went through puberty 2 years before everyone else and are now a 17/18 year old with a full beard and beer gut, and somewhere in the region of 2+ metres tall. I played alongside one of these guys, it’s frightening. What they lack in talent, they make up for in sheer brutality. Every team should have one!

    Now I was lucky enough to go to a school with a strong rugby tradition, so most people followed option 1). And let’s be clear no one followed option 2). Absolutely no one. That’s right out. It didn’t happen.

    Louis

  61. Marcus Hill (mysterious and nefarious) says

    As another former player for a public school first XV, I should probably point out that many of the aspects of the sector being rightly mocked are endemic to the top end boarding schools, rather than the more numerous day schools.

    In a similar vein, a plebian might show their true colours by assuming talk of the 1st XI was referring to the school’s football* team, where any person of quality would immediately realise that the only 1st XI worth talking about is the cricket team.

    * For our colonial readers, “football” is a game mostly played by kicking a round ball with one’s feet, and whilst it is, in my opinion, insufferably dull, it’s the single most popular spectator sport in the world.

  62. anubisprime says

    I am rather more concerned with the ‘type’ (sic) of literary masterpieces he feels are ‘subversive’ enough to qualify for his indulgence?

    Sounds like screeds aimed at the brain dead or Icke brigade that sneers profusely at grammar and mentions the Illuminati among claims of intolerance and repression by the great and the good that proves the devil stalks the cloisters of the Vatican or some such dross!

    I can quite accept the explanation offered by sonofrojblake @ 45.

    I had the gross misfortune to meet a younger son five of a 3rd Earl…i.e not a chance in hades of ever getting grubby little mits on the estate bank account!
    Only the older son in line gets a title, but I am no heraldic scholar, the (the dude) did say he was not titled but details he did not mention!

    It was at a summer school for Open University and it was a physics module.
    I got paired with him to design and set up an experiment based on the classic in light diffraction…standard fare but it had to be all written down with the relevant analysis and diffraction equations in full….woopie doo!

    During the experimental set up all he did was moan about being bored and how his student accommodation was not to his liking.

    I was struggling with a young family, no job, paying for the course myself and lived in mainland Europe so it was a great financial sacrifice and required no little arrangement to my family to actually get my butt to summer school, I had to make it count.
    And I had this muppet to carry, cos of course I did all the set up and observation and recording and he just photo copied my notes and results to write it up in his own hand, disappeared for a couple of days, apparently cos it was boring!

    Turns out his family had no idea what to do with him!
    So they would seem they paid to keep him engaged and out from under their feet!
    He had a gold card, and a SL Mercedes and all was just boring and pedestrian and unfair.

    He had apparently spent a few weeks at cloisters as a ski instructor, but got bored…
    They had paid to get him a intern-ship at the recording studios at De La Rey’s in South Africa cape province, I think he said, which apparently lasted three months, he got bored!

    Well you get the jist I am sure!

    This was their latest desperation to get him out of the house during the summer, maybe a part time degree would motivate him, he mentioned something about daddy holding hunting dinner parties during the early season which bored him so it suited his mood!

    I could quite imagine he would have ended up in one of these advertised positions, probably in politics.
    Just running errands and waiting out ya time with a tick on the CV at the end!

    What was incongruous was what he was doing at the OU…?
    I mean he was not really the archetypal student, just bored with a life that he could do what he pleased!
    No idea and after that school I never came across him again!
    And I attended another couple in the following years!
    No one had come across him since from the original group…I think he got bored!

    British aristocracy, at its worse I should think!
    Actually I did kind of feel sorry for the dude, but not at the time.
    He was not particularly arrogant or indeed stupid just disengaged from his surroundings!
    Got the feeling he did not have any real hope of a future at the ‘firm’ of family just was superfluous to needs, and in the way or under their feet whatever and although he would never be without, he had no clue what to actually ‘be’ with!

  63. judithsanders says

    If you’re not allowed to make any intellectual contributions to the company, you’re not going to have anything to put on a resume when applying for a real job.
    The only reason I can think of that anyone might want to subject themselves to this is to collect material for a scathing book about the publisher.

  64. carlie says

    83: Oh, so many people archly say they were being Swiftian, when called on the carpet for their writing. The problem is, you can only be Swiftian if you are as good at writing as he is. O’Brien is no Swift.

    Plus, in that piece he says he was being “Serious and not-serious at the same time”. That’s where it doesn’t work; you can’t satirize something if most of your piece is exactly what is actually said by those in that position.

  65. frog says

    @83
    Shorter O’Brien: “It was a joke! You people are so stupid that you couldn’t see that.”

    Suuuurrrre. I totally believe that.

    Someone point that schmuck to Scalzi’s Law. Also, any actual comedians. Let the professionals explain that if you get booed off the stage, it means you need better material, better delivery, or both.

    If he can’t find good interns or staff, it’s because he’s a shitty boss. I object to unpaid internships in general, but I doubly object to them when a person is not an active college student. A college student at least may be getting course credit, or have some sort of grant or scholarship that is helping to fund them.

    But the Big Six of New York have been hiring assistants straight out of college forever, and paying them. It may be barely a living wage, but it is money. If they live frugally and get roommates, they can survive for the year or two it will take to get promoted to a better paying position.

  66. says

    Are we sure this is not a hoax? Apart from the surreal ad, there is no place called Champaign Banana in Illinois.

    You seem nice.

    I suspect it’s a Poe.

    I stand with PZ, who said:

    I heard several announce “He’s a poe” or “he must be a poe”. Dear god, but I’m sick of that stupid word. It’s become a standard response to batty stupidity — lately, it doesn’t matter how ordinary a comment is or who said it or how well verified it is — there’s always someone in the crowd who has to show off how insightful or cynical they are by declaring that it must be a pretense.

    Declaring something to be a “poe” is a minimizing tactic; it’s a way to pretend that a real problem doesn’t exist. Are you really going to try to delude yourself and others into thinking that the Tea Party, Fox News, and the whole goddamned Repuclican party are an act put on by snarky liberals?

    I’m hereby declaring the term “poe” to be anathema here. Don’t use it anymore. We don’t need denial, we need a confrontation with an ugly reality. I’ll probably start leaving rude remarks when I spot people throwing the term around in the comments from now on.

  67. jacksprocket says

    Just what would Flann O’Brien, author of The Dalkey Archive which this turnip has named his vanity publishing scam after, have thought of this? A pioneering writer- he wrote a psotmodern (stet) novel thirrty years before the word was invented, and made it funny and fun to read- he spent much of his waking hours in Dublin’s pubs (even before 1953 when he was supposed to be a civil servant) drinking whiskey. This didn’t stop him writing several of the best novels (in both English and Irish) that ever came from that talented land, and running a newspaper column for over forty years that layed his humorous shillelagh into the manifest hypocrisies of Irish respectability. Indeed, it was his satire on his civil service boss of the time that got him sacked.

    Like Jorge Luis Borges with a sense of humour.

  68. madscientist says

    Huh. It sounds just like the Church of Scientology. Come to think of it – make that any church – if you’re not the one wearing the funny hat, you’re not the one raking in the money.

  69. David Marjanović says

    How refreshingly honest it all is.

    A clause that ends with a preposition? I would never work for a publisher who stooped to such practices.

    Dude, English clauses have ended with prepositions since before Shakespeare. Language Log has been cited; search it for “hot Dryden-on-Jonson action”.

    WHICH NEVER HAPPENED ALL RIGHT? The Headmaster made that very clear at that special assembly. Which also never happened.

    Win.