A theatre in Vauxhall has caused a furore with an advert for a low-paid office administrator job that’s phrased as an extraordinary rant against millennials.
The description for a full-time post at the Tea House Theatre (since taken down by Arts Council England for breaching its content guidelines), which pays £15k-£20k a year full time, opens with the words ‘Dear Millennials’ before apparently lambasting an entire generation for not knowing the value of money.
‘Are you just 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?’
Only then does it actually describe the job, declaring they need ‘a grafter, who can commit. The absolute dogs [sic] in office skills’. It also bizarrely observes that ‘one old lady used to run the whole of Mountview Academy with an IBM computer, it shouldn’t be this hard’.
Reaction, it’s fair to say, has not been overwhelmingly positive.
What is apparent is that the people posting the ad – who identify themselves as the theatre’s directors HG Iggulden and IF Rushton – have been hurt before. They declare that this is the third time they have put up this advert in as many months. In fact, it’s quite different to the original incarnation of the advert that was posted at the start of this year, an altogether more chipper affair couched in the sort of aspirational talk habitually used to cushion the grim reality of pay in the arts industry.
Attention was drawn to the original ad by one Miranda Debenham, who alleges that she was interviewed for the role the first time around and found it a trying experience.
In a further thickening of the plot, there’s been some suggestion from an unverified Twitter source that the last person hired for the job departed under a cloud after a row about money.
We’ve contacted the Tea House Theatre for a response: perhaps it’s a joke that’s been misunderstood and backfired spectacularly; maybe it’s commendably honest about the shittiness of the industry and the horror of working graduate jobs in central London; whatever, it seems remarkable to expect it to actually encourage people to apply, though I could wrong – would YOU be up for it?