Living the Scientific Life (Scientist, Interrupted)

This was sent to me by a friend so I rewrote it a little and posted it here because I thought it might be useful to my blog sibling, Afarensis, in particular;

Anyone who has been job-hunting will probably agree that the interpretations for these bullet items (written in bold) that you typically see in job ads are (sadly) accurate;

Competitive Salary: We remain competitive by paying our employees less than our competitors.

Join our Fast-Paced Company: We have no time to train you and you’ll be stuck introducing yourself to your co-workers.

Seeking Enthusiastic, Fun, Hard-Working People: .. who still live with their parents and thus won’t mind our internship-level salaries.

Casual Work Atmosphere: We don’t pay enough so that you can dress up, although a couple of the really daring guys (who live with their mothers so they can afford luxuries) do wear earrings.

Join our Dynamic Team: We all are forced to listen to stupid motivational tapes.

Must be Deadline Oriented: You’ll be six months behind schedule on your very first day.

Some Overtime Required: Some overtime each night and some overtime each weekend.

Duties will Vary: Anyone in the office can, and usually will, boss you around.

Must Have an Eye for Detail: Because we have no quality control.

College Degree Preferred: Unless you wasted those four years studying something useless like philosophy or English, or you’re one of those insufferable know-it-alls who has a PhD in any of the sciences.

No Phone Calls Please: We’ve already filled the job; our call for resumes is just a legal formality.

Seeking Cadidates with a Wide Variety of Experiences: You’ll need it to replace those three people who just left.

Problem-Solving Skills a Must: Because you’re walking into a company that’s in perpetual chaos.

Requires Team Leadership Skills: You’ll have the responsibilities of a manager but without the pay or respect.

Good Communication Skills: Management communicates, you listen, figure out what they really want, and then do it.

Must be Flexible: We’re really good at starting projects, but not at finishing them.

Must be a Self-Starter: We have no idea what we need or want from you; we’re hoping you will be able to tell us.


  1. #1 AnonforThis
    March 19, 2006

    How about this one:

    “Women, minorities, and the disabled are encouraged to apply”: You might get to be the lucky tokener amongst a sea of white men so that our immediate boss doesn’t get a hard time anymore from the higher-ups about hiring policies.

  2. #2 Torris
    March 19, 2006


  3. #3 Torris
    March 19, 2006

    AnonforThis- I should mention I was referring to GrrlScientist’s post when I said hilarious. One situation I’ve seen is that some of the co-workers think the new person was hired as a token (which may in some cases have been true) but the co-workers make the assumption that the person is not competent when they are. This puts quite a burden on the incoming person because they get unusual scrutiny.

  4. #4 Peter Sears
    March 19, 2006

    More like,
    Must be a self starter: You’ll make commission…from cold calls…If you’re lucky.

  5. #5 afarensis
    March 19, 2006

    Hmmm, that all sounds like the company I just got layed off from…

  6. #6 AnonforThis
    March 20, 2006

    Torris, I am a visible minority, so I was actually just being bitter. And it’s happened to me a number of times.. where even though I was fully qualified, I really just got hired to fill a quota and never got taken seriously. So I think you were taking me the wrong way.

  7. #7 Pam
    March 22, 2006

    I’ve also noticed “join a young and vibrant department” which if you investigate seems to be mostly nearing or past retirement, but they sure want *you* to be young!

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