See the Ad for the Worst Internship Ever

See the Ad for the Worst Internship Ever

By Alden Wicker

NEW YORK (Learnvest) — Desperately seeking an internship? We have what you’re looking for, and it’s right in the city of Love, Actually.

Here’s a choice quote from the job listing:

“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.”

OK, there’s nothing lovely about this job. In fact, getting paid nothing to grab coffee seems like internship gold compared with the position, which was posted Tuesday by the Dalkey Archive Press in its London office.

It looks as though Dalkey is trying to staff an entire office for free right now. (We’re not kidding, everyone from the office manager to the publicist will be unpaid interns.) So the upside is that at some point, far in the future, this might get turned into a permanent position and you’ll get paid for your work. Or you might be fired first. Yeah, probably the latter.

Think we’re exaggerating? Nope. Just check out the requirements:

  • Desperate measures: You must be so determined (aka desperate) to have a career in publishing happen that you want to “sacrifice to make that career happen” and will do “whatever is required of them to make the Press succeed.”
  • No social life for you: You cannot have any other obligations. “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.)”
  • Crazy hours: You must be available during nights and weekends.
  • Internet addiction: You will be fired for not responding to emails promptly.
  • High expectations: If you fail to meet any goals you are given, or give “unsolicited advice about how to run things,” you’ll be fired.
  • No fun allowed: You’re not allowed to gossip or surf the Internet at work.
  • The Devil Reads Dalkey Books: You must be fluent in ESP, since you are required to know what the publisher wants before he tells you.

The Irish Times followed up with the man behind the posting, the American director of Dalley Archive Press, who claims it was meant as typical Irish satire, a sort of Modest Proposal. But yes, he still wants, ahem, dedicated applicants. We guess he didn’t get the memo that treating employees well can actually improve profits.