UPDATE: “Bonus Points for Foam Art”: The Exploitation of the Work Force In One Craigslist Job Posting

"Bonus Points for Foam Art": The Exploitation of the Workforce In One Craigslist Job Posting

As if we weren’t already depressed enough about the state of, well, everything (“hipsters on leashes?” really?), we just came across (h/t @geometricsleep) a Craigslist job posting for a position at media company Flavorpill that has us lamenting the exploitation of the work force and the state of new media companies as well as, like, everything. Flavorpill is looking to hire a part-time “office apprentice/barista” who would do everything from making lattes to “troubleshoot technical issues with support of our IT department” to “coordinate and book occasional travel/healthy meals for Flavorpill Executives” to “maintain sustainability practices within the office: recycling, compost.” Just to clarify that last thing for you? Flavorpill wants someone to take out the trash. 

But beyond the absurd fact that this “apprentice/barista” will be responsible for about 20 different office tasks, what is really most disgusting about this job offer is the proposed salary: $8/hour. That’s right, Flavorpill wants someone to be a travel agent/sanitation worker/tech support/barista (“bonus points for foam art”) all while making minimum wage! We’re trying to think of something more despicable and more emblematic of the exploitation of the work force (particularly in the media world) and, well, we can’t! Sure, worldwide there are bigger problems than grossly underpaying the young and eager to be employed, but minimizing the disgusting hiring practices that this job listing exemplifies does a huge disservice to the much larger problem of overeducated, underpaid (and underemployed) young people in this country. And this job listing also indicates yet another problem in the media world, namely, that most people who can afford to work this kind of job, have enough of a comfortable economic cushion already that they are only adding to the reality that most New York media world people come from a world of relative (if not absolute) economic privilege.

But, hey, who knows? Maybe Flavorpill will find just the right person to make coffee and sort through garbage (man, wouldn’t it be a shame if this employee forgot to wash her hands in between tasks?) and, you know, do repairs around the office (prospective employees need to be”handy with tools and capable of simple repairs and installations”). Or maybe Flavorpill’s existing employees can sort their own fucking recycling and make their own coffee and feel better about the fact that they’re not grossly underpaying someone to do pretty basic adult tasks. But, you know, probably not. That’s just not the way the media world works.

UPDATE: The original Craigslist job listing has been changed; pay is now $12/hour, garbage duties will be taken care of “with help from your colleagues,” and there is no mention of either foam art or Flavorpill. You’ll still need to make travel plans for your bosses, though, which is, if you ask us, far more demeaning than composting duties. How hard IS it to use Expedia? Not very!

Follow Kristin Iversen on twitter @kmiversen

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  1. I am an Admin Assistant. That’s usually one of our tasks (main for some bosses) and we get paid a lot more than $12/hr.