The Dalkey Archive Press is a renowned independent publisher that has been heaped with praise for printing the likes of William Gaddis, John Hawkes, Flann O'Brien, and other top-notch writers who have been pushed to the side by an industry increasingly betting its entire future on Fifty Shades of Grey and teen-vampire series. That being said, Dalkey Archive also sounds like a terrible place to work. A job posting for an unpaid position has attracted attention for its hilariously cumbersome demands, which seem unlikely to be met by most humans:
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.
On top of that, prospective employees should plan on committing a fair amount of time to work:
[D]o 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.)…
John O'Brien, the director of Dalkey Archive's American office, tells the Irish Times that the ad was "tongue-in-cheek," though it contains a serious message: Apply "if you're going to be serious and are ready: If not, then let's not waste each other's time. Usually this is couched in the sanitized language of 'must be deadline-oriented, well-organized, ambitious,' etc. But as I think we've known for a long time, the age of irony is dead, and I'm a fossil."
Either way, O'Brien has probably succeeded in convincing thousands of unemployed literature grads that they should have majored in something else.
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