Interning at Dalkey Press

They’re hiring at Dalkey Press!

…well, maybe not exactly hiring, since what they’re primarily looking for are unpaid interns, who, while striving to get to the paid job, must refrain while at work from:

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.

John O’Brien, the American director of Dalkey Archive Press and the man responsible for the advertisement, claims in response to a widespread angry reaction:

“So, the tongue-in-cheek advertisement was a call to apply for the internships (and the two possible positions) 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 sanitised language of ‘must be deadline-oriented, well-organised, ambitious’, etc. But as I think we’ve known for a long time, the age of irony is dead, and I’m a fossil.

“This is my ‘official’ reaction to the hornet’s nest.”

I bet he’s the kind of man who wants you to laugh at his “jokes”, too.

Portnoy Publishing also reacted:

Portnoy Publishing believes that people who exploit those desperate enough to work for free just to get a foot in the door, regardless of the industry in question, ought to be ashamed of themselves.

We don’t give away our books for free, why should we expect people to work for nothing to help us make those books?

And of course, there’s now an @DalkeyIntern on Twitter:

Assume that you will begin to be evaluated as soon as your application arrives. And also assume that you will be one of the unpaid interns until you are ready to take on all the responsibilities of a position. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Also, sleep is for the weak!

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Filed under Economics, Poverty

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