There's a particular phrase in job postings that never fails to make my blood boil, "Thick skin required." I don't know if this sort of language is common in other industries, but it turns up a lot in Hollywood.
Let me translate for you, "You will be working for an asshole who is so convinced of his own self-importance that he doesn't deem those under him worthy of common courtesy. When he has a bad day, he will take it out on you. You are the flesh-and-blood stress ball. You will be yelled at, degraded, humiliated, unjustly chewed out and called names." Yet somehow all of this is okay because they specify "Thick skin required."
At what point does one's ego trump the simple human decency of treating others - even those under them - with simple respect? Most of these job postings are for assistant positions with long hours and low pay. I've gone on a few of these interviews, and you could tell just by talking to the current assistant that the boss was a real asshole. The worst is that those bosses are surrounded by people who kiss their asses so much that they've completely forgotten the manners their mother taught them.
You know what would make me happy? For all the job-seekers in Hollywood to get together and send out a standard response to any idiot in HR who thinks this kind of bullshit is acceptable. You know, come up with a standard template that reads something like this:
"You must be a total asshole to need to specify your employees should have thick skin. At what point were you elevated to being above simple manners? If you are a rude prick who can't speak to your underlings in a civil tone, that's YOUR problem, not your employees. Don't make your failings as a human into a "weakness" you blame on those who break their back for you. If you have to warn those around you to have thick-skin, that's a pretty good sign no one loves you."
If every tool who posted this got a few hundred emails, it might embarrass him into being nice for an hour.
I'm aware that most of those emails are screened by assistants, and as such, there's a good chance these hypothetical emails would never reach their target. Still, it would be great if those assistants printed those out and "accidentally" left them behind for the boss to find after said assistant has moved on to their new job. Would I feel bad about flooding the assistants' emails? No, not really. They know they work for a jerk, so they'll probably get a kick out of it.
For those of you who have no idea what I'm talking, you can find the UTA Joblist posted HERE and see examples of what I'm referring to. The version that's active as I write this has no fewer that three jobs specifying "thick skin required." The UTA list used to be a closely guarded list that was passed in the shadowy corners of back alleys, but it's been pretty accessible for a while now, and thus, useless as an "exclusive" job list.
Anyway, if this joblist quirk annoys you as much as it does me, feel free to send out a link to this page, Twitter about it, put it on your Facebook page, or blog about it. Other bloggers, you're welcome to repost any of this, or even come up with funnier versions of my retort. (And if anyone does have even more clever retorts, please post away in the comment section. You're all creative people - what's the most biting way you'd respond to a "thick skin only" post.)
Viva La Resistance!
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