Friday, July 9, 2010

Foot Fetish

["Foot Fetish"] is a luxury brand, creative and innovative by tradition. Founded on excellence in the art of footwear, the Company [their cap] now offers a wide range of high quality prestigious products . . .

You mean I can become prestigious just by putting something on my feet, maybe even by simply owning such a thing?  It's like Dorothy's ruby slippers!

In the United States the Company operates 42 of its own retail stores and also distributes its products through high end wholesale distribution channels.  We are currently looking for a Part-Time Stock Associate for our boutique.  Major job duties include representing the product professionally . . . 

"Hello, my name is Rudolfo, and I represent this open toed, size 8 and 1/2 sandal."

 Candidates should be organized, team oriented, enthusiastic, and flexible with scheduling.

You really gotta love working there, gotta love shoes probably, and be willing to work any damn shift they give you.  But it's OK -- it's all for the shoes.

Prior stockroom experience with luxury products required. 

Why isn't the ad for a Part-Time Luxury Stock Associate?  And if they want experience, why this: 

. . .  exceptional customer service, receiving, opening, and unpacking cartons of merchandise, checking invoice/packing slip against items received. Maintaining an orderly stock room and tracking merchandise on computer system in order to facilitate sales and an accurate inventory, and acquiring necessary product knowledge to credibly understand product assortment.

Er, if you've already been a Luxury Stock Associate, wouldn't you know awhat the job entails?   Wouldn't anyone who didn't say, live their entire life in the jungle, know what a Stock Associate does?

Please fax your resume.

You would have me go and find one of those archaic machines, and pay to send my documents, when there is this email thing? 

Now, I don't mean to say there aren't people who would love working at Foot Fetish, even if they don't particularly care about shoes.  And my point is not to highlight one Company, but to underscore that this sort of overblown idiocy is commonplace in the classifieds.  Particularly, why have objects been raised to the level where people are expected to "represent" them?   Perhaps the author of the ad meant representing the Company -- God, I hope so.  But if not, why is it necessary to move beyond quality, aesthetic shoes delivered promptly and courteously?  Why has Foot Fetish seemingly left the qualities inherent in the products?  Why is it necessary to turn shoes, and the Company that make them, into numinous objects?

Does Foot Fetish and it's customers really hate themselves that much?

I'm no so naive as to not know that inbuing things, especially expensive objects, with illusory value is common practice.  One might even call it standard advertising procedure.  My point is to say that it's wrong, and stupid, and symptomatic of a seriously ill culture. 


  1. There so many things I hate about job searches, and the self-importance of some companies and the low-level positions they offer has always been the worst, and the people within the company who believe in this backdoor PR are a close second.

    And don't even get me started about how they manipulate the situation to find the cheapest candidates.

  2. >And don't even get me started about how they >manipulate the situation to find the cheapest >candidates.

    You mean besides asking for a salary history and/or expectation?

  3. Well, let's see... I've encountered all of these things personally, or friends of mine have.

    1) Not just asking for but *requiring* a salary history AND an expectation - as if you are not entitled to earn more than you've ever made before for some reason.
    2) Refusing to provide any information about the salary range they are prepared to offer, so that you'll know if you're wasting your time waiting to hear from them.
    3) The dramatic difference in pay scale for a degreed applicant versus a non-degreed applicant for doing exactly the same thing (my first job after college, I made $5K more per year than the person who trained me, and she'd been there three years).
    4) At one job, they wanted me to sign a document saying I would not take a second job without their approval (which, of course, would make me even more dependent on them and that much more difficult for me to leave). I told them to pay me enough so I'd never need a second job and we'd have no problem, but they couldn't tell me what to do on my time away from their office when I was not representing them. (They didn't like that, but I never did sign).
    5) Requiring a probationary period before letting benefits kick in, and then letting you go the week before (happened to a good friend of mine - turned out this company did this on a serial basis to avoid paying benefits to anyone - so 3 months of reduced cost per person they did this to).
    6) Requiring mandatory overtime, but also requiring that you sign a document waiving any overtime pay rate, or paying you "salary" that is equal the standard 40 hour amount.
    7) Offering probationary initial salary, sick day, or vacation day accrual. One company I worked for, you earned one (1) vacation or sick day per X number of weeks your first year - which basically meant you could take no time off at all the first year (full 365 day year, not "until January"). Closely connected to this is not allowing accrued days to carry over, which was also the case at this company. Another offered an initial salary 10% below the actual offer, which did not kick in until I'd worked there six months.

    So yeah - some employers do everything they can to treat their employees like they are worthless.

    But - it can bite them back. At a job I had in the late 90s, there were four of us in the office plus a manager, and then a manager above that. We had been complaining about conditions to each other and the upper manager got wind of it, so he had an office meeting with us. He proceeded to tell us that we should not be complaining, we were paid fairly for what we did, and he only made X when he first started with the company 15 years before. Problem was, X was still $2K above what *I* made, and I was the highest paid person in the group. He went on to say if we didn't like it, no one was keeping us there - and we all quit within three weeks, leaving him with no staff. :-D