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Pretentious, millennial-hating arts job listing gets trashed

The Tea House Theatre are ‘not impressed’ with their applicants so far!

Despite so-called ‘millennials’ tending to get lumped into one entitled lazy mass, we aren’t actually exactly the same as every single one of our similarly-aged peers. We have different interests, different socio-economic situations, different desires. There’s one thing we can all agree on, though: that just trying to get by is really, really shit. Where uni for my parents was free and actually kind-of guaranteed them some sort of future security (and a house by the time they had me at 23), I am a bin person in tens of thousands of pounds of debt just hoping that I might get to rent a flat with more than two functioning rooms one day. We millennials – we horrible, awful millennials – often spend years and years grafting to eventually just end up in a role that pays nothing and that nobody actually wants us in anyway.

And that’s where the Tea House Theatre come in! The job listing in question has been pulled now after outrage from all the terrible millennials that actually managed to get out of bed before 12pm (so not many of us, amirite?!) but the internet has a great memory. The ad took the form of an open letter, presumably addressed to the many millennials trying to get an arts job in the UK. It starts simply: “Dear Millennials”. Strong opening. Bit general, but sure. It goes on to brag that the company is “a professional company in the arts industry” that has been operating “for the best part of 20 years”. So far, so OK. It’s all right to be proud of your “grafting, scraping, cap in hand to angels and funding bodies and occasionally getting lucky. Surviving on our box office, breaking even and revelling in the success that in the real world that is”. 

They go on to say that they are saddened to be “putting this advert up for the third time in as many months”. Presumably, a part of the high turnover at the company is down to two things: the fact that they pay £15-20k in London, and the fact that they seem to hate their own staff before they even start. If they’re disappointed with the millennial applicants for the job, why don’t they get someone a little bit older, maybe more experienced? Could it be because nobody else is conditioned to accept the absolute least in exchange for their skills? I wonder why?

And that’s where the letter gets well and truly hostile. It asks: “are you just not taught anything about existing in the real world, where every penny counts. Did no one teach you that the end of your studies is the beginning of your education?” and then goes on into another lengthy brag about how hard they’ve worked and how long they’ve been here and how much money they likely make in contrast to the pittance they’re willing to pay a “grafter” with “office skills, the ability to run a paper filing system as well as a computerised one, the ability to complete and keep track of a huge to-do list, to make our office work, create and develop business management systems that help the business to grow, giving space for more creative work to go ahead”.

And, firmly cementing the generational gap they’ve imposed in their tone throughout the letter, they sign off like your dad might after you come home pissed for the fifth night in a row after promising you’ll really get your shit together now you’ve left uni: “we have not been impressed so far”. The advert is funny, I guess, but above all it’s depressing. It’s indicative of the sad state of the job market, especially in the arts, that a company would not only pay 15k for you to do the job of three people, but would resent you for your age before you even start. Considering, too, the allegations coming through about how the Tea House Theatre conduct themselves as a “professional company” if you ever even get the job, it’s no surprise they can’t find anyone who would use it as anything other than a pay cheque and a stepping stone.

Despite the job listing now being pulled, all the time I and my millennial comrades spend on the internet has given us the skill to screenshot things before they’re truly deleted. Read it (and have a little cry) below.