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Examine the expectations and inferences underlying selected job positions. Consider timely topics in career preparation and the struggle for fulfilling employment. Analyze what could be improved in either situation. If this blog reminds you too much of work, then peruse my namesake blog for lighter fare.

Fuck UWM and all universities! UW-Milwaukee and their brethren are mediocre. Click banner ads on ClixSense instead; it's a better use of time than a college education in the UW System.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Fleet Manager / Logistics Contact for City of North Port, FL

"Fleet Manager, City of North Port, Florida

Post Date: Jan 19, 2012

Salary: $56,434.98

Start Date: 03/01/2012

Application Deadline: 02/03/2012

ICMA Members Only: No

ICMA Credential (Details): not required

Normal Population: 57,357

Seasonal Population:

Employer Location: North Port, Florida, United States

GENERAL DESCRIPTION: Responsible professional work managing the Fleet Division; providing for the maintenance, repair, replacement and inventory control program. This position administers and maintains quality standards of service.

DUTIES: Manages the overall operation of the City’s fleet maintenance and repair programs; maintains proper service schedules for all City vehicles; oversees the utilization of outside vendors to perform repair/modification service when necessary; develops, implements and ensures successful operation of computerized fleet management program; organizes and manages the work of Fleet personnel and supervises staff performance, including training, development and evaluation; oversees the fuel program and systems; oversees contract administration, inventory control and the use of supplies/materials/mechanical parts, tools and related equipment; participates in budget preparation and administration; monitors and controls expenditures and performance objectives; maintains a safe workplace and ensures proper disposal of hazardous waste; recommends and examines all new vehicle specifications; oversees records maintenance regarding vehicle repairs, fuel, equipment and supplies; maintains a complete and dynamic inventory record on all vehicles and equipment; prepares and compiles data for statistical summaries and reports related to fleet services; complies with all appropriate rules, regulations, and/or policies a set forth by local, state and/or federal law with regards to the City’s fleet, the maintenance garage and fuel systems. (These essential job functions are not to be construed as a complete statement of all duties performed. Employees will be required to perform other related duties as assigned, including City-directed work assignments in the event of a declared emergency.)

KNOWLEDGE/ABILITIES/SKILLS: Knowledge of current methods, practices, technology, materials, tools and equipment applicable to the maintenance, repair and testing of automotive, heavy equipment and emergency equipment; preventative maintenance and techniques; sound computerized management methods as related to the operation of a repair and maintenance garage; supervision of staff engaged in various phases of automotive and mechanical repair; occupational hazards and safety precautions of the trade, including environmental disposal requirements; budgetary development and administration; administrative principles and practices; including accounting, purchasing and inventory functions; and computer applications and various software programs. Ability to plan, organize and use mature judgment in evaluating situations and making decisions in accordance with established policy and establish and maintain effective working relationships with employees, officials and the general public. Excellent customer service skills, including the ability to communicate clearly and concisely, both in person and in writing.

QUALIFICATIONS: Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university in Business, Public Administration, Transportation Engineering or related field. Six (6) years professional experience in fleet management or public transportation with at least three (3) years in a supervisory capacity. Must possess a valid Florida driver’s license by date hire and the ability to obtain a Commercial Driver’s License on request; must obtain certification as Fleet Manager by a nationally recognized organization or other accredited institution within one (1) year of employment."

The experiential requirements are akin to several MBA internships outside of finance. Considering all the duties mentioned in the vacancy, it seems the City of North Port wants its Fleet Manager to know incremental budgeting, cost analysis and control, inventory management, human resource management, computerized databases, OSHA regulations, and EPA and DNR laws pertaining to hazardous waste disposal.

Not to mention, the Fleet Manager will need to coordinate emergency responses “as needed,” or approximately every few years when a hurricane plows through. If all those management and administrative duties weren’t enough, the successful applicant must also obtain a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) much like a truck driver would and then obtain official certification as a Fleet Manager to notarize his/her prior fleet management experience as being valid.

I suppose that an applicant might successfully lie his/her way into the job if enough confederates helped as dishonest job references, but the timing of the post-hire certification comes across as another educational/licensing revenue mechanism to create artificial demand in a stagnant economy. If the position-specific license is so critical to successful job performance, why not require certification up-front rather than up to one year after being granted responsibility over an entire municipal fleet? How did that certification lag get by the Risk Management department?

Last but not least, the City of North Port shall purchase the services of the Fleet Manager factotum for an annual introductory salary of $56,434.98. This is quite the steal when considering the medley of oversight and hands-on duties the incumbent performs as well as the fact that North Port would not authorize the tidier sum of $56,435. I bet this position is much more expensive when insurance costs are factored in due to the use of a CDL and the operational liabilities it brings.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Freelance Pharmaceutical Ad Copywriter for "McK Healthcare"

"Associate Creative Director--Copy

McK Healthcare - Greater Boston Area

Posted: January 23, 2012

Type: Full-time

Experience: Mid-Senior level

Functions: Writing/Editing

Industries: Marketing and Advertising

Company Description

McK Healthcare is a full-service marketing agency focused on advertising, market strategy, and branding solutions for US and global clients in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries.

We bring a combination of creative talent and business insight to every project, as well as our vast experience in therapeutic areas such as oncology, immunology, CNS, and neurology.

Job Description

McK Healthcare is looking for permanent and/or freelance Associate Creative Directors--Copy for concept development and copy development of assigned projects.

ACDs--Copy report to the Executive Creative Director and are responsible for creative solutions that meet the marketing objectives of our clients.


•Understand account dynamics and mobilize creative resources to meet account needs

•Implement assigned clients’ creative strategy through copy development, problem solving with colleagues as needed

•Communicate effectively with clients and teammates both verbally and in writing

•Facilitate brainstorming sessions with the creative and account teams to aid in concept development

•Support the executive creative director in management responsibilities (permanent ACDs only)

•Know the references used for each assigned account inside-and-out

•Responsible for teaching agency operations to others (permanent ACDs only)

•Responsible for learning about and keeping up with the drugs and diseases involved with specified accounts and the pharma industry


• Real, demonstrated copywriting experience (at least 7 years) in a pharma or healthcare-related marketing or advertising firm

•Proven ability to understand target audience requirements and translate to actions that enhance development of creative approaches and solutions

•A thorough understanding of branding

•Can demonstrate functional excellence in creating best-in-class creative solutions for clients

•Copywriting and referencing expertise across all media

•Thorough understanding of marketing communications

•Familiarity with healthcare issues

•Excellent written and verbal communication skills

•Excellent presentation skills"

“Freelance” Associate Creative Directors? It sounds like McK wants people to apply and produce their very best content in hopes of being selected as a permanent ACD, when in fact only those copywriters who have the “right personality” will be retained, resulting in the other freelancers looking for another job but without ownership of their original works contributed. If you enjoy writing for the peace and quiet it entails, don’t bother applying for ACD because the successful applicant will shill his/her written copy like a regular salesperson. McK apparently does not select copy solely on the quality of the writing like a merit-oriented writing workshop would but rather on the writer’s presentation about the piece and how popular it would be across media (hence inviting “kitsch,” or the vulgarization of artistic concepts to reinforce the mindset established by already popular, inoffensive icons and mainstream memes). These references to other media formats should not be mistaken for references to other intellectual properties, known as “allusions” in the literary world. Analytic writers and deconstructionists need not apply!

The position also requires knowledge of “account dynamics” and how to “mobilize creative resources.” I guess this means the successful applicant cannot be an introvert because account holders will generally not take the initiative to tell you that they needed different copy yesterday! (They tend to instead inform the lead / senior copywriter due to the rapidly transient nature of job assignments among a team of copywriters.)

It is implied that if you cannot tune into the vibe of the account holder’s needs yourself, you should find someone who can and then convince him/her to do your job as well as his/hers. The need to occasionally solve problems with fellow copywriters also means the incumbent cannot be boastful, lest coworkers issue a vote of “no confidence” on the personality behind the copy. Unlike a symbolic logic professor, the ACD who teaches others must be well-liked to be taken seriously within his/her field. We thus derive a calculus of copywriter dynamics as applied to the position of Assistant Creative Director:

Top-shelf copywriting skills – Charisma / office political skills = Temporary ACD

Above-average (or better) copywriting skills + Charisma / office political skills = Permanent ACD (Trainer)

Sunday, January 29, 2012

"EcoLab" Senior Buyer / Bespoke Production Planner^jIzhqjTASfR28jelwisu0_slp_rhc_xGTWDYPehJo6zjdUf9EJe7w1_slp_rhc_Jze4pZg==&jobId=1217275&type=search&JobReqLang=1&recordstart=1&JobSiteId=91&JobSiteInfo=1217275_91&GQId=0

"Job Title: Sr. Buyer

Functional Area: Purchasing

Division: Global Operations

Location: Illinois - Elk Grove

Country: United States

Employment Status: Full Time

Job Description: Do you have a track record for successfully achieving significant cost savings and avoidance? Are you looking for an opportunity to drive growth with a stable global company committed to sustainability? Would you like to join a company recognized as among the 100 Most Ethical Companies in the World, not once but actually five years in a row? Help make the world cleaner, safer and healthier.

The Senior Buyer at our dish machine refurbishment plant will manage one Purchasing Analyst and will work with over 150 vendors to manage the purchasing of over $25 million in molded plastic components, metals, fluid power systems (hydraulics and pneumatics), labels, fasteners, electrical, mechanical and metal forming pieces and Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) parts.

Ecolab is a Fortune 500 Lean Six Sigma manufacturer and the worldwide leader in our industry. We value diversity and, our employees are number one! We know that our employees are our most important asset -- great employees got us where we are today after 80 years of success! As our Sr. Buyer, you will gain recognition for successful cost savings and avoidance, strong negotiation results, decreasing the number of vendors and your contribution to the implementation of noteworthy Lean Initiatives. As a strong contributory you can expect the opportunity to lead broader projects and advance to larger procurement/supply chain roles across the network and headquarters.

Main Responsibilities:

•Works closely with Divisional and Supply Chain management on all new product introductions & acquisitions. Provides direction on RM price trends needed for pricing strategy. Regularly updates local management on purchasing initiatives and progress.

•Proactively communicates with internal Supply Chain and R&D associates to understand plan-needs and to solve problems. Implements purchasing infrastructure in conjunction with R&D and Manufacturing to assure availability at required quality and costs levels. Generates new ideas to reduce costs and increase availability.

•Sources raw materials, packaging materials, and finished goods through execution of global contracts and negotiation of local contracts. Issues purchase agreements, purchase orders, and blanket orders within corporate purchasing policy.

•Implements technology to improve results and increase efficiencies. This includes cost database, EDI, and Reverse auctions. Establishes consignment and VMI to best manage corporate assets.

•Ensures Ecolab control and environmental standards are implemented. Reports on purchasing metrics and produced reporting tools in plant. Updates North America Director of Purchasing on success of purchasing strategy.

Basic Qualifications:

•Bachelors degree in Business, Finance, Accounting, Purchasing, Economics or Engineering

•3 to 5 years purchasing experience

•5+ years supply chain experience

•No immigration sponsorship is available for this opportunity

Preferred Qualifications:

•Advanced technical or business degree

•2 - 3 years experience in a lean manufacturing environment

•Purchasing or negotiations experience in a Consumer Products industry, regulated production, or similar manufacturing environment and/or experience with related Supply Chain or R&D functions

•Accomplished in implementing improvement initiatives and achieving cost savings

•Advanced proficiency in MS Excel and ERP software"

The most glaring idiosyncrasy I see is the lack of a Six Sigma Certificate requirement. The position of Production Planner requires this and specific “Six Sigma experience,” yet the successful Senior Buyer applicant apparently does not need either despite utilizing vendor managed inventory (VMI) to ensure automatic order of supplies for restocking when a client firm’s inventory database sends electronic notification of low supplies. The description instead notes that having purchased for a supply chain is sufficient and that EcoLab prefers the supply chain experience was just-in-time supply. Does any reader care to explain what differences exist between the Six Sigma lean supply and any old JIT manufacturing?

Also, the second paragraph of the job description would better fit as the third paragraph because the flow of the current description goes from bragging about the company to a quick blurb about the general purpose of the position and then back to corporate feather preening before finally getting into the job duties and KSAs. One of these is competence in the art of reverse auctioneering, which is the bidding by sellers to provide a service to a client at the highest acceptable price (and avoid allegations of cartel operations when competitors hold their prices high as well). Readers might also recognize this as a Dutch auction because the sellers initially bid their highest prices to leave enough room for downward negotiation such that even a substantial reduction in sale price will net a profit. This is distinct from a forward auction, in which buyers bid to provide the lowest acceptable price to a seller.

The “job match” feature does not work properly! Several times I pasted my resume text into the textbox and clicked “search,” only to be greeted with the unfiltered list of job vacancies with an 8-point font error message, “Your search criteria: N/A | Refine search” atop the vacancies table. I then pasted the text of this paragraph into the textbox and searched, returning the positions of “buyer,” “logistics manager,” and “production planner.” Try it yourself to see what I mean:^jIzhqjTASfR28jelwisu0_slp_rhc_xGTWDYPehJo6zjdUf9EJe7w1_slp_rhc_Jze4pZg==&ref=1272012122226

Saturday, January 28, 2012

"EcoLab" Forklift Operator w/ Other Random Duties

Post 012:

Found on 01-28-2012 at URL:^2wTVk77SptE/4LPMGOykr16zpXx35apdQuvf/SCr28CN0n3_slp_rhc_Baitaw==&jobId=1219451&type=search&JobReqLang=1&recordstart=1&JobSiteId=91&JobSiteInfo=1219451_91&GQId=0

“Job Title: Fork Truck Operator

Functional Area: Distribution

Division: Global Operations

Location: Texas-Fort Worth

Country: United States

Employment Status: Full Time

Job Description : When it comes to 'clean,' Ecolab is the world leader, with $5.5 billion in global sales and the respect of customers in more than 160 countries. For over seven decades we have developed and marketed cleaning solutions and systems, making the world a cleaner, safer, better place to live.

At Ecolab we believe that the success of our associates and the success of the company go hand-in-hand. We are committed to a culture that fully leverages our people's talent by promoting an environment where all people can make a difference, be heard, be supported, be developed, and be rewarded for their contributions.

The following postion (sic) is available at the Ecolab Grapevine Distribution Center:

•The primary responsibility of this position involves using the Stand-up Reach or Sit-Down type forklift to organize and store inventory in the warehouse.

Main Responsibilities:

•Operates stand-up or sit-down forklift to efficiently store inventory in their location in the distribution area.

•Maintains the organization of inventory located in storage racks in warehouse area.

•Assists with restocking of all supplies and inventory.

•Maintains general housekeeping in storage area.

•Complies with all safety regulations related to forklift operation and inventory storage procedures.

Basic Qualifications:

•High school diploma or equivalent required.

•Must have a minimum of two years experience on a stand-up reach forklift.

Preferred Qualifications

•Must have basic mathematical skills and abilities.

•Must be analytical, organized and have the ability to work independently. Must be able to follow verbal and written directions.

•Must be able to perform and learn other tasks as assigned and have initiative.”

The successful applicant will have not only previous forklift experience, but also two years specifically of "stand-up reaching forklift" experience (not be confused with "stand-up club comedian" experience). This requirement of specialized experience is a trend I’ve seen among forklift operator vacancies. In fact, I’ve yet to read an entry-level forklift operator vacancy requiring only completion of a forklift certification course. I suppose that type of position is filled internally because otherwise employers would be more swamped with applicants than they already are.

I surmise the forklift driver must be able to maneuver quickly while fully loaded without tipping, as evinced by the requirements of “efficiently store inventory” and “have initiative.” Perhaps the high school diploma / GED requirement is included to ensure the incumbent can “perform and learn other tasks as assigned,” in the event that the Forklift Operator Who Could manages to store everything before his/her shift ends. To top it off, the job poster misspelled the word “position!” I guess you need to be a clean freak but not a good proofreader to work at EcoLab.

Friday, January 27, 2012

"EcoLab" Manager-In-Training / Franchisee

Found on 01-27-2012 at URL:^2wTVk77SptE/4LPMGOykr16zpXx35apdQuvf/SCr28CN0n3_slp_rhc_Baitaw==&jobId=1210394&type=search&JobReqLang=1&recordstart=1&JobSiteId=91&JobSiteInfo=1210394_91&GQId=0

“Job Title: Territory Manager In Training (TMIT)

Functional Area: Sales & Service

Division: Institutional

Location: Illinois-Peoria

Country: United States

Employment Status: Full Time

Job Description: We are seeking highly motivated female and male applicants to join Ecolab's Institutional division. The Institutional division is Ecolab's core and largest business, addressing the cleaning and sanitation needs of the restaurant, lodging, and other institutional foodservice customers.

Whether you’re right out of school or looking for something more out of your career, the Territory Manager in Training role can be both challenging and rewarding. You will partner with your customers to provide sales and service support using Ecolab's innovative custom cleaning solutions. You’ll quickly learn that we hired you to eventually run your own business, but you’ll always be part of a strong and successful team to help support you along the way.

Our robust training program includes a comprehensive roadmap of detailed field activities, computer based e-learning modules, as well as attendance at a series of customized classes at our state of the art training facility in Chicago, IL.

Main Responsibilities:

•Complete resident classes, e-learning activities and assigned field activities.

•Demonstrate your ability to apply your knowledge of skills, principles and concepts learned.

•Transition to the Territory Manager role where you will be assigned to an existing portfolio of customers – upon successful completion of your training, and once a territory becomes available in your market.

•Prospect new accounts as you continue to grow and support existing accounts in the food service industry.

•Work independently to learn your customers' operations, understand their cleaning challenges, and devise cleaning solutions to meet their needs.

•As a value-added offering, and to strengthen relationships with customers, you will use your mechanical aptitude to troubleshoot and repair dispensers and equipment.

•Provide emergency service coverage to appreciative customers who may operate around the clock.

Requirements of a fully trained and transitioned Territory Manager After successfully completing your training (approximately 60-90 days), and a territory is available, we would expect the following will apply:

Cities Included in this Territory: Peru, LaSalle, Princeton, Mendota

Cities/Area Candidates Must Reside In: Within 30 miles of above mentioned cities.

Weekend Coverage: 1 in 5 weekends

Overnight Trips per Month: None

Income Package Offered: During your training program you will be paid a semi-monthly salary. Upon successful completion of the training program, and after an appropriate territory becomes available, you will transition to a salary and commission program with an annual bonus opportunity. A company vehicle will be provided for both business and personal use.

Basic Qualifications:

•Completed Bachelor’s Degree

•1-3 years of outside sales experience or any industry-related experience in food service, laundry, housekeeping, hospitality and/or pool and spa

•You must be able to lift and/or carry 50 pounds

•A valid driver's license and an acceptable Motor Vehicle Record

•No Immigration Sponsorship Available

Preferred Qualifications:

•Proven ability to be resilient, persuasive, and deliver results

•Excellent planning and organizational skills, strong relationship management capability, outstanding consulting, and demonstrated flexibility to adapt and adjust your day to assist your customers are preferred skills in order to succeed in this fast paced multi-tasking environment

•Mechanical reasoning ability and exhibited problem solving skills are used to troubleshoot and repair equipment and dispensing systems (i.e., plumbing, electrical and mechanical troubleshooting experience)

•Prefer industry-related experience in laundry, housekeeping, food service, hospitality and/or pool and spa”

The first thing about this job description to jump out is the phrase “female and male applicants.” I guess neuter applicants need not apply? It’s generally understood that applicants of both sexes are welcome to apply to any position (except Hooters girls, NFL cheerleaders, and Merry Maids house cleaners), so why bother with the unnecessary phrase? I suppose EcoLab wants to inflate its number of female applicants, but the qualified ones will come out of the woodwork anyway. It’s similar to saying, “We are seeking qualified Caucasian male and minority professionals,” or, “We are hiring parents and childless applicants.” EcoLab also uses a subliminal message: “TMIT” is similar to the Mirage Studies license “TMNT,” and I imagine the position’s supervisor was almost named “Trainer In Territory Sales.” This tenuous connection to amphibious funbags is a reach, but it will entertain some readers.

EcoLab wants applicants to have “mechanical reasoning ability” so as to not break anything in its “state of the art training facility” (which should be hyphenated as an adjective phrase, e.g. “state-of-the-art training facility”) or further damage the equipment they would be sent to service. EcoLab also attempts to portray itself as a franchise opportunity with the line, “You’ll quickly learn that we hired you to eventually run your own business.” That’s a blatant lie because all profits from a territory manager’s work go to EcoLab before any distributions are made. Any innovation by an EcoLab territory manager becomes the property of EcoLab. The territory manager neither chooses his or her customers nor sets his or her hours. In short, the idea that being a territory manager is “owning your own business,“ as opposed to being an employee of the actual business owners, is a bald-faced lie.

But last time I checked, EcoLab had no shame: It once sold an oversized sink guard to UW-Milwaukee Restaurant Operations, but no refund was issued despite the fact that the guard did not create a seal like it was designed to, thereby rendering it useless. I washed dishes for UWM RO at the time and witnessed an EcoLab representative consulting the Food Services Supervisor onsite about two weeks before the sink guard arrived. Any measurement error during that meeting should have triggered a notification from the warehouse stating that the stock guard does not match the order dimensions.