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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.

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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Gymfinity Instructor w/ Stepford Smile

Found on 02-15-2012 at URL:

"Job Title: Gymnastics, Tumble and Trampoline and Events Instructors (Gymfinity 6300 Nesbitt Rd Fitchburg, WI)

Date: 2012-02-08, 5:29PM CST

Gymfinity is now hiring instructors for gymnastics, tumble and trampoline classes as well as for events (birthday parties, parents night out and camp instructors). All of these positions are some of our most important jobs! You will directly impact every child attending Gymfinity! You must be organized, efficient, cheerful, diplomatic, presentable and a team player. These positions also require a large amount of initiative, patience and detail orientation. The most important aspects are developing the child's skill level and self esteem while maintaining a safe and fun atmosphere. Experience working with children 15 months to 12 years old is required. Prior gymnastics, tumbling, trampoline or events experience preferred but not required. All positions are part time, and will start with 10 hours or less per week. Must be able to work afternoons, evenings and weekends. Pay range $8.00-$10.00 per hour depending on experience plus any acquired bonuses depending on job position. Full background check will be performed. Contact us for an application. 608-848-3547 or

Location: Gymfinity 6300 Nesbitt Rd Fitchburg, WI

Compensation: $8.00 to $10.00 per hour depending on experience, plus any acquired bonuses"

It figures that “some of our most important jobs” are the ones which pay a mere $8.00 per hour. I suppose $7.25 per hour was too low considering the difficulty of qualifying: Not only does the successful applicant need prior experience supervising elementary school-aged children (presumably in groups such as what a recess monitor would do), but the applicant must also be cheerful! Dissatisfied people need not apply! If you’ve protested anything, better keep it under wraps because protesters are not seen as cheerful.

I imagine that clinically depressed people could be considered so long as they were good actors/actresses and were documented as taking medication, but what does it say about us when we feel the need to shelter our children from the harsh realities of life, that it is not always happy times and rainbows and ponies and ice cream? That is just kicking the revelation down the line to a time when the child will be expected to not only adjust emotionally but also be involved in a bazillion other activities to get into a respected college and maybe do something other than food service after all that schooling. Your child’s future employer will not value how much fun he/she had but rather what exposure to real job duties he/she has accrued. However, many teenagers avoid actual participation in the labor force in favor of fun things such as athletics, artistic performances, and student activity clubs due to remembering how much they were encouraged to have fun while growing up. When they meet the real job market, their prior endeavors are of no value.

I argue that emphasizing fun so much in the kindergarten and “Gymfinity” years sets the wrong tone for children by spoiling them into unrealistic expectations. You cannot miss a life of carefree leisure if you never had it. Perhaps it drives the entertainment economy to some extent when people grow up thinking they need to seek fun experiences, but those dollars would surely be spent elsewhere if not on entertainment, and so economic growth remains. What do my readers think?

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