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Madeleine Begun Kane,
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Madeleine Begun Kane

When I see the term "Dream Job" in employment ads, I immediately get suspicious. My first thought -- after "Yeah, right!" -- is what else is this company lying about? But I was astonished to learn that some people actually believe what they read in the classifieds. So as a public service, I present my guide to employment ad puffery -- a few choice phrases ... and what they really mean.

Equal Opportunity Employer: We abuse everyone.

Pleasant Surroundings: You'll share a four by four cubicle with a copying machine.

On-Site Cafeteria: We don't let you out for lunch.

Cheerful Staff: Employees sedate themselves before reporting to work.

Competitive Salary: We're in contention for the title "Worst Payer in the Forbes 500."

Send Salary History: So we'll know what we can get away with.

Generous Benefits: If you own the place.

Profit Sharing: Not after our accountants finish cooking the books.

Advancement Possible: If you have an active fantasy life.

Opportunity For Advancement: Out the door.

We Promote From Within: Within the owner's gene pool.

Rare Opportunity: We can't give this job away.

Family Owned Business: Dysfunctional family owned business.

First In Our Field: Everyone else had the good sense to get out.

Industry Leader: We recently swallowed up most of our competitors.

In Expansion Mode: Still one or two competitors to go.

Flex Time: Guess who gets to be flexible?

Family Friendly: Guess whose family?

State Of The Art Technology: When we bought it at a fire sale more than a decade ago.

Must Be Able To Do It All: We got a bit carried away with our downsizing.

Candidate Must Provide Leadership And Motivation: Somebody has to.

Must Be Detail-Oriented: You'll be reporting to a space cadet.

College Degree Preferred: We prefer -- and will hire -- a Ph.D. But this way we can pay twenty grand less.

On The Job Training: You'll be paper training the boss' dog.

Highly Visible Position: Right next to the restrooms.

Send Resume For Immediate Consideration: Don't call us. We'll call you.

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