Who doesn’t like a good euphemism? That trusty method of talking around a subject instead of about it. Not having to worry about saying what you mean, ’cause everyone knows what you really mean anyway.We’ve been wallowing waist-deep in euphemism this week, having spent an unhealthy amount of time reading the job ads in the newspaper. (Don’t worry, we’re not going anywhere. It’s just that by the time we finally make it out of the office for lunch, it’s always the job pages that we find blowing like tumbleweed through the café.) Considering these people are paying by the word for a lot of these ads, you’d think they’d just get straight to the point. But they don’t. Or if they do, they still talk in riddles. Here then, a how to guide for working out what the writers of local job ads are really trying to say. EXPERIENCED ASSISTANT WANTEDWe say wanted, we mean needed. We don’t really want you here any more than we want to be here ourselves.

  • Full-time/Part-time You / Us
  • Training provided We saw this in another ad and thought we’d better include it. We still have the instruction manual for the office chair if that counts?
  • Personality Not ‘outgoing’. Not ‘personable’. Just personality. Hell, even a chimp has personality. Yes, our recruitment standards really are that low.
  • Physically fit Our office is a 45 minute walk from the nearest MRT station. Mostly uphill.
  • Flair for meeting challenges Like trying to find the boss on pay day. Or coping without health insurance. Or surviving the first miserable week. Good luck with all of that. You can do it, champ!
  • Attractive pay We get the hot blonde in the finance department to hand out the paltry pay packets. We find it helps soften the blow.
  • Commission a possibility Possibility, yes. Probability, no. There’s a possibility you’ll love the job. Doesn’t make it any more likely, does it?
  • Malaysians welcome We’re not racist. Honest. Some of our best friends know people who’ve been to Malaysia. But don’t even think about applying if you’re an Eskimo, Ancient Egyptian or Martian.
  • Intere$ted? This is all we remember from that book on cheap marketing tricks. Clever, i$n’t it?