Why I’m Not Offended by Being a “Grafter”

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You may have seen recently that a company advertised a job offer addressed to millennials (their word, not mine) asking for a grafter. The Tea House Theatre had a hella’ backlash about their “patronising” open letter to potential applicants about the issues they have experienced with recruitment and asking for someone who’s more dedicated and who wants to grow with them.


Correct me if I’m wrong, but how many of us haven’t written on our CVs that we’re loyal, that we want “to grow with the company”, that we’re hard working? They’re asking for the things that we offer on our CVs. They’re asking for people who – gasp – want to work. Now, I don’t know the company, I can’t attest to whether or not they’re good employers and if it is in fact that they are terrible people to work for that they’re having to advertise their job for the “third time in as many months”. But, let’s just assume that they’re okay to work for; for the purpose of this article it’s irrelevant for now. Regardless, they have been running the company since 2010 and they’ve felt so exasperated that they’ve felt the need to write this letter.

I’ve read countless articles on this advert and for the most part they’ve been negative. Yes, some of the stuff the directors of the company wrote is stupid and doesn’t paint them in the best light but, personally, I’d be attacking the use of “millennials” because it’s a bullshit made up word that covers people from the ’80s to the noughties who, for the most part, will have very little in common but that’s an opinion for another day.

Maybe I’m not offended by the advert because I am a grafter. I am a proud grafter. And every single one of you who has put “hard working” on their CV is claiming to be a grafter. Of course everyone is going to take different things from the advert and my opinion is just one of many but I did, in fact, realise that the end of my studies was the beginning of my education when I learned more about an industry in 3 months on the job than I did in three years at university. I started at the bottom and worked my way up through my industry, through the pay scales, to get to where I am now. I was taught to work hard for something if I want it. I’ve seen people come and go from jobs where they just weren’t cut out for it.

I don’t think it’s unreasonable to ask for someone to take a job and keep it. I’m sure there’s going to be the right candidate out there for them, who saw this advert and went “that’s me” – who saw an opportunity to work in the arts industry and will take the job gratefully and do us grafters proud.

What did you think of the advert? Tell us in the comments, we welcome healthy debate!


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