“Looking for a magician capable of transforming into a tree and back again. Beginners welcome. Being able to swallow anything is a plus.”
Jobseekers in Cher, in central France, might have thought they were hallucinating when they logged into their local employment centre’s website and found that post.
In fact, the notice was part of a series of fake jobs uploaded to the site by a ‘Pôle emploi’ (French job centre) employee in the town of Aubigny-sur-Nère.
Another of the 12 parody postings (now removed) called for “a psychiatrist or hypnotist to help job centre advisors. Difficult public with serious issues. Temporary two-month position.”
One notice, however, has caused outrage among jobseekers and in the French media. On February 15th, just two days after an unemployed man burned himself to death outside a job centre in Nantes, the employee posted this:
“Looking for a fire safety officer to put out fires. Be warned, things could get heated. Non-smokers only.”
It is not known whether the employee wrote the postings out of boredom, poor judgement, bad taste, or a desire to entertain co-workers, but the person responsible has now been found and was left awaiting a decision on a punishment on Tuesday, according to French radio RTL.
The number of unemployed has risen steadily in France over the past 20 months, and could soon reach the record high set in January 1997 of 3.2 million. Last year the rate broke the symbolic ten-percent barrier and at the end of 2012 was at its highest rate in 15 years.