Latest economic news indicates upswing in miso soup stirring industry
Okay, so times are tough.
It’s not all doom and gloom out there, however—there are some people still hiring. Case in point: a local Craigslist ad for a miso soup stirrer.
An untraditional occupation, to be sure, but not one without benefits. For one, the hours aren’t bad. Then there’s the generous uniform policy, which will see the successful candidate clothed in silk kimonos. Finally, there’s the relative ease of the task at hand, namely, stirring miso soup.
Of course, the job does come with some caveats: employees will need a strict attention to detail (there are many details to be aware of); a rugged physique capable of standing in place for up to three hours; and a flexible schedule able to accommodate some odd hours (the prospective employer explains, “While I normally enjoy a very traditional dining schedule, sometimes my exotic tastes and whims can bring me to the dinner table at strange times.”)
The ad taker describes himself as “an important man within my community” and reveals that, while it is “no secret that I love the Platonic form of beauty”, he is an equal opportunity employer.
Sadly, the ad doesn’t reveal much about this mystery employer. While it’s clear that he’s male, moneyed, and a dedicated epicure, there are few other details. Is he a businessman? A politician? A James Bond villain like Ernst Stavro Blofeld?
Of course, there’s a very good chance the whole thing’s a put-on.
At any rate, even though it is not the Straight’s policy to publish unpaid help wanted ads, we now share it with you, our readers, in an effort to help ease the scourge of unemployment:
Miso Soup Stirrer (Vancouver)
Date: 2011-07-11, 3:19AM PDT
I'm in need of a shiromiso soup stirrer for part-time work. Japanese Miso soup consists of softened miso paste suspended in a hot stock called "dashi." While the miso paste easily mixes with the dashi, in time it will settle and separate. My personal preference is to enjoy a mixed (stirred) miso soup, where the paste clouds the bowl. What I'm looking for is someone (male, female and transgendered are welcome) to stand beside my table during meals and stir my miso soup so that the bowl remains cloudy while I am enjoying other delicacies. (note: miso soup is not the only thing I eat)
You will be informed (via mobile phone) where my next meal will be. You will arrive in uniform an hour ahead of my own entrance and await me in the foyer or by the hostess' stand. You will accompany my party and I to our seats and you will stand beside my table and stir my soup once it has arrived. Using subtle hand signals, I will direct you to stir the soup along the side of the table. When I am ready to eat it, a signal will inform you to place the soup in front of me. While I am eating my soup, you will stand where you were stirring, making sure that the utensil you were using does not touch the table, or any other object. If I stop eating soup, you will stir the remainder. If I am done with my soup you will remain at attention in case I order more. When the meal is over, you will leave and await your next contact.
You and I will not speak for the duration of the meal, yet my guests may at times wish to engage you in conversation. You may converse with them, but you will only speak when spoken to. Eye contact with me is unadvised.
What you'll need:
Transportation: you will need to provide your own transportation to and from the places I dine. If I am traveling outside of the greater Vancouver area, transportation assistance funds will be provided. The ideal candidate will already posses a valid drivers license.
Communication: It is essential that I am able to communicate with you at all times. While I normally enjoy a very traditional dining schedule, sometimes my exotic tastes and whims can bring me to the dinner table at strange times. Other times, it is my work that effects when and where I eat. As a part of this position, I will provide you with an Iridium 9555 Sat Phone so I may reach you when I need you. The first day you don't show up at the appointed time will be the day I repost this ad to find your replacement. If you already have a satellite-linked mobile phone for personal use, I can provide a stipend to pay for the monthly service. The ideal candidate will also be fluent in English. However, English need not be your first language and candidates who speak multiple languages will be looked upon favorably.
Physical Fitness: You will stand for the duration of the meal, so the ideal candidate will have the physical fitness to remain standing in place for as long as three (3) hours. If you arrive at the restaurant ahead of me, I wish to encounter you standing as you prepare for my entrance. A previous employee could not follow this simple rule and was summarily terminated. Please understand that while I have the utmost respect for my employees, I at no time wish to see you seated. This is not a position for someone with chronic leg/lower back pain, or someone who wishes to take breaks every 15 minutes. It is also no secret that I love the Platonic form of beauty, but I am an equal opportunity employer and I welcome cover letters, resumes/CVs and photographs from all races and sexes.
Attire: I am an important man within my community and it would be unbecoming of me to consort with men or women who dress poorly. In your cover letter, please include your measurements so I may fit you with a custom silk kimono. The right candidate will be provided a new kimono and geta each month. While in service, the kimonos are not to be worn outside of work. Once I have given you a new set, you are free to use the old set for personal use. However, please keep track of which set is currently in use. I do not wish to see old kimonos being worn.
While I have posted this opportunity in the hospitality section, the reality is that I am open to candidates from many walks of life. While a background in Japanese cuisine is helpful, you will not be required to prepare or serve my soup. Your task will be to simply stir it while I eat. This opportunity may seem well-suited for an experienced personal assistant or executive secretary. Yet, even though I dine at some of the world's most exclusive Japanese restaurants, you will not be required to book my table. Muscular men or a female athlete may think they have the upper hand in applying, but my last miso soup stirrer was of average physical build and she served me without issue for several years before going on to pursue other ventures.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Is this a real posting? Is this opportunity for real?
--Yes, this is a real offer for part-time, contract employment. I would not have taken the time to illustrate my needs in detail if this wasn't a serious offer.
How will I be paid?
--You will be paid cash in person at the end of the last scheduled meal of the month. If for some reason that meal is delayed or canceled, you will receive your payment promptly at the beginning of the next meal.
Are there benefits?
--While this is a contract position, I am open to the idea of building a long term business relationship with the right candidate. Such discussions could include my coverage of private health care, a retirement package and other perks. While in service, the kimonos are not to be worn outside of work. The satellite-linked mobile phone is never to be used for personal calls.
How often do you eat miso soup?
--Not every meal I enjoy is Japanese cuisine. However, when I do dine at Japanese restaurants or enjoy meals from Japanese chefs at private homes, I indulge in miso soup. Normally, I enjoy miso soup during meals at least three (3) times a week.
When do you eat dinner?
--I normally sit down for dinner between 8:00pm PT and 9:00 pm PT. Dinner can last between 1-3 hours, depending on the company I am with.
How do I apply for this position?
--Please send an e-mail with your contact information as well as a photo and a cover letter detailing why you are a candidate worth my time. Please note that only those selected for a personal interview will receive a reply. Those who do not meet the physical requirements, or those who fail to include a full length photo will obviously not be contacted.