{ 108 comments… read them below }

    1. AdAgencyChick*

      I thought exactly that…but I bet it gets them an awful lot of email responses! Just not the kind they’re looking for.

  1. Alex*

    I can see all SORTS of misunderstandings going on here. I’d hate to see the inside of that inbox.

  2. K.*

    I saw this on Gawker! I would be mortified if my hypothetical husband did this (and I hope I marry someone who would know this about me and not do it).

  3. Jamie*

    I have a couple of questions – aside from the the very real problems with how awful this is…

    1. Why Pepto Bismal pink. Pink is my favorite color, but no one looks good surrounded by that shade. It’s evocative of nausea.

    2. What is that tab at the bottom with a thumbnail of her pic? Does he know people can’t actually mouse click on billboards?

    3. Why is her head tilted to the side? It’s like she’s trying to look winsome, but instead it looks like she slept funny and has a crick in her neck.

    4. Was that neckline the wisest choice? That’s a lot of decolletage on display for a business photo. OH I think I just answered my first question – the tab is there to cover her cleavage. Got it…next time maybe a nice bouse…or perhaps a blazer.

      1. Jamie*

        And that is why I will never have carte blanche to decorate the exterior of our house…because my husband knows it would come out dangerously close to that.

        I know it’s horrible and all kinds of tacky…but I kind of love that! Thanks for posting the link.

        1. Anna*

          You’re welcome! It’s become a local landmark. The story goes it was accidental — the paint looked a lot more brown in the can, or something.

    1. Jamie*

      You are a nicer person than I, because I have no sympathy. This is some bizarre intersection where Attention Whore Blvd. intersects with Control Freak Ave.

      If she wasn’t in on it, he’s insane. If she was…well I’m sure it will result in exactly the kind of job a stunt like this deserves.

      Can you imagine though, if she’s telling the truth and didn’t know? If I were driving down the expressway and saw my face, my GIANT face, staring down at me from a billboard I’m not sure I’d be able to stay on the road!

      1. K.*

        This is some bizarre intersection where Attention Whore Blvd. intersects with Control Freak Ave.
        I FELL OUT at this. Brava!

    2. A Bug!*

      I’m totally with you on not knowing where to begin on it.

      I guess I’ll just say this: Mr. Husband, your wife is not a piece of equipment you are trying to rent out. It’s fundamentally disrespectful, reflects poorly on her, and I would bet money that any employer who seriously follows up on this ad is someone she will not enjoy working for.

      1. Rana*

        Oh, gosh, YES.

        And notice that there’s nothing there about which specific fields she has expertise in, either. It’s like a giant version of a generic cover letter that begins “To Whom It May Concern.”

        1. Anna*

          At least “to whom it may concern” is expected where no name is provided for the whom in question. But in those cases, most intelligent people would talk about the specifics of the job posting anyway.

    3. Zee*

      Maybe he should get Honorable Mention for Husband of the Year! I think his intentions were all good, but maybe it wasn’t the best way to go.

  4. ChristineH*

    I just told my husband about this, and he was like, “Can you blame him?” Well….in this day and age, no. Desperate times does call for desperate measures. But I absolutely draw the line with this one.

      1. Laura L*

        “desperate times call for effective measures!”

        I want this on a t-shirt.

        Someone needs to start an AAM CafePress store. (Not me, I’m not good at graphic design.)

        1. Laura L*

          Um, yeah, so after I sent that, I thought “hmmm, I think AAM does have a CafePress store.”

          So, I googled, and, lo and behold, you do!

            1. Laura L*

              That’s sad. I will buy something this weekend!

              Also, you should definitely start putting some of your nuggets of wisdom on coffee mugs or mousepads. I think people would buy those.

        1. Jamie*

          I have a family member who does also. Just because we love them doesn’t mean we have to condone their behavior.

          1. Catherine*


            Hey Alison, would you consider doing a post on weirdest emails you’ve gotten resumes from? Y’know, to stress the importance of having a professional email for job-hunting purposes…and because I like those types of things.

          2. Laura L*

            I don’t think it’s been long enough since AOL was a legitimate email service for it to be an ironic retro thing.

            Also, AOL sucks way too much to put up with, even ironically.

        1. Thomas*

          I have a coworker who has a personal AOL account. She’s about 27. I still don’t know what to think.

      1. Jo*

        Please don’t judge this as a stupid question as I’m not in the US.

        What’s wrong with aol and yahoo?

        1. Your Mileage May Vary*

          Not a stupid question at all. AOL users are generally looked down as being not quite so “with-it” when it comes to computer users. Yahoo is only seen as slightly better. For an illustrated example: http://xkcd.com/256/ . You can see that AOL and Yahoo are above the Noob Sea.

          So, it’s like this comparison: AOL users would be the same as someone still using the cassette-tape style answering machine on their landline. Nothing wrong with it. But it seems really out of date and if you were hiring them, you’d wonder if they were able to keep up with changing technologies.

        2. Rana*

          Three things:

          1) They date back from when the internet was fairly new to most people. So using them looks dated.

          2) AOL was marketed as a safe way for inexperienced users to have access to the internet without knowing much about it. It wasn’t quite a closed world within the larger internet, but it was intended to function that way. So having an aol address sends the message that you’re a person who’s intimidated by the internet and not very good at navigating it.

          3) Because yahoo email addresses are available to anyone, for free, they don’t carry the weight that a business email or a customized email would have. It used to be that yahoo addresses were a more reputable substitute for hotmail (the other main free site, which got associated with people being skanky on the internet – you’d expect a low-rent internet porn site to have a hotmail address, for example). Since gmail has come onto the scene, it’s replaced that role, and yahoo is now generally perceived as a sort of cheap starter email that’s used by clueless people and teenagers and college students.

          I know far too much about all this due to having multiple email accounts, including a yahoo one, one with “dialup” in the address, and a gmail account. One of these days I really need to set up my own domain…

        3. Zee*

          I still have my AOL account from the early 2000s, but I use it mainly for family, online orders, and junk mail. If there’s anything I need done professionally, I use my gmail or my company’s email.

          And I’m far from being a newbie to the computer world. I just haven’t had the heart to delete it.

          1. Anonymous*

            I have an AOL account that is my primary email, and I could care less what people think it means. I moved around a lot, and this is the one method of contacting me that has never changed over the past 20 years, so old friends always know how to reach me. I find it funnier the way people keep jumping from email to email account–I can only recall 2 or 3 friends email addresses off the top of my head, but a lot of people know mine by heart.

            1. NicoleW*

              I’m with you! I’ve had a personal AOL email since 1999 and continue to use it as a main point of contact for personal use. It’s just too much energy to change what’s working fine for me. I have it set up with my Mac Mail program, so I don’t have to use AOL’s pesky website.

              Up until last year, I was still using a more professionally-named AOL email for job applications.

          2. Anonymous*

            yes, I do something similar with my Yahoo. I use Yahoo for friends, family stuff and Gmail for professional only.

            Actually I hate Gmail – I can’t create typologies the way I want with it. I tolerate it because I have to.

          3. Laura L*

            Same. Although I almost never check my AOL account and don’t use it for anything.

            My current AOL username is from sometime around 2000-2001, but I got my first account in 1995. I wish I still had that name, but it involved a childhood nickname that only my parents’ used and sounded childish, so I got rid of it. Ah well.

        4. Anonymous*

          Thanks for the replies. We probably have the yahoo/hotmail stigma here too, it’s just not something I’ve ever thought about.

        5. EngineerGirl*

          Well, if you want to be bigoted, shallow, and judge someone on just one thing, you can do that. Really, it is like judging someone solely by what car they drive.

          1. mh_76*

            *chuckling* I admit, I haven’t used Netscape for years but do have a bit of a soft spot for it because it was the first thing I used post-Gopher.

            Honestly, I think that too much is being read into the domain name of a person’s email address (unless it’s [bunch of numbers]@compuserve.com or [some other randomly generated username]@anydomain.com). Nowadays, contact info changes so frequently that it’s nice to not have to always update address books / contacts /etc. I don’t have my old AOL address, only had one because it was free, and do have an alumni forwarding address (@alum.xu.edu) that I use for some things, including AAM comments, but I also have a username that I like to use for personal correspondence (in memory of an old dog) and have “claimed” that on a bunch of the free things but forgotten the passwords for everything except gmail and mac.com (not sure why I didn’t put those pwds in my spreadsheet but that’s a whole discussion by itself). And someday, gmail and the like will be equated with compuserve and AOL as dinosaur domains and we’ll read on AAM and elsewhere about how we should change to newerdomain.com or whatever will be in vogue in the future. I’ll worry about newerdomain.com etc. when mac.com and gmail.com cease to exist..if ever. In the meantime, my email addresses remain the same. And phone # t00 (well, at least if you knew me after I got a cell phone back in 2000 or 2001). Having said all of that, if you still have a compuserve account (if they exist at all), at least upgrade to AOL or hotmail (now outlook, according to what I’ve read recently).

  5. guymandude*

    i see alot of ladies talking about how mortified they would be and how the husband wasn’t thinking.. but, perhaps, that was his whole goal ? get hired so he can dump her ?

  6. Paige*

    It’s worse when you read the article. He surprised her with this billboard. Ugh.

    “Holly had no idea what her husband was trying to do.

    “I’m pretty sure if I’d said to her, ‘Hey, let’s put your face up on a billboard,’ she would have said ‘No,’” Brandon said, laughing, and Holly concurred.

    It was her older son who actually noticed the ad, as the family was driving to dinner at a favorite restaurant on the West Side.

    “Hey, Mama,” the 4-year-old said. “That looks like you on that billboard.”

    “I didn’t know what to make of it,” Holly said. “I had to go back and look.”…. “It was a complete surprise,” she said.

    Has it worked?

    In the few days the sign has been up, there haven’t been any inquiries from employers, Holly said, but word has spread among family and friends’ Facebook pages.

  7. LJL*

    Had my husband surprised me like that, it would have been the fastest divorce in the history of the West. Soap-opera fast.

  8. Blinx*

    And they say there’s no such thing as bad publicity! I can’t imagine the number of scam emails they’re getting.

    The oddest part is the “great fit” line, since it is being seen by thousands of potential employers passing by. Can’t possibly be a great fit for all them.

  9. Tater B.*

    I keep thinking of a scene from one of my favorite movies, “Fun With Dick & Jane.”
    Dick? Dick Harper, is that you? Come on in!

    Oh, of course, we can’t hire you. We just wondered if we could get our picture taken with the infamous Dick Harper!
    She might have to move to….well, I don’t know where. The power of the world wide web, indeed.

    1. Blinx*

      No, not move. Just get a short haircut, dye it blonde, and start using her maiden name. That, plus plastic surgery. Then she can start applying again.

  10. dissent*

    I think it’s a great idea. Very smart to think outside of the box. She seems like she’d be great for an advertising agency.

    The other person in the article who did a similar thing started a whole new business off of it.

    The only con is it seems like the husband is trying to get rid of the wife like she’s a dead beat. If I were her I’d reconfigure the ad and keep my name up.

    Kudos to her.

    1. Rana*

      “Great for an advertising agency”? That billboard is hideous. I’d be unwilling to hire her just based on the design alone.

  11. Anonymous*

    We’ve had several news stories in the UK about people who stand on roundabouts, with sandwich boards detailing work experience and contact details (never stories about the great job they got though), but at least those people have chosen to do that to themselves. I wonder what the husband’s ‘tick boxes’ would be – tests crayons, once passed a cycling test?

  12. Anonymous*

    I’m assuming she was in on this, right? She and her husband had a talk about it and thought it would be a great idea. He didn’t just go off on some crazy spree and publicize his wife’s (un)employment status?

  13. Another Emily*

    If it was “Please Hire Me” I’d be impressed at the moxie (though not inclined to call for an interview). But this is terrible.

  14. Anonymous*

    True story: My stepdad has told me to tell people I network with that he will put out a bounty on getting me a job– that he will pay $500 to the person who gives the reference that lands me a job offer.

    I have explained to him repeatedly to never, ever, ever tell anyone this because it makes me look like a spoiled piece of crap who thinks daddy can buy her way into success she doesn’t deserve. He thinks it’s a fabulous idea and has also expressed interest in buying a Facebook ad promoting me and/or offering his bounty.

    And before you infer anything about the way he may have raised me if this is his attitude, he married my mom one year before I moved away from home, so thank god I did not grow up with him teaching me what is normal or professional. By contrast, my actual father has been a manual laborer his whole life and he taught me the whole get any job in a company and you can work your way up to CEO deal, which is the opposite and equally unhelpful end of the spectrum. Also he taught me a BS/BA is a ticket to a full time job. File this under “parents are not allowed to give job hunting advice,” AAM.

    1. MeganO*

      Oh, man. That’s intensely bad advice! Good thing you, at least, know that – good luck in your job searching! I know it can be ard when your parents are sure you’re doing it wrong…

    2. mh_76*

      the whole get any job in a company and you can work your way up to CEO deal, which is the opposite and equally unhelpful end of the spectrum. Also he taught me a BS/BA is a ticket to a full time job. File this under “parents are not allowed to give job hunting advice,” AAM.

      And hop in a time machine back to Spring 1999 and tell my parents that…heck, tell them that now. They’re wonderful people with hearts of platinum (the heck with gold) but this advice is sooo outdated! Maybe it was true “back in the day” but it’s sure as heck not true anymore.

      Of course, today’s job-search advice isn’t always perfect either. I’ve heard over and over about how vital it to hyperspecialize (um, yeah, still haven’t done that) and then I read this article:

      I digress, though… the billboard was a well-intentioned but badly executed move that will probably backfire if it hasn’t already. And never listen to your parents about job-hunting – exception: if they’ve very recently been job seekers themselves, they will be more current than, for example, my own awesome parents (well, awesome outside of their old-fashioned job-search advice).

      1. Anon OP*

        It’s even LESS true in my field, which is health care. I was applying to a medical research institute recently and expressed to my parents that I was disappointed to by applying there for an admin opening and not what I actually “do.” They told me to apply to be an admin and work my way up and I finally lost it. NO GUYS, NO. You do NOT get a job as an admin and work your way up to MEDICAL RESEARCH SCIENTIST. You do NOT. EVER. ARGH.

        Both my parents have been laid off (and my stepdad may be soon, too) so both have job hunted recently. My mom adapted quickly and got another good job, though part time and underpaid, it’s in her field and she loves it. My dad hasn’t found crap, surprising no one.

        1. mh_76*

          Yet similar bad advice abounds even today: apply for an EA job*, learn about how the business [department] is run, do well, move up. Um, not. EA job was eliminated because of org. chart changes and it took me a couple of years to get people to stop suggesting that I should apply for more Admin* jobs.

          In this job market, it has been believed for years that people are only capable of doing exactly verbatim what they’ve done before and nothing else. I could go on and on about how stupid that belief is, how it assumes that people are idiots and have no capacity to learn (never mind master) new skills/etc. … … Argh!

          *re: EA & Admin jobs – they are very valuable jobs & highly competent EAs/Admins are gems… my professional interests lie elsewhere.

          1. Anna*

            You know, I think that’s one of the big things that’s hindering my job search (another is spending way too much time here and not looking as hard as I should). It’s hard to be taken seriously as a potential A/P clerk when your last job was as an Administrative Assistant — even when you did take over a good portion of the bookkeeping for the final six months at your last job.

            1. Jamie*

              I would make sure you highlight the six months you did have on your resume, if those are the jobs you now want. Make sure to move it to the top of your bullet list.

              Fwiw I don’t think the title of AA is that big a hindrance, since a lot of AA positions include AP – even heavy AP.

              1. Anna*

                True, “Administrative Assistant” is one of those titles that tends to be really fuzzy. Even more so in my case: there were maybe half a dozen people working at my last company of which I was the only one without any training remotely relevant to what we actually did for our (non)money. I ended up as a corporate girl-of-all-work as a result.

            2. Shawna*

              Anna: I have a history of A/R, and it doesn’t matter what I apply for, but they see my A/R history and want me there… I complained to a peer about the fact that I have A/P and payroll experience too, but everybody bypasses that in their A/R excitement. She suggested I look into joining a professional organization — apparently there’s one for Payroll people– and start networking with them, and take advantage of any opportunities that will help flush out the resume. Plus what Jamie said :)

    1. EngineerGirl*

      I grew up a few hours north of Toledo. The job market is horrendous. I’m not so sure that what the husband did is as big a “sin” in Toledo as it would be in Los Angeles. Also “great fit” doesn’t have the sexual connotations in that part of the country that it would have in other parts. So some of the commentators are taking things out of context.

      1. Ask a Manager* Post author

        If the job market is horrendous, wouldn’t that make this even less likely to work? What sane employer with plenty of candidates to choose from would have their interest sparked by a billboard that says nothing about this woman other than that she has an MBA (and a crazy husband)?

        1. EngineerGirl*

          Well, they would know that they had support from the husband. Even though they have a lot of high tech stuff, Detroit/Toledo are blue collar towns culturally, so need to be judged from that context.

          You had previous posts on how background helped or hurt a person. In this case, I believe that it happening in Toledo means that it is less of a deal than if it were in a more “gentile” type of town.

      2. Anonymous*

        “Great fit” has the same connotations everywhere in the country, the only thing that differs is whether people would laugh about it openly or not.

        1. EngineerGirl*

          Or if their mind even went there in the first place. Really. I had to think about it for 2 hours before I got it. Some of us just don’t go there.

  15. Elizabeth West*

    I did put an ad for myself on Craigslist–something like “Wanted- Admin position,” etc. but this….is a bit much.
    I’ve gotten a couple of hits but nothing that looks decent. It’s the holiday weekend now, so I’ll reply to a couple tomorrow and if they are junk I’ll just take it down. There’s no identifying info in it.

  16. HigherEd Comms*

    The husband should have run this idea by a recruiter first or some people who actually do hiring to see if this was a worthwhile idea. I’m guessing this would’ve saved him a few $$. As for the wife, anyone with an MBA would realize this is a horrid idea. He might have had a better chance if he marketed her as a consultant instead of the blatant “hire me, I’m awesome” message.

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