By Marlene Lang

Once, I came across an ad for a military life magazine that was in search of an editor. The ad read:

We’re looking for a leader who oozes creativity
and may be borderline OCD organized. Send inquires to Rich.

I did not apply, but I sent Rich a quick note:


I noticed your ad, as my brother awaits deployment to Afghanistan, and I’m paying attention where I hadn’t before.

I’ve been an editor who has hired and managed staff. Every time I see some version of the above content in a job posting, I feel compelled to comment, in hopes of sparing its author deep disappointment.

The person you describe does not exist. You may find the creativity-oozer who is at best competently organized, but the oozing condition negates the possibility of borderline OCD. Or, you may find your supremely organized candidate, but most likely this person’s “creative” urges will manifest in creation of new spread sheet displays. The OCD person is rarely the court jester. It’s very tricky to be in the box and out of it at the same time. It may actually be impossible. It’s not that both qualities never exist in one person; they just don’t tend to show up in the degrees you describe.

And, um, OCD is an actual diagnostic disorder, and is probably not appropriate for jocular use in ads. Just saying.

So, if you find an compulsively organized geek who gets sarcasm, I suggest you make an offer. He or she might not generate humor, but getting it AT ALL makes her tolerable to the creatives you desire in the office. Likewise, if you come across a creative person who can find his or her notes from last week’s interview in the pile on his desk, that’s a keeper.

Best of luck!
Marlene Lang
Editor, Columnist, Creativity Oozer



MarlbillyJackHatene Lang, Ph.D. is  Asst. Professor of Religious Studies at Mount St. Joseph University. She previously worked for more than a decade as a government reporter, editor, and columnist.

Redwing Post and this column are the property of Marlene Lang. Copyright 2017.



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