Read fine print Lorna Jane, ad’s not on

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS -

AC­TIVEWEAR com­pany Lorna Jane has come un­der fire this week but an im­por­tant point has been missed in all the furore.

There is noth­ing wrong with a cloth­ing com­pany spec­i­fy­ing the size of a fit model. A fit model is em­ployed as a hu­man man­nequin to try clothes on to en­sure they fit in the way the de­sign­ers planned.

A fit model by def­i­ni­tion needs to have very spe­cific mea­sure­ments be­cause they’re rep­re­sent­ing the tar­get cus­tomer. Even some­one who is a run­way model may not be suited as a fit model, sim­ply be­cause their bust or waist doesn’t ex­actly match spec­i­fi­ca­tions.

What is not right, how­ever, is com­bin­ing that role with that of a re­cep­tion­ist. The two sets of re­quire­ments are not re­motely re­lated and never should have be ad­ver­tised as such. A re­cep­tion­ist does not need to be a cer­tain size to do a job well and to im­ply oth­er­wise is dis­crim­i­na­tory, even if far from Lorna Jane’s in­ten­tion.

It’s cut­ting corners to try to have one less staff mem­ber on the books and it prob­a­bly hap­pens a lot more than peo­ple re­alise.

De­spite a Lorna Jane rep­re­sen­ta­tive say­ing the two roles were both part- time and it made sense to com­bine them, it shouldn’t have hap­pened. The jobs should have been kept as two sep­a­rate part- time roles, to keep things very clear.

This is not a size de­bate. This is about jobs and the need to keep cer­tain things sep­a­rate.

It’s not sur­pris­ing that in tough eco­nomic times, em­ploy­ees end up do­ing things out­side their tra­di­tional job de­scrip­tion and ex­pec­ta­tions change. How­ever, when you roll two jobs into one, you set a prece­dent and sud­denly job ap­pli­cants have a new list of boxes they need to tick, mak­ing the search for work harder.

Another re­cent ex­am­ple of up­roar about a com­bined role was when Fair­fax landed in hot wa­ter over a com­bined sales rep­re­sen­ta­tive and jour­nal­ist job. Peo­ple were an­gry that these two roles were com­bined, not recog­nis­ing that the skill sets needed to per­form each job well were very dif­fer­ent and in many ways con­tra­dic­tory to each other.

Like in the Lorna Jane case, the job ad was pulled, but that time ex­ec­u­tives claimed it was a mis­take, while Lorna Jane Clark­son is blam­ing the out­rage on peo­ple not read­ing the ad­ver­tise­ment prop­erly.

No, I read it per­fectly, Ms Clark­son. I just don’t find it a par­tic­u­larly in­spir­ing mes­sage.

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