A job listing for the World’s Toughest Job was posted online and in Boston newspapers for a “Director of Operations” position. The listing got 2.7 million impressions from paid advertising placements, but only 24 people inquired. These 24 were interviewed via webcam and their real-time reactions were captured on video.
Boston advertising agency, Mullen, posted online for a “Director of Operations” job at a company called Rehtom Inc. The requirements sounded nothing short of brutal:
• Standing up almost all the time
• Constantly exerting yourself
• Working from 135 to unlimited hours per week
• Degrees in medicine, finance, and culinary arts necessary
• No vacations
• The work load goes up on Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s and other holidays
• No time to sleep
• Salary = $0
After going through the ridiculous list of the job’s responsibilities and prompting the respondents to say things like “nobody’s doing that for free!,” the interviewer reveals that there are billions that have already filled the position: moms.
Of course, interviewees became incredibly emotional and the tearing up began, thereby prompting heartfelt speeches to their mothers, telling them just how much they appreciate all of their hard work and dedication.
The #WorldsToughestJob turned out to be a video advertisement for the international greeting card manufacturer American Greeting, which is eventually revealed to be an elaborate prank staged in homage to motherhood.
On April 15th, Salon published a post titled “Motherhood isn’t the ‘world’s toughest job’,” in which the author, a mother herself, explains not only are there many more jobs more grueling than motherhood, being a mother is hard work, but not a job. The next day, TIME published an article titled “Here’s What’s Wrong With That Viral “World’s Toughest Job” Ad,” which accused the ad of “fetishizing” the work of mothers at their expense and the expense of stay-at-home fathers. That same day, Policy Mic published an article titled “Why That Viral ’World’s Toughest Job’ Video Actually Undermines Women,” which argues that the ad makes it seem like “motherhood is the be-all, end-all for women.”