Apply Within: Optus’ Prime Fail


Telecommunications giant Optus came under fire earlier this week for advertising a position for its Neutral Bay store that targeted Anglo-Saxon applicants.

Much of the commentary has predictably centred around the possible racist intent of this message.

But perhaps the more interesting question is whether Optus is looking to experiment with heritage technologies.

The Anglo-Saxons were a people who inhabited the British isles from the 5th century BC to the Norman invasion of 1066, when William the conqueror brought better cheeses and the rule of law.

Their artistic and technological achievements included sophisticated quoit brooches and military masks, which communicated status through intricate metalwork, rare materials and impressive design.

Another Anglo-Saxon achievement was the illuminated manuscript, in which biblical scripture was set to finely detailed scenes painted with beautiful pigments and often overlaid with gold leaf.

Of course, neither gold nor pigments like lapis lazuli can be found in any great quantities anywhere near the British isles.

But let that not bother us!  Whoever these Anglo-Saxons were, they must have been extremely resourceful, and that is obviously just what Optus is looking for.

Resourceful, go-getting employees, preferably with a self-consciously (though un-self-reflectively) white Anglocentric background.

Apply within.

Cat Moir is a writer and academic based in Sydney.