A socialist politician from Sweden has landed herself in hot water after claiming that sales is a “crap profession”. Karin Wanngard, who is to take over from Carin Jamtin as the Social Democratic Party’s top name at Stockholm City Hall, made the comments in an interview with the Dagens Nyheter (DN) newspaper last week.
“Young people should not be forced into crap professions like being a salesperson working on commission,” Wanngard told DN. Her statement has since caused outrage among the entire retail sector in Sweden.
Speaking to Expressen newspaper, Christian Democrat Ewa Samuelsson said, “I was horrified, especially when this comes from the Social Democrats who are supposed to be a workers’ party. In society there is need for all types of work, and who am I to decide what is a ‘crap job’ and what isn’t?” “All jobs have to be carried out, and all of us started somewhere,” she added.
DN’s own political writer Peter Wolodarski also criticised Wanngard’s comments. “I don’t know if Karin Wanngard has ever worked in telephone sales. I don’t know if she thinks there are more ‘crap jobs’ on the Swedish labour market or who should do them. But what is clear is that not everyone can be the head of multinational giant Hewlett Packard, as she was,” he wrote.
In subsequent interviews, Wanngard claimed her remarks had been taken out of context and exaggerated, but apologised for offending an entire profession.
“Let me be very clear. There are in reality no ‘crap jobs’. There are no unimportant tasks, no crap tasks. However, there are jobs with crap conditions,” she wrote on news site Newsmill. “Let me finally once and for all apologise to all the sales people for what they interpreted as a derogatory comment about their profession,” she concluded.