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As part of an advertising campaign to recruit workers, Brickl Brothers construction company is using hashtags such as #NoSnowflakes among others to try to recruit hardworking employees, business development manager Greg Brickl said.

“#NoSnowflakes,” warns an employee recruitment campaign, but the West Salem-based construction company meant no political offense by the message it put on a Third Street billboard, according to its business recruitment manager.

The term was first used in pop culture to disparage spoiled, lazy millennials at the turn of the century and in more recent years has been applied generally to political liberals.

“We don’t care what politics a person has as long as they show up and work hard all day long,” Greg Brickl said when asked about a politically loaded term that has raised some eyebrows.

Brickl said Brickl Bros. values all of its employees, along with the racial, religious, political and other diverse backgrounds and experiences they bring to the job.

“Snowflake” got its start as a significant term in pop culture in the 1999 cult film “Fight Club,” in which author Chuck Palahniuk’s Tyler Durden character tells his crew of anarchist thugs, “You are not special. You are not a beautiful and unique snowflake.”

As part of a campaign to recruit people to the construction trade, Brickl Bros. uses about 10 different hashtags, including the #NoSnowflakes used on a billboard at Third and Jackson streets. Other hashtags include #LifeSkills, #BoldlyForward and #TrueGrit. Brickl said they reflect the kind of job candidate his company is looking for.

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The construction industry means hard work, he said, and employees have to be physically and mentally tough. The campaign targets people who are attracted to this kind of work.

“Construction isn’t a career for anybody,” Brickl said. “It is a career for a small percentage of the population who can work as hard as is required. For those unwilling, another career might be good for you.”

Twitter and Facebook searches for #NoSnowflake produce thousands of political posts criticizing liberals and college students.

Thomas O’Guinn, a marketing professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and expert on branding and advertising, said he didn’t think using the term made sense, but he could understand its application. He said the move could result in a smaller applicant pool or even a loss of liberal customers if the campaign rubs enough people the wrong way.

The connotations of the term are easily found using an internet search, O’Guinn pointed out.

“I can see the market logic,” he said. “But they could have done the same thing without sticking their thumbs in the eyes of some people.”

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Nathan Hansen has been the Education Reporter for the Tribune since 2014. Prior to that, he covered education, agriculture and business topics for the Winona Daily News. He is always on the lookout for news tips and can be contacted at 608-791-8234.

(94) comments

Comment deleted.
theluckiest

Real weakness and cowardice shown by Brickl Brothers, leveling an insult against a community of people and then pretending it doesn't mean what everyone knows it means. It's clearly meant to insult some segment of our local community and Brickl Bros should be ashamed. Pretending otherwise is just purpose driven ignorance.

Comment deleted.
Polarbear

Take a stand to losing business. Keep in mind that Donny has effectively divided the nation in half. Also keep in mind that there are people on the LEFT that can make decisions which contractor to use. Since Brickl decided to go this route, they will more than likely lose some potential business. I am sure all the "I know I am RIGHT" wingers will struggle to believe that there are liberals that make money and can also make decisions. Good luck! You'll need it!

ou812

the thing about snowflakes is when its time for work... they melt!!!

mocha1

Grandpa, nice try with the word games but today's definition of what a liberal political believer is a long way from Webster definition of the word liberal. The political liberal of today, is more closely related to leftist or fascists. For example, how many campuses in the last few months have seen rioting and looting by liberals just to shut down a political speaker they do not agree with. The owner of Chikfila voices his personal view on gay marriage and liberals/leftists try to destroy his business because they disagree with him. The snowflake liberals on campusesb need safe zones so they do not have to hear anything they disagree with. Liberalism has become synonymous with moral relativism, there is no real right or wrong it all depends. How am I feeling today, does it fit my ideology or advance my agenda. But if it makes you "feel good" to hang onto your Webster definition, in all tolerance go for it. I will not burn a car or trash your house or stop traffic just to shut down your beliefs.

Polarbear

Are you referring to the political, if you can call him that, speaker that likes to fondle little boys. Nice try, but boy was that a bad attempt. If you need some help researching on some topics, I am sure there are some "snowflakes" that can help you with that. But I guess dishonesty seems to be the RIGHTs only way these days. Is there a deflections story that you would like to talk about? We can't wait for your low level facts rebuttle.

badboy

Actually, many of the so called "snowflakes" are very strong individuals. They are the ones who call out the racists traitors flying the confederate flag, the homophobic dirt-bags, the ignorant Muslim haters, the bullies and a-holes everywhere. When the "non_snowflakes were too afraid to speak up the snowflakes were standing up to the bullies. Because of them they are making the world a better place for all.

Redwall

Actually, the Snowflakes have been hiding in their custom built, taxpayer funded, safe spaces.

badboy

That's all you have? Lame. But thanks for playing

ExBadger

You forgot the play dough and crayons!

tomoba

The construction industry is the most conservative of all industries. It is also the worst industries across all measurable criteria. To have that hashtag is just another indicator of the low intellect of conservatives. It is a merry little circle.

Redwall

Actually, the average construction company owner is a risk taker and thrives in that environment. The level of risk in construction is why so many such companies fail. But they are great at creating jobs when the economy is favorable.

Jobaba

Why do conservative have a need to look down on others?

Nastysmell

I am not positive, but I think Brickl Bros. is a non union company.

Grand Dad's Bluff

Vet. Bad assumptions on your part. Original comment stands. Full stop.

The Veteran

GDB----And I will stand by mine,and add you sound more like an exemployee today than yesterday.Could not handle hard work or did the boss hollering a little make you tinkle in you undies!!!!

ou812

Timmy and Fishy, 2 more snowflakes on welfare, be proud dudes!!!

Tim Russell

So anybody that doesn't agree with you must be on welfare?
I guess you are as ignorant as I originally thought.

GrandpaS

@ Tim Russell: I used to vote Republican but they made me switch party affiliations because I've been on welfare since Eisenhower was president. How long have you been on the take? One other question: Can a human American actually be ignorant and biased enough to honestly believe liberals are all on welfare? That's been posted over and over and over, including in this thread. Man....... For the record: Dictionary definition of liberal: Person who is willing to change. Conservative: Person who is not willing to change. Look it up. Surprisingly, "liberal" has nothing to do with work status, looting or being in jail. Those last two don't make people liberals, they make them criminals. Big difference. Is it accurate to say all conservatives are bigots? They all drive pick up trucks? They all have beards? They all wear cowboy boots? Those blanket statements don't work, folks, but I've got $5 that says we'll keep hearing those anti-liberal blanket statements for the foreseeable future, because that's one of the things conservatives don't want to change.

GrandpaS

And for those conservatives who don't know what a dictionary is: It's a book that has a long list of words, in alphabetical order, and then tells what those words mean. How does this blanket statement that all conservatives are ignorant work for you, redwall and mocha1?

ou812

up chucker, just keep collecting your welfare checks snowflake!!!

chucker

macho macho man , get out here and bust your back to make the Brick RICH !! Slave labor !

Redwall

The irony of the comments herein is that the liberals on this blog know nothing of work and certainly arent likely to be customers of a construction company ("you didnt build that").

Regardless, your sorry opinions have been noted.

Clarification

Hmmmm....I've been working since 18 including 3 years Regular Army. I'm a liberal, you're a fake. Go enjoy Rush reruns.

Redwall

You are working? At what. You seem to have time to blog all day long so you must be ripping off your employer, if you have one. I would guess you need not apply at Brickl Bros.

Polarbear

ASSumption. You want me to explain that one to you? Redwall seems the type that is still living in mommy's basement sucking off the system acting like she's a CEO of a company.

awol2009

Redballs, a lame, know-nothing deflection. Your sorry opinions have been noted, blah, blah, blah. Sounds like a boot-licking brown shirt threat. Is that all 'ya got?

billa

Boo hoo to all the snowflakes. Did somebody hurt your felling? I think I'll just go and buy me a BB building.

ojay7

Regardless of their intent, Brickl Brothers has now gotten more free publicity than any local business. Gotta love the media!

awol2009

Ojay7, yes, they have some "free" publicity. Negative publicity, gotta love the media for pointing it out.

river warrior

we hired a bunch of snowflakes and it does take some patients and ars chewing to motivate , they are like little puppies . we swore and acted like men and slowly but surly they are coming around to producing at a reasonable rate. it sucks that it has taken so many months but, we have to turn this ship around , a couple are even starting to act like men and question the brainwashing they have been subjected to in public school. love your neighbor and go running

Tim Russell

So for you it would actually be #bootlickersonly.

oldhomey

Gosh. Such testosterone! Such ballsiness! And what business are you engaged in, warrior, that requires this extraordinary manliness? Paper route delivery? Dairy Queen? I will keep my eye out. Swashbucklers like you must be easy to spot in this world of pantywaist weewees. Would you consider hiring somebody well into his 70s? I'd like to know, after all these years of sitting on the throne to pee how to stand like a man. I am not a patient, which seems to be one of your requirements, but I AM sickly. Is that good enough?

PhysicsIsFun

Too funny.

awol2009

oldhomey, you win best comment of the month, sir. Hilarious[beam]

PhysicsIsFun

Based on the level of English expertise exhibited in your screed I would guess you spent little time in school. Then a man's man like you doesn't need to communicate with the written word when your busy doing your manly stuff.

PhysicsIsFun

Oops - you're

awol2009

river warrior: "we swore and acted like men and slowly but surly..." My gosh, and then you mock what they were subjected to in public school! Maybe they were taught proper language skills, spelling, punctuation, little things like that, which you obviously were not. You "acted like men"! How quaint! Which Neanderthal level did you "act"?

theluckiest

Yes, mighty river warrior, I see you were never "subjected to public school", what with your inability to use any semblance of correct punctuation or the correct spelling of the words patience and surely. But you were probably too busy pumping iron or doing other manly man things with your manly friends to worry about looking like an idiot with your lack of spelling, sentence structure and punctuation. LOL Go chew on some leather now and don't pay any attention to everyone who thinks you sound like a Neanderthal.

kingman10

from a business stand point can't see how this type of advertising would be a good thing. But as they said in the article it has nothing to do with politics, despite the bozos here who think it is.

knowledge is power

In this day and age it not wise to use perjoratives in your advertising! I for one will not spend my money with this company. Making fun of or putting down anyone is not ok!! Respect differences, work to understand others, and love not hate! For all of you that assume you know millennials you do not!!

GrandpaS

The good news for all the "snowflake!!" -screaming parrots is that everybody knows liberals don't work. None of 'em. They sit around and wait for Uncle Sam to hand them everything. Everything. Lets' see how I'm doing picking up the conservative mantra: "Kenya. Snowflakes. Mom's basement. Handouts. Libturds." Help me here. What am I missing?

Redwall

Actually, you've covered it in exemplary fashion. There is hope for you.

Mack

They are looking for the old cliche' "Strong backs and weak minds". Coincides with their uncreative lookalike buildings.

Redwall

Yes, we all know you are too smart to work.

Bullflap

Actually , to be successful in an industry such as the construction industry, you need both a strong mind and a strong back.,.come on, Mack...a guy as intelligent as you should know that.

ou812

What have you been smoking grand dads bluff, Brickl's is a very high quality construction company and have been around for a long time, Where do you come up with your lies.

Tim Russell

The build a heII of a pig barn.

fish37

everyone learns to lie from your pres. right???

Tim Russell

Should be more like #mouthbreathersonly

Redwall

The decision to hire someone is an important one and a miss-hire is a very expensive mistake. Most Snowflakes are not going to be compatible with a physical construction job. Best to weed them out early.

fish37

how is trump care going ??

Redwall

It went down in flames as it deserved.

Fishy can now relax, the work requirement for free healthcare wont impact him any time soon.

theluckiest

Real weakness and cowardice is leveling an insult against a community of people and then pretending it doesn't mean what everyone knows it means. It's clearly meant to insult some segment of our local community and Brickl Bros should be ashamed. Pretending otherwise is just purpose driven ignorance.

Clarification

Dumb move on their part. The kind of people who love it are the ones I do not want to work with and do not have working for me.

hrpufnstuf

It should read #sleetballs.

RSE

It's not good business to offend a potential customer base. Even special snowflakes have money to spend, but perhaps not at Brickl Bros.

mocha1

Kudos to Brickl. Why would any employer want to put up with the snowflake antics. Constantly having to put up with complaints about hurt feelings, or non-PC comments. Can you imagine if a construction truck pulled in with a confederate flag on the grill. The snow flakes would either riot and burn the site down or demand paid leave for counseling

Polarbear

I see your part of the problem rather than the solution. Do you understand that ignorance is bliss? Hold on, maybe if i type slower you might understand. What i love, or maybe hate, is people like mocha, that take one person's comments or actions as law. When in reality, people like mocha look the fool.
Can we refer to you as Dumbcake? That's kind of fitting for you.

joebadaxxe

Well said, Union man and awol. So often I check this comments it's nothing but dingbats. Thanks for standing out from the crowd. Looks like the employer may be the snowflake here, "Wah, these losers want to get paid!"

random annoying bozo

whoop dee doodle doo..........much ado about nothing..........fake, irrelevant 'news'

Technomom

Arrogance is seen by "some" as a good quality. It is also a trait that is too prevalent in this culture. Their marketing could have focused on skills and well paying jobs.

chucker

Show me the MONEY !! Bump up the PAY as you do work them like DOGS !! and its a young mans job and good luck with hiring people as all these young lazy punks just sit in Mommies basement and play video games lazy bums !!

WSparent

Snowflakes need not apply! If a hashtag offends you to the core, you may not be the type of employee Brickl is looking to hire.

theluckiest

Real weakness and cowardice shown by Brickl Bros, leveling an insult against a community of people and then pretending it doesn't mean what everyone knows it means. It's clearly meant to insult some segment of our local community and Brickl Bros should be ashamed. Pretending otherwise is just purpose driven ignorance.

awol2009

Brickl Brothers are more well-known as Prick el Brothers. It shows in their billboard #hashtag.

Grand Dad's Bluff

These guys are fly by night outfit at best....lots of unhappy customers. They could benefit by hiring people with values.

The Veteran

GDB---Brickls have been in business for around fifty years,have you been in business that long.They have built two buildings for me and I have gotten many compliments on the quality of these buildings.You sound like someone who was let go from their employment.

Tim Russell

Farm Buildings?

theluckiest

No doubt hog pens.

Union Man

the real talent goes to the Union shops for the benefits and pension they deserve

The Veteran

union man----more union BS!!!!!

fish37

you wish you had a pension.

The Veteran

fishy----I created my own retirement fund and did not have to worry about unions mishandling it like they have done with many of them.

fish37

I know better, nota vet.

The Veteran

fishy---You know nothing and you prove it every time you comment----FOOL!!!!When and where did you serve ,quit HIDING COWARD???????

Check the facts

No one is dumb enough to believe that no political message was being made.

If Greg Brickl and company truly "values all of its employees...," the snowflake term would have never been used. He claims he doesn't care what politics a person has, after putting up a billboard that declares liberals need not apply. Both messages can't be true.

Greg Brickl's divisiveness (along with his backpedaling) illustrate so much of what is wrong with our society and political discourse.

If you are going to be so bold as to put something like this on a billboard, you should at least man up to the motivations.

crank

Yeah, beack-peddler! I bet Greg Brickl pee's sitting down! #manuppussy

LeopoldStotch

Or maybe he really didn't really mean it as a political term. I'm probably a bit behind, but I wasn't aware that it was officially a political term. I mean, I get that a lot of people that would fit this term are probably liberal, but there are also a lot of liberals that don't fit this description.

awol2009

Brickl is a TBagger. That's a pretty lame recruitment #hashtag. I had a client that worked for them years ago. He told me company heads treated their labor force like c-Rap and that's why they have a high turnover.

crank

Your client might have been a snowflake...?

awol2009

crank, he is a successful small business owner with many happy employee's in the retail sector. He doesn't mix politics with his business or employees, a really smart guy.

crank

Maybe now he isn't a snowflake. Perhaps he grew up and discovered what responsibility is? Good for him!

fish37

crank is a grabber lover.

awol2009

Crank, he's a better man than you could ever hope to be.

crank

Do you think his Dad can beat up my Dad too, AWOL? [beam][lol]

ou812

obviously Cassie you have never owned a buisness

Cassandra

How ridiculous that they would be stupid enough to offend a MAJORITY of voters by aligning themselves with the lamest sort of political putdown. Even more ridiculous is the notion that people in the construction trades aren't progressives.

Calmone

Move along snowflake, I've got a job application to turn in.

Cassandra

Finally going to get a job and quit taking handouts, Calmone?

crank

Yes! How did that boycott against Chick-fil-A work out? #boycotbackfire

Next time you go there try one of their salads. Seriously, their Strawberry Market Salad is da bomb! Like any business delivering good products, a hissy fit from a few snowflakes won't make a difference. You predict a blizzard of snowflakes but a few flurries for Brickl are more likely. If they would have used the hashtag #nodeplorables, what would you say?

GrandpaS

I would say, "You're hiring trades people, not political candidates. Stay on task."

fish37

how is trump care working for you crank.. 8 years and no plan. wow

LeopoldStotch

Pretty sure that they are referring to lazy and thin skinned people that they don't want to work for them.

theluckiest

Real weakness and cowardice, leveling an insult against a community of people and then pretending it doesn't mean what everyone knows it means. It's clearly meant to insult some segment of our local community and Brickl Bros should be ashamed. Pretending otherwise is just purpose driven ignorance.

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