I’ve been thinking…
A few weeks ago, I had a job interview at a bridal salon. I was super excited about it. I was interviewing for a customer service representative position which would require me to work the front desk, answer phones, up-sale items at the cash register and generally be an assistant to everyone in the store. I have a lot of customer service experience in my 30 years of work experience. Topping off all my work experience is the fact that I have a diploma in bridal consulting and I consistently monitor the bridal industry along with keeping fresh with latest trends. Seriously.
I had two interviews with two different ladies. The first interview was with a calm and charming woman who was especially easy to converse and laugh with. The second woman was uptight, snobby who barely even spoke with me. My interview was less than 15 minutes long and she was ushering me out the door. Keep in mind that I am completely prepared to accept that there was a better qualified candidate out there. In fact it is pretty true in life that there is always someone better qualified than you and someone less qualified than you. It is just a fact. Here’s my however. I over heard the snobby lady say something as I was waiting for my interview that has been rolling around my brain and now, I am not sure about that my qualifications or lack of were the reason I did not get the job.
I was browsing through the stunning dresses when I over heard the snob say, “I liked her but I think she would be better in the back, in alterations. She was old you know.” She was speaking about whomever had interviewed before me. The lady who had previously interviewed for the job was an older woman. Apparently, the snob, felt that because although she was qualified, she should be placed in the back so no one would see her. Because she was old.
When I heard her say it, I was shocked and I thought to myself, “I hope she is not doing my interview.” Sure enough, she was the person I was meeting. The snob was so brisk in the interview and impatient. It was obvious that she was in a hurry to get it done. I did my best to work with it and keep moving forward with a smile. In hind sight, I am not sure that the snob ever gave me a chance. I am older and I am fat.
This is the first time in my life that I have ever wondered if I lost a job based solely on my appearance but after considering how the snob was willing to hire a qualified candidate and stuff her in the back because she is old, I am not so sure.
I understand, people and companies have images. I also understand that I am perfectly capable of dressing and grooming to company standards. I understand this may have nothing to do with why I did not get the job. I also understand that it is wrong to put qualified employees “in the back” because they are old or fat.
Other than my weight, I was appropriately dressed, clean and well groomed. I was 15 minutes early, well mannered and have a bridal consulting diploma. I understand that I am a valuable, hard working and intelligent employee who happens to carry some extra weight. I understand that loosing weight would be better for me. I am working on it!
More importantly, I understand that, sadly, that bridal shop was no where I want to work especially after seeing how they treat older people. The snob can feel safe. Me and my old, fat, qualified self will just work elsewhere with people who know how to NOT discriminate based on weight or age.