Public Service Announcement: Job Hunting

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[Content Notice: Today’s post will be touching on some topics that may potentially cause upsetting feelings for some, specifically harassment and boundary crossing behaviors. While I will do my absolute best to leave out specifics where possible, I understand that even mentioning these things can cause difficult feelings for some. In this case, I encourage you to skip today’s post, and check out some of my other stuff instead. No worries, we’ll kick it together again some other time! On the other hand, if this post is something you decide to move forward with, and this brings up difficult feelings for you, a great resource is RAINN. I’ve talked to them myself, so I can personally say for sure you’ll be in good hands. If you’re in the U.K., there’s the Supportline, and for those of you down under, there’s Lifeline and Headspace.]

One of the things a lot of people do in order to make ends meet or work toward their goals is to take on another job. Or take on a new job if they’ve either recently left one, or are just starting out from baseline zero. Sometimes people will end up leaving the workforce for any number of reasons, and rejoin at a later point in time.

I’ve seen stories on My 600lb Life where the contenders will end up leaving whatever jobs they had before they got to where they were at when they found Dr. Nowzaradan, and start job hunting after they’ve gotten the surgery and gotten to a better place with themselves in terms of their health. I remember at least a couple of them had jobs when they were at their highest weight, whether it was their highest confirmed or estimated weight.

The process of job hunting can be a long, drawn-out, frustrating, and difficult ordeal, especially these days. Lately, there’s been a huge surge in companies putting “Help Wanted” on their signage, or on signs in their shop windows. Some companies in my neck of the woods have even thrown ads up on Craigslist looking for new hires, others posted on Facebook, and others have listings on LinkedIn as well as the other job ad sites.

Why, it looks like every Tom, Dick, and Harry out there’s hard-up for new hires these days!

Navigating the job hunt landscape can be a confusing, and nerve-wracking experience for anyone, and it’s even more so for those who’ve been out of the traditional workforce for awhile. Like for instance, maybe there’s someone who’s spent the past several years dealing with an illness that left them unable to hold a traditional job, or maybe someone who’s had other obligations going on to where a traditional job outside the home just wasn’t happening for whatever reason.

Whatever those reasons are, they’re your reasons, and they’re no less valid. And if you’re starting at baseline zero? We all gotta start somewhere, and there’s no shame in it.

As I’ve mentioned before, we moved recently, and I decided to cast my net out and see what was out there that I could get to reasonably well enough on foot or by bike. I was only looking for part-time work, since my day job had hit a dry spell again.

I started looking before we moved. I wanted another income stream, something verifiable, and also just straight-up something to do. One of the places I ran into that had their “Help Wanted” sign in their window, I got a bad feeling about right from the second I found the manager and asked about the type of schedule they were looking for. They gave me an application.

I had a semblance of this same feeling when I was 19 and ended up in the path of that former boss I’ve talked about here before.

Only back then, I didn’t know any better, and I didn’t have the words to put to it.

This time, I honored that feeling, took the application they gave me, promptly stuffed it in the bag that had my day job stuff in it when I got back home, and forgot about it.

A month has passed since I went into that business to ask about it, and that sign is still up. No way they haven’t had any other takers in that amount of time. I’m betting I may have dodged a bullet in any case.

After the move, I tried my luck with another business that had a “Now Hiring” statement in their signage. I went home and applied online like they told me to, and I got an immediate callback for an interview that weekend. I had no other commitments going on, my family’s gimmes were sated, and I got ready to go for the interview.

I had no experience in this industry whatsoever, but I had customer service experience, and I felt like that would be in my favor. I went inside 5 minutes before the scheduled interview after waiting outside as a favor to them.

I met with the manager who was there on duty, and nothing seemed out of the ordinary. They seemed a bit creepy at first, but I set those feelings aside to give them the benefit of the doubt. They wanted to know more about me, with their canned stupidly-vague interview questions with no one way to answer them. They asked me why I wanted to work there, and I told them I wanted to learn new skills, and now that we were done with the recent move, I felt like this was a good time to do it.

Then they asked me if I was married, but not in those words. They continued to needle me about my living situation, before they reverted back to the canned interview questions and pretended they were interested in hearing about “those projects” with my day job. They then fixated on my other jobs, pretending to care while they leered at me.

I left the interview after they reverted back to their professionalism mask when we parted ways. At the time, I couldn’t believe what happened actually happened that way.

That manager’s creepy demeanor toward me was enough for me to write them off, regardless of whether I got a callback to move forward with the on-boarding process.

I went for a walk to debrief myself on it, and got to wondering if this was even legal for them to ask these questions for me.

Even if it was legal, my verdict on that job opportunity was NEXT!

If they treated me like this during the interview, and I wasn’t even an employee there, then think of how much worse it would be if I actually worked for them.

Guess they didn’t want or need the help that bad, eh? I felt (and still feel) sorry for the ones who had to work with them. My heart goes out to them, along with everyone else who has to deal with someone like this as a supervisor or manager.

There’s no way I’d ever work for someone like that or hire someone like that either if I had a business, even if they were growing on my ass or paid me a million bucks.

Whatevs. There are other opportunities. That business isn’t the end-all, be-all, and they’re thankfully not the only game in town.

I got back home, and did some homework as soon as I took off my shoes and put ’em away in my little shoe closet by the basement. Yeah, these were inappropriate interview questions for sure, and illegal to boot.

This further solidified my decision not to move forward with that business, and now there was one question:

What do I do when a manager asks me if I’m married in an interview? What can I do about it? What kind of recourse do I even have, anyway? I was never an employee there.

Do I just move on and try to forget about it like I did when I was 19?

Nope. I decided I was gonna tell whoever the Powers that Be at that place were about this, and if that meant the owners themselves, then so be it.

Even if they knew and didn’t care like one business I applied at years ago, they can’t say they weren’t forewarned about their employee’s predilections.

I got on the phone to call them, only to get another manager instead of the general manager like I’d hoped. Not the one I dealt with, thankfully. I told them what happened at the interview, even quoting what the manager I dealt with verbatim said to me.

They were horrified that this manager would act the way they did, and yes, they said they’d never seen them act any other way but professional.

No shocker there. Jerk fucks like this are usually always on their best behavior in front of any Powers that Be. It’s the sloppier ones that aren’t.

To that manager’s credit, they said they’d be talking with them about this. I’m fine with not having front-row seats to that show.

Whatever becomes of that manager going forward isn’t my circus or my monkeys.

Years ago, there was a time I’d have felt horrible at the idea of something bad happening to them. But then I remembered, hey, this person did this to themselves.

They chose to play stupid games, they get to win stupid prizes.

Creepy managers like the one I dealt with that day ultimately played a role in why I stayed so obese for so long. It didn’t work, but I managed to ward off the lazier and more looks-obsessed turds.

Readers, if there’s one takeaway you get from this, it’s that you don’t deserve inappropriate treatment from a hiring manager. You’re applying for new opportunities and to make a living, not to get MeToo’d. Under no circumstances do they EVER have the right to ask about your life outside of work, your partnership or civil status, or worse yet, who you choose to get it on with. You have the right to end that interview if they ask those questions of you. You can tell them that you already know this job opportunity won’t work out for you, and walk out.

They lost all rights they ever had to you thanking them for their time if that’s how they chose to act around you, and they lost all rights they ever had to you caring about what happens to them personally and as a company.

If something like this happened to you, I’m sorry they chose to act the way they did. You didn’t deserve to be treated the way they treated you, and you deserved so much better than what you got out of them. Definitely reconsider whether this is a company you’d like to work for, if this was the way they acted when you weren’t even an employee there. Your emotional well-being supersedes any job opportunity, and if this was a dream job this happened at, then something better is (hopefully) right around the corner.

If horse dicks like this were part of why you stayed overweight, I am truly sorry for what they’ve done to you, caused you, and continue to cause you. I want you to know that they’ve taken enough away from you, and that you deserve to be healthy. They have no right to take that away from you, not then, not now, not EVER! It isn’t your responsibility to make them STFU and start behaving better. That’s on them, 100%.

Over to you, readers. If you can relate to this in any way, know that I see you, I hear you, and I believe you. Have you been in a job interview where the one interviewing you behaved badly (or worse, inappropriately) in whatever way? How’d you respond? Sound off below.



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