A Job Seeker’s Lament

Do you ever wonder if it’s something you did?

A few weeks ago, a young lady came into my business in search of work. In previous years, we would receive written letters, complete with CV, from individuals seeking employment, but times have gotten tougher, so more people are using the direct and personal approach.

Since she was obviously job searching on foot, the lady in question was casually dressed. She was neat and well-spoken, with a slight accent, which I couldn’t immediately place. Her back story, which she volunteered, was that she was from Columbia by way of Jamaica.

She had been employed in the hospitality industry in her native country, but worked with a set of people who seemed jealous of the fact that she was bilingual. It probably didn’t help that she was quite attractive, too, (my deduction, not hers). According to her, she was pushed out of that job.

Her job search here wasn’t going all that well either, since she was finding that her selection for employment was dependent on a certain type of favour to the male in charge of the hiring process  – and they’d only just met. Didn’t he know that sister-girl was looking for a job and not a boyfriend?

So she decided to broaden the scope of her job search and began applying in retail stores. In one, she remembered being met by the Ice Queen herself, whose frosty manner made her turn right around and head for the door. Not taking applications that day, I guess.

And so she found me.

Since I couldn’t help, she informed me that she was willing to take even a baby-sitting job, but she drew the line at any job that required her to clean. Maybe she did enough of that at home.

I’m no fortune teller, but I believe I saw more rejection in her future, because I’m aware that most businesses are just not hiring, while the jobs that are available aren’t enough to go around for all the people who want them.

But I had to give her one tip that I hoped would help in her job search. Because if you don’t get the job, you want to know that it wasn’t because of something you did.

As I said, the young lady’s dress was presentable. What I didn’t say is that her hairstyle was one that would have been in the running for the top prize at a Bronner Brothers Hair Show.

Now I like fashion as much as the next girl, but was it possible that the shaved sides of her head and the roped braids were attracting the wrong kind of attention?

But maybe that’s just me.

She took it well. I hope she followed through. And I hope she got through.


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