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Thursday, January 10, 2013

When enough is enough

Linda (not her real name) is considering suicide.  After being unemployed for over a year, and having applied to more jobs than she can remember, she finally had a real chance for a job.

She anxiously waited for three weeks while the company screened more candidates and tried not to get her hopes up.  Something that’s easier said than done.  On the one hand she knew that an interview didn’t promise a job, but the interview had gone so well and she was perfect for the job.

This morning she found out that the company has hired someone else and through dumb luck she found out who had beaten her …  a 25 year old woman (Amanda) with 3 kids, all under 5 years old.

Linda doesn’t have the will to carry on anymore.  It’s bad enough to lose out on a job, but to a woman with three young kids!

Of course, the organization who hired Amanda has no idea of her family situation.  After all, asking a job candidate how old she is, whether or not she’s married, if she has any children and their ages is against the law.

The organization is about to find out though, when the kids get sick and Amanda needs time off.  It’s bad enough when one get measles, chicken pocks or another child’s disease, but in this case it’s times three.  Not to mention a number of other things that can go wrong with a child that age. 

Linda on the other hand is a 59 year old woman with no family ties.  She has no kids who will keep her awake at night, get sick or have accidents at the playground.  She will show up for work on time, every time and the word “time off” is not in her vocabulary. 

Is it wrong for Linda to consider packing it in and leaving this world?  Maybe, maybe not.  It sure would send a message to all those stupid employers who see a pretty girl and hire her, regardless of her qualifications, experience and family situation and throw a perfectly qualified older candidate to the curb.

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