Cheeky at Best

So I went to the employment office today, which isn’t my favorite thing to do in the first place since it’s a full mile walk or bike ride on a busy street (or an hour on two buses). I wasn’t going there for any reason other than getting referrals for jobs; some of their listings are ‘self refer’ and some are ‘screen by the employment department.’ I got a few self-refer listings and three ‘screen by the employment department’ listings as well.

After at least a 15 minute wait to talk to the person screening me, I finally get the referrals for 2 of the listings (the other one I only have 6 months of the required experience and the company who is hiring wants a full year of experience).

Then out of nowhere, the lady who has been screening me for these jobs says “I assume you know what proper interview attire is.” I just said something along the lines of “I wouldn’t wear what I have on right now to an interview” and left it at that.

I didn’t get mad until later. This was a rude comment that could have been left unsaid, should have been left unsaid, and was totally unnecessary.

This woman has all my work history information (clear back to the 1980’s!!), knows how old I am (53–almost), knows that I’ve got plenty of work experience (and plenty of interview experience as well, none of my past jobs were just up and given to me!), and still slams me about my clothing for no reason at all.

By the way, I was wearing gray crop pants, white socks, white tennis shoes, and a long-sleeved gray/white Big Dogs t-shirt that says on the chest pocket “If you don’t like my attitude, quit talking to me.” All of the aforementioned clothing was clean. As I said to her, I wouldn’t have worn any of what I had on to an interview, but visiting the employment office is NOT an interview. Nobody else in the place was wearing ‘interview’ clothes either.

First, like I said going to the employment office is not an interview. Secondly, this woman has no control at all over whether I get these jobs or not. Third, I rode my bike to the employment office–plenty of other people did also since it was hard finding a spot for my bike in the bike rack provided by the employment department. Additionally, it was about 45 degrees outside today. I’d worn a heavy-duty Green Bay Packers long-sleeved, high necked, fleece jacket for the bike ride and I was still chilly for the 20 minutes or so it took me to get to the employment office.. I can just imagine what kind of comments she would have made had I not taken the jacket off once I got inside the building.

If I’d been going to an interview, I would have walked to the bus stop closest to my house rather than biking. I would have worn either a dress, a skirt and blouse, or a nice pair of pants and a blouse. I would have had nylons on and either flats or heels. I probably would have worn a more businesslike coat or jacket as well (of course, in 45 degree weather I would have frozen my buns clean off wearing a dress and nylons, coat or no coat, but that’s neither here nor there anyway).

I don’t see where any of that is necessary for getting a few referrals for jobs (from someone who once again has no control over whether or not I get these jobs anyway).

I also don’t much care if this woman was having a bad day, she is supposed to provide good customer service (no matter how bad her day is) without making rude and unwarranted personal comments about whether or not I know what proper interview attire is.

Also, as I said to a friend later, if I am nearly 53 years old and don’t know what proper interview attire is, I must be just plain stone stupid!

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