Wednesday, July 25, 2012

I'm Too Fat to get Hired

It is not illegal to discriminate against someone who is fat; unfair maybe, but not against the law.  It happens all the time.

Put yourself in an employer's place.  Two candidates  interview for a job and they are equal in every qualification except one candidate is fifty pounds overweight.  The choice is clear for the employer.  Forget all the stigma attached to overweight people, an employer is probably looking at long term health problems and a loss in productivity.

So, what do you do if you are overweight?  Give up?

You must realize that every job candidate has their good points and their bad points.  If you are like me and have a face that only a mother could love, then you better be great in other areas because you have one strike against you to start with.

So, what are these other areas?

Are you dressed well?  First impressions rule and an expensive well fitting outfit can help a lot with how you are initially perceived.

Do you have the right qualifications?  If not, then how do you develop these qualifications?  Maybe you need to enroll in a course or seminar to bolster your resume in a specific area or maybe you can do some self study?

Is your resume and cover letter perfect?  I actually see candidates with resumes that have  misspelled words.  I should say that I see the resumes, not the candidates.  If you are not great at English, get some help.

Do you speak well and will that show up in your interview?   Speaking well is only a matter of practice.  Have someone ask you interview questions every night.  If you really want to get better, join a speaking organization like Toastmasters International.

Are you overweight?  Don't despair - there is a job out there for you!

Make sure your other areas are top notch.  Start eating healthier.  You would be surprised at how a 5-10 pound loss will take that puffiness from your face and make you look and feel better.

Professor Tom Laurie

Monday, July 2, 2012

Kicking and Screaming into Old Age

In "Terms of Endearment" Shirley MacLaine mentioned to her daughter something about being middle-aged.  Debra Winger then said, "Mother, you're not middle-aged.  How many 120 year women do you see walking around?"

At age thirty, I thought that was really funny; as I approach sixty, not so much!

Maybe I'm a young 59er?  I am a college professor and I'm surrounded by nineteen and twenty year-olds.  I consider grads of 4 years ago as colleagues; ripe old age of 24 or 25.

So, you can imagine how hard it is for me to get old!

This past weekend my wife and I and some friends went on weekend getaway to a hundred year-old resort in the middle of Maine.  I should have realized something was wrong as I was slugging my suitcase and a couple of other bags up the stairs to my room when I looked up and saw a little old man grabbing the hand rail for life on the other side of the stairs.  He literally had fear in his eyes that I might knock him down!

Later on the first night, my wife and I went to the main house to see what the nightly music was like.  I must admit, I was thinking Jennifer Grey in "Dirty Dancing".  When we entered the room I heard my wife gasp.  Every member of the band was ten to twenty years older than we were.  All the couples on the dance floor were older than the band.

We got out of there as fast as we could!

I wonder what this band was like when the resort opened?

I hate the idea of having to make sure I will have enough income at retirement.  I absolutely hate the idea of having to plan for long-term care giving.  I hate having to discuss the different scenarios of who dies first.

I just hate getting old!

Anyone else out there have the same feelings?

Professor Tom Laurie