Will you hire me?

In the recent past, I attended an interview for a job that would possibly pay me much better than my current job (as we all know, compensation is key when you think about how much monotony you can tolerate). I was asked four times, in certain as well as uncertain terms, about my marriage plans. Without exception, there would be some humming and hawing, some skirting around the actual question before the M word was uttered: So……what are your plans, what about the rest of your family, are you from here, how can we know you will not be leaving soon for ‘any other reason’. I realized I was being viewed as a flight risk, simply because I am 25 and not yet married. Interviewers therefore feel justified complaining to candidates like me: This is a big problem for us, we hire girls and we train them, and they hardly stick around. 

To be completely honest though, I did not feel as angry as I expected to, that I was asked repeatedly about my ‘plans’. I remember the times I expressed opinions in unpleasant ways previously: How dare somebody ask you that? It should not be their concern! Is it even allowed? Yet, I almost felt sorry for employers made to have this conversation (only ‘almost’, as they did make me feel uncomfortable and awkward). I shall tell you a short story now. I know a 26 year old girl (woman?) who had no particular interest in working. But then one day, she attended an interview on a whim, and got herself a job. She was asked to complete a three week orientation program, following which she would start working in a different city. At the end of these three weeks, she quit her job. Her marriage had been brokered, and she would soon be leaving the country. I had one question for her: Why did you bother? I shall tell you another story. A 24 year old girl, working, also had her marriage negotiated successfully. She called up her office one morning and passed along the message that she wouldn’t be coming in to work anymore, reasoning that the task list for her impending wedding needed her to have her days free. She did add that she would like to come back to her old job in a few months’ time if she did not find one in her new location. You don’t need me to tell you that this conversation didn’t end well.

Why are so many women indifferent to the opportunities and privileges they have? Why are these women content with whether they have a ‘job’ or not, not caring to distinguish it from ‘career’? At times, I find myself thinking, if they do not want to take themselves seriously, how can they expect someone else to? They could have everything if they wanted to.

As for my interview, if I do not get that job, could being a woman have played any part (slight or significant)? I cannot help thinking that the manager would be much more relieved if a qualified male was found soon enough.


Advertisements

10 thoughts on “Will you hire me?

  1. Wow, coming from NYC I dont get this. Now that I am older, a mother and not working I get having a ‘job’ over a ‘career’ but I do not get leaving a job to plan a wedding or even an employer being allowed to ask such a question. Is it that these women are leaving to be married in some far off place? Still what others do, even if the majority, should not reflect on you.

    Like

    1. I think getting married is a national obsession (disease?) here. You could have gone to the moon but you have accomplished everything only if you get married (preferably before you turn 28). I think many women end up thinking of themselves in those terms too.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Marriage is a social construct so it reflects the society. Here in America marriage is more important than say in Europe because of the laws, rights of spouses. Unfortunately a lot of women here in my experience are more obsessed with the wedding than the actual marriage. Once upon a time, it was very important for woman to be married here as well, but that all changed in the late 70s 80s. Things change. I didnt get married until I was 32.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes, when I lived there I noticed that the ‘wedding’ is in the spotlight. I think the wedding as well as being married itself, both are always in focus here. The pressure is unrelenting (this is a recurring complaint if you knew me). 🙂 thanks for your comments!!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. When I worked in finance, I saw a lot of this. The company I worked for wasn’t hesitant at all to hire women (in fact, they hired women more often than men), but I did see a trend: the women tended to leave the company after a much shorter tenure than the men that I worked with.

    The sad part about that is (at the risk of sounding sexist) my female co-workers seemed to out-perform my male counterparts. They seemed to learn the job faster than myself, and the other males. Also, the customers preferred working with the women over the men. That is, unless they were really angry about something. In that case, they’d always ask to speak with me.

    You talked about “monotony” as well. I think that’s why I left (as I’d mentioned in my most recent post). I’d offered that job, whenever they had an opening in my office, and my guy friends would say things to me like “Ew! No thanks!”

    Like

    1. I see women trying to accomplish a lot and being over achievers in general, and I also see women trying to take advantage of the fact that they are women (that is, moving away from any real responsibilities and such). And then there are families which think their daughter needn’t really work (we can provide for you, why should you work?). When all of these cultural markers come together, it just explodes!!!
      Thanks for your comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. In the US, it is illegal to ask questions about marital/family status, so I get a bit riled up to read about how you were asked such things. Yet, I realize that I don’t have a complete grasp of the different attitudes toward gender and marriage in your culture.
    Good luck in your job search.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Something that worries me is the notion that women at-large should be extremely hard-working and work themselves to exhaution just to prove to the world that “even women are capable”. Why should we? It is my life and I will only have the ambitions that fill my own dreams, not the ones that fill the “typical IT woman’s” dream.

    If a student wants to get “just pass mark” and otherwise devote time to basketball we applaud him/her. If a man wants a low impact job so that he can pursue some passion like Rock Music, we applaud that too. If a woman wants a low impact job so she can concentrate on her son’s homework, then that should be completely OK (as long as she communicates properly to HR when she joins the job)

    Just as women in their early 20s tend to leave their job in order to get married and move to the husband’s city, men in their early 20s tend to leave their job to get higher paying jobs. In smaller companies, male trainees quit more often than female ones as they now have a MNC offer that is more lucrative. They are asked the same question. “Will you stick around?” for a different reason.

    I am not justifing people who do not give proper notice to their employers if they want to quit or those who jeapardise the deadlines for frivolous reasons.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are right. I feel frustrated when I have to justify my intentions simply because somebody else didn’t act responsibly (in addition to justifying to family about all my choices, while answering questions like “but you don’t even need to work” or “but the job will be here only right?”).

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s