Job interviews suck, particularly if you’re someone who’s not especially slick. It’s difficult to land an interview these days. You have to endure hours of tedious applications and prepare an immaculate résumé. Your suit needs to be pressed, your shirt crisp, your shoes polished, hair coiffed and handshake firm.
It seems like you need strong references, a college degree and three years’ experience just to get work experience at Taco Bell. Is it any wonder then that some of us are pushed to use dishonest means to land a job? We embellish the truth, grovel and make promises we can’t keep to get ourselves employed. But there are some lows to which one should never stoop.
No job, no matter how cushy or big the pay cheque, is worth handing your dignity over to an employer for. Yet there are some unscrupulous managers and sleazy bosses who might demand exactly that, as this next story unfortunately proves. If you find yourself being asked to do something you feel uncomfortable with, then take the example of 18-year-old Chelsea Dann, who stood up to a potential boss’ unscrupulous advances.
Chelsea was allegedly applying to work as a housecleaner for a lawyer based in the West Midlands, England. She was offered £15 ($18.58) an hour to clean the man’s house but was shocked when he asked for pictures of her along with her CV – stating that she wouldn’t get the job without them. When questioned about this suspicious clause, his reaction was pretty unforgivable.
Talking to her prospective employer on WhatsApp, Chelsea was surprised when the man (whose identity has not been revealed) demanded that she send pictures of herself when applying for the housekeeping position. Chelsea reluctantly complied with the unorthodox request, but when she questioned why a picture of herself was necessary in the first place the lawyer became obstinate.
He claimed that “I’d rather have a young attractive girl working for me then [sic] a granny.” When Chelsea, shocked by this comment, told the lawyer exactly what she thought of his chauvinistic attitude, he promptly accused her of being a single parent reliant on benefits and made dismissive comments about her tattoos. When Chelsea asked him for pictures, he refused.
Chelsea, who lives with her parents in Walsall and has a diploma in Games Software Development, commented on the upsetting incident in a recent interview with the Mail Online: “I have just finished college and I’m looking for work at the moment so decided to earn some money as a cleaner. A lawyer messaged me with a job opportunity clearing his house but then he asked me to send him pictures of myself.”
She continued: “I was so angry and thought ‘why do you need a picture of me? why does it matter what I look like?’ and said no. Then the conversation starting getting sexual and he said things like “you look hot in that dress.” He was a creep and not a nice guy. I’ve now blocked him. I was just trying to get a job and I was being discriminated against for my looks. It made me feel really little.”
“It makes me feel sick, I am looking for a job because I want to better myself and he has just treated me like a sex object,” Chelsea added. “It’s actually really upsetting.”
It’s interesting to note the prevalence of pictures in applications and résumés, especially compared to the distinct lack of them seen in previous generations. But for a potential boss to ask for pictures in this manner far oversteps the line. Clearly, sexism is still alive and well.