Tuesday, October 26, 2004


Got turned down for a couple of jobs yesterday. One had just been filled and another turned out to require fluent Catalan. This is not a kvetch, you understand. I like those reasons. They are good solid reasonable reasons and I respect them.

When applying for jobs in Spain I've been very careful to keep the epilepsy quiet. None of the appos I've filled out have had a "Do you suffer from any chronic disease?" box but even if they had, I'd have been tempted to commit a tiny sin of omission. Why? Because you're all a bunch of ignorant morons, that's why. You read a couple of video game warning lables and your tiny tiny minds leap like circus fleas to entirely the wrong conclusions.

"Well, I don't know why you're applying for this job, Ms. Carnival, since the advertisment stated quite clearly that you'd be doing data entry and you can't use a computer. Your application form says that you have epilepsy!"

(Note: For maximum Pissing Mordant Off points, the word 'epilepsy' should be delivered as if you were going to rinse the phone out with Vim after you've said it.)

My all-time favorite was the bigoted ninny who told me, in tones of barely-restrained glee, that they couldn't possibly employ me because I was a fire hazard.

A fire hazard.

Yes, it took me a while to work out too. As I recall, I said something along the lines of "Beh?" Eventually I managed to follow this idiot's Hornby-sized train of thought back the ways and realised that because her mind was so tragically little, she was forced to file any physical condition she didn't understand under 'disability'. She'd come across the old fire hazard excuse used to deny wheelchair users employment and had liked it. Liked it so much. Fire hazard! Brilliant! She'd probably lain awake at night in bed,* dreaming of the day when she could wheel it out and reduce someone to a puddle of impotent simmering rage. So when she sees the e-word on my form, it's like all her birthdays** have come at once.

When I'd stopped saying "Beh?" I got myself together enough to point out politely that I was not actually in a wheelchair and in fact had (still have) full mobility. Stairs and everything.

"I know," she says, a little disappointment creeping into her tone.






"But! You could have a fit, right, while there was a fire, and people could... trip over you!"



*Or borg alcove or slime-pod or whatever HR officers sleep in when they're not being tubesteaks for a living.

**Possibly Spawning Day. Or construction date.

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