Dear Perky Blonde

Dear Perky Young Blonde.

Yes, you.  I know you don’t know me, you probably can’t even see me.  But I know you.  You got my dream job.  Yes, that job.  The one we both interviewed for and that you got.  I know you because I make it my business to look at everyone in the room, not just those most like me.  Yes, you sat with the other perky blondes who probably got dream jobs over older, wiser women like me.  That’s okay.  I’m good.  I mean it.

When we went around the room and introduced ourselves, I thought I’d hear how you must certainly be older than you look; you must certainly have YEARS of fabulous experience and education that qualified you for the job more. Much more than me or anyone else who applied.  I nearly choked when I heard the year you graduated from nursing school.  I own underwear older than your degree, PB.   And when you said you had applied to various graduate schools, my head wanted to spin off my shoulders but somehow I kept it securely in place. I’ve already done that. With honors.  While raising a family and working 60 hours a week. I have entries on my resume older than you, PB.

When you were directed to consult with me, you had no idea who I was. Even though I had introduced myself, explained my new position, and outlined my education and experience just as you had.  I was as invisible to you as I was, apparently, to the hiring gods.  I cannot prove, but certainly believe, that age discrimination was at work here.

As cruel fate would have it, I was offered a different job.  And I will have to work with you.  As ironic fate would have it, you will have to depend on me for a great many things.  Like arranging hours in the skills lab and assistance with your clinicals.  I believe every opportunity comes to us for a reason, and I am certain this position will lead me to the place I am supposed to land.

What I have before me is an opportunity to prove myself to those who chose your “qualifications” over mine.  What I have here is an opportunity to prove that my white hair, near-orthopedic shoes, and crow’s feet do not disqualify me from being an outstanding educator, model employee, and innovative thinker.  What I have here is an opportunity to be a gracious, supportive colleague for the good of the profession I love.

I am sick of traveling this high road, PB, but I’ll do it.  After all, I was once young.  Perky.  And blonde.

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15 Comments

Filed under General Mumblings, Uncategorized

15 responses to “Dear Perky Blonde

  1. NICE! I mean, I understood your frustration, and I got the message. Then, to bring it home by stating you were once the young perky blond. Nice.
    I’m sorry you didn’t get the dream job – but like you mentioned, I believe you were given what you were meant to be given. I can’t wait to find out why you were given it. (smile)

  2. Thanks, LD. I am frustrated. I don’t waste energy on disappointment or bitterness, but rather on plotting revenge, er, I mean, redemption. I, too, cannot wait to find out why I was given it. (smile).

  3. tsonoda148

    I totally get this. I am there. I am in those reception waiting areas, right alongside those perky blonds who inevitably land the position. It is so blatantly age discrimination. But yeah for you that you were offered something….in fact something in which you can and will shine. Experience and education will bring your own glow, one brighter and more satisfying than PB’s blinding blond glow.
    Go get’ em!

    • Thanks, Terri. PB was already employed by the college in an adjunct position so she had her pretty little foot in the door, already. I intend to make the most of this situation and outshine everyone (even if it is just by having blinding white hair!!!).

  4. I get it. Blondes have an edge. Perky, cute young blondes have it all. But I think it’s more about the “young,” the “perk,” and the” cute” than it is about the hair color. I say this because I’m blonde, older and not at all perky (but have a pretty good shape). A brunette who is young, perky and cute would get a job over me in a New York minute–unless the job was a commercial for Ensure or Depends undergarments…

    • Blondes don’t have an edge – there were plenty of perky young redheads and brunettes in the orientation/training we were attending. I kind of felt like the token Boomer in the Room. I’ve been blonde (among many other colors) so I don’t think blondes have it any easier (nor do I think they necessarily have more fun). She shall just always be young Perky Blonde to me, even if I know her 30 years (in which case I shall not only FEEL like a dinosaur, I will probably actually BE a dinosaur).

  5. I was so busy justifying myself that I failed to note how enjoyable and funny your letter to PB actually was. Sorry for being such a self-absorbed ONPB (Old Not Perky Blonde)!

  6. k8edid, this happened to me many year’s ago as well. I went to Queen’s University Belfast for a job in the maintenance section, when i arrived i noticed one of my former apprentice’s there and i said to myself “you have no chance.”
    I found out a 2 month’s later he got the job, i think because he had passed test’s at college which were not around in my day. All my experience is in my hand’s.
    I seen the same job in the paper about 6 month’s later so he was not good enough and i was right.
    Lorna say’s, Blondes have an edge. Perky, cute young blondes have it all. Not in my blog they don’t 🙂

    • I’m just waiting for them to ask me to fill in for her when she has her baby – she let slip at lunch that she just found out she’s expecting. Now that, they wouldn’t have to worry about with me (smile).
      In all fairness, and I am nothing if not fair, she did meet the minimum requirements (Bachelors Degree and some teaching experience). I just happened to have more education and more experience. Perhaps I was that dreaded term, OVERQUALIFIED

  7. A-mazing. Lot’s of annoying obstacles in this life. But what are you gonna do but keep going till you get to where ever you’re truly meant to be, right?

  8. You betcha. The path takes many twists and turns but you just gotta keep moving forward. Every job I’ve ever had taught me something valuable and helped me grow…this one will, too. Already has. There will be other “dream” jobs, and probably a few “nightmare” ones, too, along the way.

  9. Pingback: Yo Fergie, Some Lovely Lady Blogs, Check Them Out? « Hyperactive Inefficiency

  10. Pingback: I Did Not, I Repeat, I Did Not Have a Bad Week at Work | k8edid

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