Eva T. Made Vaudeville

Eva T. Made Vaudeville
New York, New York, USA
April 25
Reverend Mother (yes, for real!)
Interfaith Minister/Progressive Episcopal priest.Actress, poet, essayist; fitness freak/geek. Part time acting and dance teacher. Writer for various LGBTQ publications (from my bisexual perspective.) Bronze level competitive ballroom dancer.Extreme Cat Person.Native New Yorker who is madly in love with my city. Currently living in Dyker Heights, Brooklyn and missing Manhattan a lot. Married to my Beloved, the fair Lady Lucia, who works, with me, for the God Squad and for our feline employers, Alice and Gracie.Daughter of some-time OS blogger, Rosy Cheeks.

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MAY 22, 2012 8:08PM

Enough "Energy" To Kick Butt...

Rate: 2 Flag

This afternoon, I received a call from an HR representative at a social service agency, whose craigslist posting I'd answered. I'd heard of the agency, which administers health and recreation programs for seniors in various nursing homes and residences; they were seeking a Program Assistant, who would oversee the general administration of the programs and supervise volunteers. Not exactly what I'm doing now but close enough. And the hourly pay they were offering was double what I'm making now (meaning it was actually a respectable pay rate for an educated adult). So, I was psyched! HR Lady asked when I'd be available for a 'phone interview and we scheduled one for 5:00 PM (this afternoon). I figured that would give me time to get home (I leave work at 4:00) go to the loo, eat a yogurt and catch my breath before the interview.

So...I got home and did all the aforementioned; then called the number HR Lady had given me. She started asking about the degrees I'd earned, the schools I'd attended; normal stuff. But then she said, "I notice you don't give dates next to your degrees; when did you earn them?" So, I told her the dates  and admitted to having been a "non-traditional aged student." Since she seemed to be probing for my actual age, I decided to just go ahead and admit it to her. You'd have thought I'd said an "F-word" worse than "fifty!"

 She started going on about how the job was "very physical" and "required a lot of energy" so would "probably not be a good fit." (In other words, she thought I'd keel over at work because I was SO OLD). I felt compelled to point out that the resume, which had intrigued her enough to make her call me, included description of my current job, which involves teaching daily exercise classes and playing sports with the residents and also mentions that I'm a former professional dancer and certified fitness instructor. (It didn't actually say that I could kick her snotty little butt but only because I hadn't realized that would be relevant when writing the most recent edition of it).

I said a quick "Thank you for your time" and got the hell off the 'phone so I wouldn't be tempted to say what I really wanted to say. I then got online and wrote a venting email to Lady Lucia (who was still at her office). Lady L wrote back with sympathy, and also the information (which I had suspected) that HR Lady's interviewing tactics had been borderline illegal.

Right Livelihood has continued to elude me. I've been at this sub-poverty wage job for nearly two years (my second anniversary is July 1st) and am getting tired of having my hopes raised; then dashed, over and over and over again. I try to cultivate detachment in this process but have never been any good at it.

Well, onward. I wouldn't want to work for anybody who considered me so decrepit anyway.

Blessings, well-wishes and struggling hopes!

Eva T.

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Eva,I can totally and I mean totally connect.I am a drop οut of my university when my father died and after many years I return to the university and finally did get my history degree being in a class when even the teachers where in some cases younger than me.I know the red feeling that might have blushed your chicks..I intentionally avoid sending bios on this and only reason.But I am haρρy I have my degree..Of course in the real world ρeoρle in my age have 3 degrees and ΡHDs and what they call them..I know the feeling...They loose..As you correctly told them it was your bio that interested them...I am with you on your words "Well, onward. I wouldn't want to work for anybody who considered me so decrepit anyway"..Rated with wishes and thank you for sharing!!
STATHI-STATHI: I want to live in your "real world." You can live in mine. It will be better than the one most folk occupy!
I'd like to give HR Lady a piece of my mind about age and the aged! I've just spent some great time with my elderly mom and her friends and they all relate to someone my age, 57, not some 20 something! How silly she is!
Madhuri: I know that's true. The woman who had my current job before I did was ten years older than I am and the clients were crazy about her! (She left in order to care for her elderly father at home full time.)
Oh I am so sorry to read this! I wonder if there's any way you could take legal action? I mean, it clearly seems discriminatory, especially because you (quite rightly) cited your creditentials and the fact that your current job requires you to be active.

Sometimes I feel like the job market can be so restrictive, but in other ways it can be very open - maybe it's a question of playing with it. Would it be possible, for example, for you to go into business for yourself, using the skills you have? You could maybe give exercise classes to seniors, something like that? I realize there are logistics that might make things complicated, for example renting a space - but maybe that could be something you include in your fees and if it turns out that you don't get enough interested people, you could just cancel the class and give back the money of those who signed up? I don't know - it might be risky, and it's probably something to try while still holding your current job, but it could be a way to change your life, without having to worry about people's prejudices.

Good luck to you and sending my sympathies. I know you can indeed kick butt, and that you'll rise up from this little defeat and keep going.
Hi Alysa: Thanks for sympathy and brainstorming with me. I have thought about starting my own business, though getting even the minimal necessary funding would be difficult. I am trying to "think outside the box," though, since the "box" doesn't seem to fit me!
My pleasure. I wish I could help more. I think thinking outside the box is the best solution for a lot of us. I myself am trying to sort of professionally reinvent myself. It takes courage and energy- but I know you have both. Good luck to you, again and always.