Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Job Hunting While Poor(and Black)

Have you ever felt like being young and talented is pointless? (especially while black...I'm just saying) I have been unemployed since this summer. I had to borrow money (for metro cards) just to get to school. The money I received is was only ever enough for 2 months of school, I figured I'd have a job before I hit the 2 month mark. There was a job expo at my school today. The perfect opportunity to find some kind of job besides fast food joints. I don't own a lot of formal wear, but I figured as long as I was clean and put together I'd be OK.

I worn a nice cashmere sweater, a pair of pants(not jeans!) and the only other shoes I have, besides my dirty smelly sneakers, my converses. Two people said I wasn't exactly dress the "right" way and my resume and personality would have to make up for it. Which always has and will so I was OK with that. I finally get to the door of the expo after waiting an hour and cutting class and they turn me away! I try to explain my situation and I'm cut off with a cold "I'm sorry".

So here's my question how come I have to wear pants with a matching blazer, a crisp white button down shirt and a pair of pumps, before I can even get the chance to compete in the "real" "professional'" world? How am I expected to afford "professional" wear if I'm not allowed the chance to compete? They wouldn't let me into the expo because my pants looked like jeans at first glance(supposedly) and because of my foot wear.

A lot of times I've spoken to people or they've seen me work ,not of my race, and a look of surprise comes over there face. A condescending smirk. I used to think it was because I very quite in certain situations. Most of the time I'm just going over what I'm going to say and do to the last detail. But now I wonder, were those smirks because of the clothes I wear or my skin color. To be honest I always thought it was because of my skin color but I was OK with that. Mostly because I know who I am and what I am capable of.

I reached a new personal low today. Somehow I was able to hold thee tears back until I got out of the school. I sat on a random step on a corner and cried ducking my head anytime someone would pass me.

No comments: