I'm probably going to get fried or ignored for this one.
Okay so I'm probably going to get fried for this, but *shrug* I'm prepared.
So back in October during my long hunt for a job I went into this place called My Friends Place (sort of a place for counselling, but it's more "peer support") I thought "Well if I can't get a job here, maybe I can do volunteer work." As soon as I walked in I see a couple "challenged" people, one is sitting on a couch being soothed by the one non-challenged person in there other than myself, and the other one lops (he limped but it wasn't really a limp) right up to me and gets in my face bragging about how he's the manager, and he bought expensive new shoes that cost him a whole $40. He kept rambling on and on about things that strangers really don't give a damn about and I was about to flee when the non-challenged woman approached me (I suppose she saw I was feeling really uncomfortable) and it turned out that he was in fact the manager...and he even gets paid for doing the job. They wouldn't even consider me for volunteer work.
For a while I had been thinking it was my resumes, but I took them into this place in town that's supposed to help people find jobs. I showed them both of my resumes (I have a "Crappy Jobs" one for places like Zellers or Giant Tiger, and an "Office-y Type Jobs" one...the title is self-explanatory) and explained my situation. They read through both of them and said there was no reason I should have been having such a hard time even getting an interview, let alone a job. Obviously they saw me and what I looked like on a regular job-hunting day, and couldn't find anything wrong with how I presented myself. From July to November I had 4 interviews. Yes, just. Four. I was faxing off resumes, going from one end of town to the other handing them out and filling out applications, calling ads in the paper...everything.
Then yesterday I was in Zellers, where I've applied at many times over the past couple years and they don't even so much as call me despite the fact the manager (not a retarded guy who brags about his expensive $40 shoes) must see my application or resume at least twice a month. Well anyway, I see a slow guy in their uniform driving along on this motor-scooter thing (I suppose it's an alternative to a wheelchair) with neck barely supporting his head as it kinda just drooped onto his shoulders. I didn't think much of it figuring he must have been competent or else they wouldn't have hired him. Well I was in the entertainment area with my mom (she'd stopped by after work and took me out for lunch since she was off early, and then we went to a couple stores) who handed me a couple cd's and asked me to look for a couple more while she went to the bathroom. So I was flipping through the unalphabetically "Alphabetically arranged" selections and I hear the guy dragging along on his scooter acting much the same as the guy at My Friends Place had, being "friendly" with co-workers who responded to him with sighs in their voice. He just kept talking on and on in way too loud a voice and what I assume was making jokes, with the often-mocked "retards accent" [yes, I'm aware that's just cruel, but I can't think of any better way to describe it] I moved over a couple aisles hoping I wouldn't be able to hear him, and of course he starts zipping through the other two aisles on either side of the one I was standing in. I noticed a few other customers walking by seemingly annoyed. I'm sure he's a nice enough guy, and I know that it's illegal to discriminate, but when he's clearly wearing on the nerves of his co-workers and annoying customers....well, I don't think it's discrimination. It wasn't so much that he clearly was "challeneged" in some way, it was the way he kept talking and talking in a very loud, irritating voice and just clearly randomly driving all over the place. I've had similar experiances in other places with employees who weren't mentally or physically challenged and they annoyed me just as much, and I did try to avoid them as well.
The thing that pisses me off is that these people who are chasing off business (I'm sure it doesn't affect Zellers since it's a canadian Wal-Mart, but My Friends Place is a little hole in the wall and if it wants to keep going it needs all the clients it can get. Hardly anybody even knows that place is around.) or at least really irritating shoppers (I was annoyed enough to seriously considering complaining to the manager or supervisor. This is something that I very rarely do. Even my mom was pretty pissy and cut her search short on account of him.) Why is it that these people who don't seem to be very well qualified for customer service are getting jobs, and people like me who have tons of experiance and a fair amount of references are having to continue searching on and on? I'm sure he's a good worker, but perhaps he'd be better suited for another area. And why is it that they discriminate against hiring a girl just because she's knocked up or has a bad back, but they won't dare discriminate against a "retarded" guy?