Curvy Conversations

Big Girl Needs a JOB!

August 13 2008 | CeCe Olisa

There was still snow on the ground when I looked at my most recent paycheck and decided that I needed a new job.

I put my resume up on a career website and within days my phone rang:
“Hi, Celeste this is Gina, from ABC Staffing, Inc., I saw your resume online it and looks great! You have a lot of good experience and with your university education, I think you are a perfect fit for a few positions we’re looking to fill. I would love to meet you, when can you come in and interview?”
I had just read an article on how in today’s economy, agencies are a good way to find work. I told Gina that I was available the next week, and after we said our goodbye’s, I quickly logged onto the ABC staffing website and saw a list of the positions that were available. It was a lot of receptionist/assistant type work on Wall Street and the jobs paid more than what I was making! (This was perfect for me as I wasn’t looking for a career as much as a way to pay my bills while I continued to pursue my artistic dreams).
I was so excited! I began imagining myself in the role of posh receptionist on Wall Street taking messages for my millionaire boss… I would wear cap-sleeved blouses and high waist skirts that hit just above the knee, with kitten heels, I could leave a simple black cardigan draped over my chair in case it got cold in the office… maybe I’d wear glasses… I’d be so cute!!!
On the day of my interview, I clicked down Madison Avenue feeling great; my curls and pearls were on point, my professional black dress was pressed and my crisp white resume was tucked safely in my bag.
I made my way into the reception area of ABC Staffing, and was greeted by indifferent glances from other candidates. They too were in their cutest outfits (pencil skirts, white button downs, etc.) It was then that I began to worry. Although I was dressed as well (if not better than) the other girls, I was… well… bigger than all of them. As I took a seat, my mind began to race:
  • When Gina heard my California accent over the phone, what did she imagine me to look like?
  • Do millionaire bosses only want receptionists that double as eye-candy?
  • I’m cute, but am I cute enough to be a posh receptionist??
The interview went well, Gina asked me lots of questions, and then asked me to go downstairs and take some computer tests.
“When you are finished with your tests, we can go over the positions I have available and see which ones you like” she said.
I took the tests (scoring 90%+ across the board) and came back up to her office ready to choose my next job. I got back upstairs and her receptionist handed me a note that read:
Hi Celeste,
In a meeting now, I’ll call you later today.

She didn’t call.
But she did email me two days later letting me know that all of the positions had been filled and she would let me know when something came up that was a “fit” for me.
I went back to the ABC Staffing website. All but one of the positions WERE STILL OPEN since my interview.
I made appointments with two other staffing agencies. The script began to play out like clockwork.
They love my resume… we have a great mini phone interview… I go into the office… they meet/see me… ask me to keep in touch… I do… they don’t return calls/emails… I never hear from them again.
So, when Spring flowers began to bloom and my paycheck became more depressing, my friend Roxy (who makes an excellent living by temping as she pursues her artistic dreams) suggested that I try the staffing agency she used. I looked at Roxy’s bangin’ body and then my own and hesitated… but I was desperate, so I made one last agency appointment.
Early Monday morning I sat with Dee, the agent Roxy recommended. She was nice and gave me some advice on my resume. We talked for a bit and then she asked if I had any questions for her, I held my tongue from asking “Am I too fat for this agency?” instead I said “no” and thanked her for her time.
The next day, my phone rang– it was DEE!!!!
“I have a position you may be interested in…”
My heart leaped!
Two weeks and three interviews later, I was hired as a receptionist for a Fortune 500 company on Wall Street.
And although it shouldn’t matter, I’m proud to say that I am cute enough to be a posh receptionist!

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14 responses on “Big Girl Needs a JOB!

  1. prissi chic

    You know I had a military recruiter tell me that some employers will hire a less competent employee than a fat one. Pissed me off. Your blog gave me hope though, I’ve been looking for work for the past few months here in chicago and I think I’m going to start with the agencies. Congrats! Great blog

  2. theladykay

    My friend sent me your blog on t he weekend and I have been reading every post! I am currently job hunting at the moment and I’m not having any luck. It’s so hard to stay positive. I have great experience and I answer questions well but I never seem to land a job. Being larger I can’t help but to wonder if half the time they don’t take me because of the way I look. It drives me insane!

  3. carisa

    I want a career change and while looking for Dental Hygiene Schools I came across a forum about discrimination against brunette dental hygienist. It got me to thinking, if there is discrimination against something so trival as hair color….what would my weight do? I still want to pursue my career change but the idea I wont get hired because I am a plus size brunette is in the back of my head.

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