Dian's Column
Dian's Archive


Unemployed need not apply, those with bad credit either. What's next, chubbies stay away?

By Dian Vujovich

I was talking with a friend in Minnesota today who relayed a story about how Target stores gets tons and tons of work applications then separates them into two piles—one for those who are working and the other comprised of apps from those currently not employed. The latter pile of applications, she reported, never gets looked at. This, I find both insane and discriminatory.

While the official number Washington uses for the percentage of people unemployed remains around 10 percent, I’m of the belief that it’s much higher—like 20 percent or perhaps even more. My guesstimate takes into account those who, through no fault of their own, have lost their jobs years ago and for one reason or another have not been able to join the work force.

I’m also of the belief that those who have lost their jobs a while back are not lazy, good-for-nothing, benefit sucking individuals. They merely are people who have lost their employment and would rather be working than not. Unemployment, for those who’ve had or currently find themselves in that position, does nothing positive for one’s self image over the long haul so finding work is really important. But only the unemployed know that.

So when I heard the Target story, (I’ve not been able to confirm it, btw) then read about how common that practice has become with other companies, it really got my goat. Has corporate America lost its mind and forgotten that we, as a nation of people, are all living through a depressing recession? Are corporate decision makers so insulated from that reality that they are unable to see there are trees in the forest that are suffering? Have the 75-80 percent of working folk become so fortunate they really believe that while the Declaration of Independence declares “all men are created equal” doesn’t mean all “men”, i.e.,of us, have been given equal talents, skills, opportunities or will share the same life circumstances?

Human resources and headhunter employees will tell you that it’s always been easier to find a job when you have a job. But we’re not living in “always” or ordinary times. They are new and different times. Times that require expansion not retraction. Instead of dismissing job applicants because there are flaws on their credit ratings or they’ve been unemployed for too long– or who knows, because they are too fat— is as discriminatory are not hiring them based upon their race, sex or age.

Putting Americans back to work is what’s going to get our economy back and humming again. So how about we take a new and different perspective and consider that those who’ve been unemployed quite likely need a job far more than those who already have jobs. And that putting them back to work makes cents for all. That’s not a stretch in thinking you know. Anyone listening?

To read more articles, please visit the column archive.

[ top ]