Monday, June 10, 2024

Letter: Position of power (1996)

Letter to the Editors from the June 1996 issue of the Socialist Standard

Dear Editors,

I hate having a job interview. The person who interviews you thinks that they own everything, you, your partner, your family life, your education, besides everything their company owns. They are the one in a position of power and can therefore question you from top to toe. They can ask you the most intimate and private questions you wouldn’t even ask a friend: Where did you meet your husband? Are you planning to have children? How long have you been married? What is your husband's job? What is your social life like? Can I see your birth certificate?

It was only an interview for a post in a business bank. I had written to them over a year ago and they must have kept me on file because they had just written to me to offer this interview. The manager of the bank, with a smirk on his face, assumed the right to ask me anything he liked. Whether he liked it or not, I told him I hate money although I would have to handle it in the bank as a cashier, working for £12,000 a year from 9am till 6 and sometimes 7pm.

Question followed question. I felt as if I was the guilty one applying for a place in prison without knowing what l was guilty of. To make matters worse, although I did not like anything about this job. I had to show enthusiasm to get it as I was desperate for one.

As if he didn’t insult me enough with his digging questions he called in one of his companions who went over the same questions again. I was put under great pressure for an hour. The second boss was even harder with the questions about me. Some of the questions were asked by him and then also answered by him. "Have you agreed with the wages?’’, "Look, there are times we work very late but we won’t pay you for that.’’ He carried on "See that chair,” pointing to a chair in front of the cash till, "would you be happy to sit on it all day long?” "Have you ever handled money?” I hate money, but I can handle it all right.

To cut a long story short, after putting me down and down, we shook hands. "Hope to see you." Having been shocked by the experience I just couldn’t believe that I had lied and lied just to get this job. While I was walking through the Bank tube station to leave it all behind me, I wanted to go back and scream at them: "I hate you, your business, the job you have on offer; I hate money and I hate capitalism and anyway one day we will not need you!”
Meltem Celebi, 
London SW11

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