Set the scene. I'm at Curves, and had finished my workout. The Owner Lady (who's over 300 lbs, by the way) was talking to someone on the phone about coming in for an interview. I raised my hand and said "Me".
She: You want to work here?
Me: Yes, it'd be perfect for me, cause it's just part-time, right?
She: About three hours, in the morning, opening at 6:30.
Her face lit up at the realization that I had computer skills too, cause I'd made a couple flyers for her.
She: And you know the computer too, don't you?
Me: Pretty much, it wouldn't take me long to figure out the Curves stuff.
She seemed really open to it, and even excited, cause she knew I wouldn't need much training. But then her face fell. She looked me up and down.
She: But can you stand for that long?
As she keeps her butt on the chair, and never goes out on the floor to motivate us. The job consists of mostly of motivation, standing in the middle, chatting with people as they exercise, encouraging talking with each other, which makes the 30 minutes on the machines go faster. I'm good at motivation, believe it or not, and the fact that I finally had pain pills that worked improved my general demeanor and outlook on life. Everyone had noticed, including her.
I was astonished at her question. Every time a new person starts, the staff points to me and tells them my story, how I came in as a stumbling, staggering mess, and how I became pretty much normal, rarely showing any unsteadiness at all. Several ladies come in at the same time as me and Stella, and we all have a bunch of fun. They'd chime in, telling the new person how I'd inspired them. .
She: But can you stand that long?
Like I said I was astonished. And confused for a moment. What the hell was she talking about? Was there more to the job than I knew? I waved my arm towards the machines.
Me: Umm, yea. You've seen me.
Incredulously I might add. This coming from a very obese woman who doesn't stand for more than 5 minutes at a time.
Me: I'm good advertisement too, being the "Biggest Loser" most months.
She nodded her head, again I thought she was excited about it.
She: Well, I'll talk to Laura and we'll call you for an interview, okay?
Stella, my aide, was standing there with me the whole time.
Laura is the manager, but she's been gone since around Christmas, and it's a mystery why. They keep saying she'll be back soon. I know it's because she started cutting herself again.
I turned in a resume in an envelope the next day just to be professional about it. It shows that I was a counselor before, therefore able to chat it up with people and be understanding, right? She looked confused and asked what it was.
Me: My resume.
She: Oh, we don't need that. We know how you are.
Me: Yea, but I wanted to show you that I can be professionally friendly with people. You know I can be a bitch, cause of the pain. Don't know if you realized that was why.
Hell, I could be unprofessionally friendly, with the new pain pills.
She laughed and nodded, and several of the ladies laughed too. She KNOWS how much better I am.
She: But can you stand that long?
They didn't call me for an interview. They hired someone else. I didn't say a word about it, continuing with my friendly demeanor and showing no hard feelings for the next time they needed to hire someone.
A couple of weeks later, another staff member mentioned something about the new girl. This staff member is the most exuberant about my progress, and we joke about my bitchy moments, cause she realizes it was pain, and that I'm much better.
Me: Did they tell you I applied for that job?
She's the one they would have should have/needed to talk to, her being the staff member on duty most times when we came in.
She: No! (surprised)
She: Oh, you'd be good at it!!!! (yes, the extra exclamation marks are necessary)
She: Oh, they probably thought you couldn't do it, they'd be worried you couldn't help someone if they fell.
She said this in a rush of words, trying to cover for her bosses, thinking my feelings were hurt. Or something. But it was what my gut had been telling me too. One owner was a stay-at-home wife, and the 300 lbs lady had been a welfare mother, and both of them in and out of BHC... the mental hospital, for their abuse issues. Which is why one cuts, and one doesn't lose her weight. In my opinion. But hey, I don't know abuse shit when I see it. That's were they met each other five years ago.
Now, yes, they are to be commended for jumping in and buying a Curves. Inspirational for abuse stories, I tell ya. But the fact is, they don't know how to run a business. They don't run contests like other Curves do, for motivation, and they even quit giving out t-shirts for the Biggest Loser. They put my name on the writer board. The 300 lb. one is not a people person, and it shows, cause she rarely chats with us. She doesn't do the new people, cause she's so awkward. There's only one other staff member who does that, the 2-3 others sit at the desk, and when we check our heart rate every 8 minutes, they lift their heads and call out "how you doing, girls? We need to be at the proper heart rate to be burning fat and not muscle. Their front window display consists of a couple of Curves products and the vitamin line, and protein powder. I will take a picture tomorrow to show you.
Point is... I know they don't know about things like... disability discrimination. I know in my gut that they decided between themselves that I couldn't do it. Because we're all very friendly and have gotten to know each other in the last year, and they would be concerned about me, worried cause they "care" about me.
I really, really want to work there. It's perfect for me. Only 3 hours a day, first thing in the morning, and if the pain does come? It doesn't come till 10 or 11 in the morning, after I've done physical things... like take a shower or vacuum. Or exercising. They're not allowed to exercise with us, unless there's two staff members there, and there often is, by the way. Not once have I seen them exercise. I would totally do it with the ladies, if there was another staff member there. It doesn't require anything else, physically, and evidently, it's not required to exercise with the ladies. I'm pretty sure I can stand around and chat for 3 hours. And? If I can't, surely I could sit at the desk... like they do. When I was working, I didn't miss a day of work because of the MS. I was always able to conjure up my energy, and crash at home afterwards. I can certainly stand around for three hours, yes I know I'm repeating myself, sit down when I need to... and do things like... flyers, and make up contests and make posters, and design store front windows and talk to the ladies from the desk and and and.. you get the point.
What should I do? I don't even need "proof" of their private conversation, when they were deciding who to hire. Her very question is enough.
And I KNOW, in my heart of hearts, that they've noticed the continued improvement of my "personality" and I've not been snappy even once. We all joke about it. It's a way to tell new people how much Curves can help a person. Hell, I'm the damn star of the show!
She: But can you stand that long?
Today they hired two more people.
What's the best way to talk to her about it? Without biting her head off, I mean.