Unfair Much? “I Was Turned Down for a Job Because I Talked Back to a Street Harasser”

Location: 1121 14th Street, NW (Thomas Circle/McPherson)
Time: Daytime (9:30am-3:30pm)

I was near my appointment time for an interview at CoStar, located at 1331 L St. NW, Washington, DC. A block away from the location, I walked in the wrong direction going north on 14th St NW. Unknown to me I passed a group of men in various work uniforms. One was a FedEx uniform. As I passed, I heard them mumbling in low tones and remarking that “I was pretty” and some laughter followed. I ignored them in order to stay focused on my interview.

I turned around when I realized I had gone in the wrong direction, and as I passed the group of men again I heard someone say, “Ma’am, do you need directions?” in a tone that echoed sexually harassing comments I had heard before. I kept walking. Then someone from the group said, “You’re not that pretty anyway.” I then turned to the group and flipped my middle finger at them. They backed off and I went to my interview at CoStar. This interview came through an employment agency. Despite the harassing incident, I had a good interview with CoStar.

I reported my interview experience to the employment agency and the agency found me to be a favorable candidate for this position. About an hour later, I received a call from the employment agency telling me that I was removed from consideration of this position because CoStar’s FedEx delivery person saw me at the interview. He reported that I flipped him off in response to his offensive remarks. I was told by the agency that although I would not be hired for the position I interviewed for, I would still be considered for other positions after checking the comfort level of her employees, though she implied that that comfort level would be low, leading me to believe that I would not receive future work from this agency.

Submitted 8/21/14 by “LMC.”

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