Beauties & Beaties

Monday, April 17, 2006

Decisions Decisions


Now it's down to business. In this post, The Beauty and The Beast were given the rather sticky topic of a complex hiring issue. Returning guest, David Amulet, puts his Beastly opinion on the line and a new Beauty, Ella M., brings her unique perspective to this forum. The question both were given:


You are in charge of hiring for XYZ Latex Corp., Omaha Div. and you are down to the top two candidates for a vice-presidents job. They both have the same educational background, they both have comparable job experience, and they were equally impressive in their interviews. Your two candidates are Jack and Jill. Jack is married with two children. Jill is a single mother of two. Who do you pick and why?

Ladies first this time. She said:

First things first,I'd fire my interviewer. Marital/family status has a giant blinking "Illegal Interview Question" neon sign on it, and now I'm knee deep in potential lawsuit. Which means that I'm starting my day by putting something else at least that far into the ass of the person responsible for getting me into this mess. Even if by some minor miracle the otherwise very competent Jack and Jill didn't realize the illegality of the subject (or even more unlikely, were dumb enough to bring it up unprompted), whoever I don't hire could easily sue me on perfectly legitimate discrimination grounds. I can't even hide behind it being a necessary bit of information to the job, as they're both VP candidates, not testers for the new line of "adult" latex products we started manufacturing in the back offices to boost the bottom line.

Am I to make to make a blanket statement that Jack would be more reliable just on the basis of his having a spouse? She could be a world traveling photojournalist who spends her days photographing the insurgency in remote countries with unpronounceable names, for all I know. Wives only morph into instant domestic goddesses in 50's sitcoms, and taking it as a given that she's staying home to fetch dinner and mind the children is not something I could reasonably do outside of vintage television. Even if she is the type who enjoys care taking, she's going to occasionally need Jack to take over the endless reruns of Dora The Explorer, the dishes and the parental shuttle service just to maintain her sanity.

Or am I going to stereotype Jill as unreliable because she lacks said spouse, and will potentially spend more time ironing out why little Billy used certain very naughty words on the playground than she will at her desk? The woman is an educated executive type, obviously she is pretty skilled at finding care for her children(because toddlers don't go over well in graduate school English Lit class), as well as probably having enough money to have a top tier nanny(who will later write a tell all book about her experiences if she's not compensated well). I also don't know if she has a long term boyfriend/girlfriend/immaculately kept young plaything who's pitching in to help with the ankle biters.

All I know is that both of them have families and will have the usual group of issues that come with being a working parent ( babysitter failure, need of a more flexible schedule due to basic tasks like parent teacher conferences and medical emergencies, finding a dry cleaner who's skilled at getting strained pea stains out of a nice Armani). Being that my being privy to this information puts me in clearly shark infested legal waters, I only have two choices, as I enjoy still drawing a paycheck.

Hire then both or don't hire either of them.

XYZ doesn't have the budget for two executive checks and the accompanying golden parachutes ( hence why our formerly respectable company went from making medical supplies and industrial products to producing things on the sly that would be more suited to NYC's Fetish Ball), so I'm sending both Jack and Jill up the hill to the government office to fetch their unemployment check. I'll start another round of inteviews myself, as there's got to be a qualified candidate out there who will be swayed by our new growth as a company and possesses a genuine love for snapping on the latex.

And now for The Beast: He said:

I don’t know how I got this job. It’s kind of a blur.One minute I’m sneaking into this BD/SM Supply Manufacturer’s Warehouse … next thing you know, the damn place has hired me as their H.R. Guru, citing my“extensive interest in the XYZ Latex product line.”Oh well, it pays pretty well. And I get to play with this stuff ALL FREAKIN’ DAY. Rrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

But right now I’m in bit of a, well … a bind. I’ve got a tough choice to make. Jack and Jill have emerged as the finalists in our search for a new VP, and their education, qualifications, and interviews don’t give me a clear choice. There’s only one difference between them: Jill is raising two kids alone, while Jack is married. How does this factor into the thinking of your favorite beastly hiring manager?

First, Jill would seem more likely to skip work to take care of sick kids than Jack—who can split such parental duties with his spouse. Score one point for Jack, who can stay in the office longer and be more productive. Then again, studies reveal that single mothers are more likely to live with other relatives, so Jill might have easier access than Jack to babysitters. Perhaps Jill can even bring a babysitter or two into the office after hours to privately model the latest in rubbery fashion. (Just make them 18 or older, Jill. This personnel guy doesn’t want to go to jail. Again.) It’s a draw.

Second, in Jill’s favor, statistics show that families headed by single mothers are significantly more likely to be poor, so Jill probably will need this job more and will do what it takes to keep it. XYZ Latex just loves people who are tied to their positions. On the other hand, Jack might stay alive longer and thus last longer in the job; research has demonstrated that unmarried folk drink twice as much as those in holy matrimony. Singles are also more likely to smoke and to drink and drive than the hitched. Stretching your career makes a latex company’s management happy. Also too close to call.

Third, Jill’s candidacy suffers because major studies have shown that single mothers experience significantly poorer psychological health than other women. (And we don’t need any more insanity here. All the female employees, single mothers or otherwise, are already way too hysterical about their “voluntary” mask- and gag-wearing sessions every afternoon with the CEO.) But Jill could retort by quoting the scientists who have discovered that married men develop mental health problems more than those who don’t tie the knot with their partners. So hiring Jack could mix a madman with synthetic rubber—rarely a recipe for increasing shareholder value. Still a dead heat.

Sorry, but I really, really tried to do the right thing. I consulted numerous studies to shed light on how their single difference could affect their job performance. I attempted to use reason to determine the best candidate, yet it’s still a toss-up. This beast has no other option but to face the basic facts about Jack and Jill. Jack has a penis. Jill has a vagina and breasts. So … welcome to XYZ Latex, Jill—let me show you to your spacious corner office.But don’t get too comfortable. The CEO is ready for you to stop by for your first afternoon session.

32 Comments:

Blogger :P fuzzbox said...

Thanks, Ella and David. You both did an excellent job to a rather unanswerable question. But aren't some questions in life just that way. One thing that I found enlightening was that I had an error while typing the question and when I corrected it XYZ Latex Paint Company became simply XYZ Latex Company and I did not catch the omission of the word paint. I like both of your takes on the hiring and on the Latex Company.

5:30 PM  
Blogger siren said...

Great job, Ella and David. I'm impressed by how well thought out your responses were to the question. I'd hire both of you :)

5:50 PM  
Blogger Mimi said...

You both did great! You both looked at issues I did not think of. I think I would just have to flip a coin!

6:28 PM  
Blogger Crazy Dan said...

not bad you two

Ella - why to bullshit around the question and not really answer it are you a politician?

Dave - 3 words for you: Bros before Hoes!

8:21 PM  
Blogger fatty ~ said...

hehe - its an interesting question, more so in concept.

We could be sitting here saying we'll only look at who is more fit for the job, but men and women are not equal - and no two people are going to be equal.

My mother being in HR, she's done a lot of such things in the past. But in the end, it boils down not only to whos going to the job best, but whos going to fit better in the work environment.

Will you feel bad for picking Jack because of his stable family? Because in the end, if its a job that demands long hours, dedication and a cut-throat environment, you would have to be sure Jill was really able to cope without putting the pressure on her kids.

10:18 PM  
Blogger Curare_Z said...

It is well known that "hottness" can effect your hireability. So, any guesses on who was hotter? We all know what Amulet thinks... :-) hee hee

5:08 AM  
Blogger Green Eyes said...

Great job! Personality is a huge part, too.

7:02 AM  
Blogger Vic said...

Awesome! Ella makes great points, but David cracked me up. I thought a penis gave you the leg up. Proves what I know. I'm going to show my power boobs to the man today and see if I can't get a raise! ;-)

7:47 AM  
Blogger Blonde Vigilante said...

Make them take a math test and the first one to call it racist wins.

9:24 AM  
Blogger Big D said...

This post was a totally cop out on both. The beauty was mad, because in her heart she knew she would hire Jack. When I am interviewed they always ask if you are married. Maybe it’s not in the interview stage, maybe it’s when your just talking to them or about to leave as you shake there hand. They ask. Maybe it’s unfair, but it’s done and done for a reason. The beast, what a load of shit. This question was about profitability of your company not a future sexual harassment lawsuit, not about hiring because the other person may need it more. You are in business to make money, not feed the hungry. Forget the PC shit. You’re going to hire Jack. Every single one of you are whether you know why or not.

More men are in higher management position then women. It’s a fact of life.

Jack is going to be at work. His wife is going to be doing the majority of the kid stuff, like doctors and teacher conferences. Maybe it’s sexist, it’s true. Who handled that when you were growing up? Who handles it now? The mother. Again maybe it’s not fair and sure there are exceptions, but that’s life.

Instinct.

Fuck the bullshit. You know it’s true and Jack is your new employee.

12:55 PM  
Blogger David Amulet said...

Uh, my "PC shit?" Did you miss the hook of the entire piece, that we're hiring Jill so she can be the sexual plaything of the CEO?!?

Or maybe I'm missing something ... somebody help me out here ...

-- david

1:00 PM  
Blogger ella m. said...

Apparently I missed it too...why is D attacking david? They have at least somewhat compatible viewpoints.

(Also, my response to hire neither has nothing to do with anger and everything to do with the fact that as a maneger/HR person I've seen situations like this go down in real life and how ugly it can get when lawyers get involved. No matter what the logic is for hiring one or the other, you're still firmly standing in lawsuit ville)

1:45 PM  
Blogger David Amulet said...

Well said, Ella. You took a good tack with the "Why the hell would you even ASK about martial status?" angle. 'Twas a pleasure to be paired with you.

-- david

4:42 PM  
Blogger ella m. said...

It was very nice to be paired with you as well. I thought it was quite creative about the fetish related backstory you created for the company, injected some humor into the proceedings :D

7:25 PM  
Anonymous the weirdgirl said...

Excellent post both of you! And just to respond to big D... I've NEVER been asked if I was married in a job interview. It's illegal! Oh wait, there was one time... when the guy tried to say he needed to know for "insurance purposes", but he was actually hitting on me in the interview, the perv.

I did get the job, though.

12:13 AM  
Blogger kornfedrednek said...

To be HONEST,
I agree with big d, I just didn't have the guts to post it, I would hire Jack. I guess that makes me some kinda crazy.
:O)

6:54 AM  
Blogger Curare_Z said...

D and kornfedrednek: You're not crazy...it's just honest.

But the reason there are more men in management than women is because MEN ARE DOING THE HIRING. There is a definite socialogical aspect to choosing "people like you" when you're choosing who to surround yourself with in a work place.

But, that doesn't mean that what Ella and Amulet said is any less true. Even asking about a person's marital status or family situation is BAD NEWS. Unmarried people are NOT a protected class, but women and minorities are. If there is even an inkling that race or gender wasthe sole basis for your decision...welcome to the inside of a court room.

That being said, a lot of companies get around it by making up things like "Jack will be there more often" or "I liked Jack's suit better than Jill's." It still doesn't make it right, but it does happen.

7:12 AM  
Blogger Curare_Z said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7:12 AM  
Blogger Curare_Z said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7:12 AM  
Blogger Mojotek said...

Oooohhh... touchy subject. I'd have to agree whole-heartedly with Ella M. That type of information actually shouldn't even be known about the candidates. ANd hell, if it was me... the lesser of two evils would be to start the whole interview process all over again with different candidates and make sure I don't know anything about their marital/child status.

10:48 AM  
Blogger Crazy Dan said...

Ever interview I have ever been to, no matter what the job was asked if I was married. I think ella is wrong the type of environment your in says alot about a person.. single, married, or divorced is going to play a huge part in the hiring process and should be discussed so should sex and race. I say screw the PC afirmative action bullshit, let the best overall person get the job not just whats on paper but family life as well.

2:15 PM  
Blogger Ranea said...

Tough call, but I think that the single mom would probably work harder to keep her job to support her kids. So I'd hire Jill.

3:21 PM  
Blogger Jamie Dawn said...

Good job!
I guess I would hire the one who smelled the best.
Or, I would flip a coin.

8:55 AM  
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11:08 PM  
Blogger doris said...

What a great set of reasoned arguments - and the comments too were fun.

And No I wouldn't be hiring Jack just because. Times have changed so much but even way back women have been single parents and running the whole show because men have copped out or died young or been killed in a war. They were not called single parents but Widows.

1:00 AM  
Blogger :P fuzzbox said...

I want to think everyone for their comments and a special thanks to David and Ella.

4:58 AM  
Blogger LocuTus of Borg said...

Ouch David >:P

7:41 AM  
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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I resent the way mental illness is verbalized in the Beast's post. I'm not arguing with the research results, but the way mental illness is labeled as "insanity". Now I strongly dislike the politically-correct term, "consumer", for a mentally ill person, because I'm strongly opposed to political correctness.
But the "insanity" term is a cliched stereotype that is usually inaccurate. I know this because I have mental illness, myself. And we mentally-ill people, who admit our illness, and seek treatment, are far more sane than most "normal" people. In other words, most of us dianosed, mentally-ill people are actually the most "sane", in this "insane" world.

12:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I resent the way mental illness is verbalized in the Beast's post. I'm not arguing with the research results, but the way mental illness is labeled as "insanity". Now I strongly dislike the politically-correct term, "consumer", for a mentally ill person, because I'm strongly opposed to political correctness.
But the "insanity" term is a cliched stereotype that is usually inaccurate. I know this because I have mental illness, myself. And we mentally-ill people, who admit our illness, and seek treatment, are far more sane than most "normal" people. In other words, most of us dianosed, mentally-ill people are actually the most "sane", in this "insane" world.

12:58 AM  

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