Author Topic: How to politely say "Why would I do that??"  (Read 3786 times)

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RebeccainGA

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How to politely say "Why would I do that??"
« on: September 18, 2012, 02:03:13 PM »
</BG> I attended college in the Atlanta area (small, private women's college north of the city). I left to go back home to Florida, and after an 8 year span in Arkansas, I'm back in the Atlanta area again. Many of my college friends are still in the area, and I'm in touch with a few of them. One of them, S, is a complicated sort - pre-op transgendered (this is relevant), alcoholic, married to a man who is in the military (also relevant - I promise!) and dropped out of college and has sort of been aimlessly milling around since then. S was fairly close to me back in college, and we've seen each other a few times since then, and kept in touch online. We're not close, but having been a motherly type even in college, I was a source of support and caring for S long ago, and remain so to some extent today, but in a much more hands-off way. </end BG>

S is, again, looking for a new job. I have a good job, with a large well respected company with both retail and headquarters locations in the area. S has applied, multiple times, with my company, and now wants me to use my contacts to find a job. S is hard to employ (see - pre-op transgendered, alcoholic, college dropout with no career focus), but is willing to do most any job (see: married to a military man who pays for insurance, so benefits aren't an issue). I have almost no contacts outside my company in the area, and those few are IT related - and S is NOT an IT person, at all. How can I more firmly say "S, I can't make my company hire you, and I don't have any contacts for the kinds of jobs you're qualified for." I have used almost that exact wording, and have gotten yet another "do you know of anyone that is hiring?" message.

Incidentally, these messages, interspersed with "I'm bored, what are you doing?" messages that lead to me saying we're at home unpacking and S doing something else with someone else, are almost our exclusive conversation at this point. We've tried to get together three times since we moved, and S always bails on us. I'm not sure that even if I DID know someone that was hiring that I'd put my reputation on the line for S, based on the flakiness factor at work, in addition to all the other stuff.

bah12

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Re: How to politely say "Why would I do that??"
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2012, 02:12:02 PM »
S, I understand that you are looking for employment.  I don't know of anything at present, but if I come across a lead, I'll pass it on to you.

whiskeytangofoxtrot

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Re: How to politely say "Why would I do that??"
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2012, 02:19:33 PM »
JMO, but if you were never that close, and S has  bailed on every attempt at social engagement, it sounds to me like this person is just using you for job leads. Why continue the "friendship"?

RebeccainGA

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Re: How to politely say "Why would I do that??"
« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2012, 02:31:34 PM »
JMO, but if you were never that close, and S has  bailed on every attempt at social engagement, it sounds to me like this person is just using you for job leads. Why continue the "friendship"?

I'm really not trying to - we're 'friends' on Facebook and Twitter, and S responds to me occasionally. No effort on my part. No cut direct needed, but not making any effort to build the friendship up.

bopper

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Re: How to politely say "Why would I do that??"
« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2012, 02:42:06 PM »
"I only have contacts in IT, but if I see any applicable jobs I will definetly let you know."

Mental Magpie

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Re: How to politely say "Why would I do that??"
« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2012, 03:05:34 PM »
I have to ask, and I'm not being snarky, but why is it difficult to employ a pre-op transgender?  The military thing was relevant as far as the not looking for benefits goes, but I don't understand why being pre-op transgendered is relevant because I don't understand how it would be difficult to employ such a person?
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sweetonsno

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Re: How to politely say "Why would I do that??"
« Reply #6 on: September 18, 2012, 03:20:19 PM »
I have to ask, and I'm not being snarky, but why is it difficult to employ a pre-op transgender?  The military thing was relevant as far as the not looking for benefits goes, but I don't understand why being pre-op transgendered is relevant because I don't understand how it would be difficult to employ such a person?

I was sort of wondering the same thing myself. I'm guessing that S hasn't quite settled in with presenting himself as a he (I'm guessing that S is F to M based on the information in the OP, but if I'm wrong, swap in the appropriate gender) and thus doesn't have a solid enough handle on dressing and grooming as a man. Improper grooming/dressing can have a pretty big impact on what sort of impression you make on a potential employer, and in some fields, be an absolute deal breaker. If this is the case, someone close to S should probably have a chat with him about it.

Anyway, in response to the OP, I think the "I'll let you know if anything comes up" is a perfect response. I'd also toss out suggestions like searching indeed.com and joining relevant professional groups on LinkedIn. 

RebeccainGA

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Re: How to politely say "Why would I do that??"
« Reply #7 on: September 18, 2012, 03:20:31 PM »
The pre-op transgendered thing is relevant because although S goes by a male name, he still has breasts and his legal documents still reflect female. He dresses male and identifies male, including using the mens room at work. Since many of the jobs S is qualified for are physical labor, in an all male environment, it makes it awkward at best. Unless the employer has a policy, and many don't, about how to handle things, it becomes an HR issue from day 1 that many companies would like to avoid.

Sad, but true. As far as I go, I don't care one whit, but it does make a difference with the employment.

SleepyKitty

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Re: How to politely say "Why would I do that??"
« Reply #8 on: September 18, 2012, 03:35:30 PM »
I have to ask, and I'm not being snarky, but why is it difficult to employ a pre-op transgender?  The military thing was relevant as far as the not looking for benefits goes, but I don't understand why being pre-op transgendered is relevant because I don't understand how it would be difficult to employ such a person?

I imagine it would be due to a variety of reasons - some companies have a conservative culture that would not be a good fit either for the current employees or for someone in that position. Ideally, everyone would be welcoming of those who live alternative lifestyles, but the unfortunate reality is that there is the possibility for a great deal of uncomfortableness and unpleasantness depending on the company. Some places are simply not welcoming to this type of lifestyle, and as a pre-op transgendered person, it may be that this person does not easily "pass" as the other gender, making their presence a very visual reminder that they do not mesh with the company culture. This can cause a significant disruption to an office that previously was peaceful - say a woman objects to a pre-op transgendered woman using the women's bathroom because that person is biologically male, or a biologically female transgendered man is subject to harassment by other men. Whether or not these are legitimate concerns, often management simply assumes there will be problems and passes the candidate by in favor of someone "easier" to deal with.

As for the OP,
How can I more firmly say "S, I can't make my company hire you, and I don't have any contacts for the kinds of jobs you're qualified for." I have used almost that exact wording, and have gotten yet another "do you know of anyone that is hiring?" message.

I would simply do this:

S: "Do you know of anyone that is hiring?"
You: "No. Good luck!"

Stop trying to explain yourself to him, since it is clearly going over his head - save yourself the time and effort and just say no.

Edited to fix pronouns!

Mental Magpie

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Re: How to politely say "Why would I do that??"
« Reply #9 on: September 18, 2012, 03:47:21 PM »
The pre-op transgendered thing is relevant because although S goes by a male name, he still has breasts and his legal documents still reflect female. He dresses male and identifies male, including using the mens room at work. Since many of the jobs S is qualified for are physical labor, in an all male environment, it makes it awkward at best. Unless the employer has a policy, and many don't, about how to handle things, it becomes an HR issue from day 1 that many companies would like to avoid.

Sad, but true. As far as I go, I don't care one whit, but it does make a difference with the employment.

That makes a lot of sense, thank you for clearing that up.  I was just confused at first  :D
The problem with choosing the lesser of two evils is that you're still choosing evil.

Pippen

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Re: How to politely say "Why would I do that??"
« Reply #10 on: September 18, 2012, 04:17:34 PM »
I wouldn't bother saying if you  hear of anything you will let them know. It is just not going to happen.  Something along the lines of...

'I don't have any pull around here when it comes to hiring people. You would be best to send your CV/Resume to HR as they are the ones who deal with all the recruitment.'

Gets you off the hook.

Octavia

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Re: How to politely say "Why would I do that??"
« Reply #11 on: September 19, 2012, 05:08:15 AM »
</BG> I attended college in the Atlanta area (small, private women's college north of the city). I left to go back home to Florida, and after an 8 year span in Arkansas, I'm back in the Atlanta area again. Many of my college friends are still in the area, and I'm in touch with a few of them. One of them, S, is a complicated sort - pre-op transgendered (this is relevant), alcoholic, married to a man who is in the military (also relevant - I promise!) and dropped out of college and has sort of been aimlessly milling around since then. S was fairly close to me back in college, and we've seen each other a few times since then, and kept in touch online. We're not close, but having been a motherly type even in college, I was a source of support and caring for S long ago, and remain so to some extent today, but in a much more hands-off way. </end BG>

S is, again, looking for a new job. I have a good job, with a large well respected company with both retail and headquarters locations in the area. S has applied, multiple times, with my company, and now wants me to use my contacts to find a job. S is hard to employ....
I believe the gender issue takes a back seat to what is in the bolded text in the OP's initial statement. Is S a recovered alcoholic, a recovering alcoholic, or an alcoholic who has yet to seek treatment? In other words, is S merely difficult to employ, or is S actually not at all employable at this time? If the latter is true, then make it clear that in addition to not being able to influence the hiring process, you also cannot serve as a personal reference. It would be not worth risking your reputation with your employer for S.
"I never explain anything." ~Julie Andrews in Mary Poppins

O'Dell

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Re: How to politely say "Why would I do that??"
« Reply #12 on: September 19, 2012, 07:59:24 AM »
"do you know of anyone that is hiring?"

"Nope. I sure don't."

"I'm bored, what are you doing?"

"Unpacking/painting/cleaning. Wanna' come help me? :)" Hey if she's employed in manual labor, that might be a help to you. :)
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RebeccainGA

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Re: How to politely say "Why would I do that??"
« Reply #13 on: September 19, 2012, 08:20:42 AM »
</BG> I attended college in the Atlanta area (small, private women's college north of the city). I left to go back home to Florida, and after an 8 year span in Arkansas, I'm back in the Atlanta area again. Many of my college friends are still in the area, and I'm in touch with a few of them. One of them, S, is a complicated sort - pre-op transgendered (this is relevant), alcoholic, married to a man who is in the military (also relevant - I promise!) and dropped out of college and has sort of been aimlessly milling around since then. S was fairly close to me back in college, and we've seen each other a few times since then, and kept in touch online. We're not close, but having been a motherly type even in college, I was a source of support and caring for S long ago, and remain so to some extent today, but in a much more hands-off way. </end BG>

S is, again, looking for a new job. I have a good job, with a large well respected company with both retail and headquarters locations in the area. S has applied, multiple times, with my company, and now wants me to use my contacts to find a job. S is hard to employ....
I believe the gender issue takes a back seat to what is in the bolded text in the OP's initial statement. Is S a recovered alcoholic, a recovering alcoholic, or an alcoholic who has yet to seek treatment? In other words, is S merely difficult to employ, or is S actually not at all employable at this time? If the latter is true, then make it clear that in addition to not being able to influence the hiring process, you also cannot serve as a personal reference. It would be not worth risking your reputation with your employer for S.

S is employed, and employable - in recovery for the alcohol, thank heavens. Just wants a job better than the manual labor (shipping/receiving) and doesn't want to go to school to finish a degree in something to get a better job.

LadyL

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Re: How to politely say "Why would I do that??"
« Reply #14 on: September 19, 2012, 10:27:52 AM »
I have to ask, and I'm not being snarky, but why is it difficult to employ a pre-op transgender?  The military thing was relevant as far as the not looking for benefits goes, but I don't understand why being pre-op transgendered is relevant because I don't understand how it would be difficult to employ such a person?

I imagine it would be due to a variety of reasons - some companies have a conservative culture that would not be a good fit either for the current employees or for someone in that position. Ideally, everyone would be welcoming of those who live alternative lifestyles, but the unfortunate reality is that there is the possibility for a great deal of uncomfortableness and unpleasantness depending on the company. Some places are simply not welcoming to this type of lifestyle, and as a pre-op transgendered person, it may be that this person does not easily "pass" as the other gender, making their presence a very visual reminder that they do not mesh with the company culture. This can cause a significant disruption to an office that previously was peaceful - say a woman objects to a pre-op transgendered woman using the women's bathroom because that person is biologically male, or a biologically female transgendered man is subject to harassment by other men. Whether or not these are legitimate concerns, often management simply assumes there will be problems and passes the candidate by in favor of someone "easier" to deal with.


Just for the sake of clarity and polite discussion - NOT trying to start a debate or medical discussion here - many people take offense to transgendered status being construed as an "alternative lifestyle." Lifestyles usually refer to overt choices like being a nudist or a biker, whereas most transsexuals and the medical professionals who treat them consider it a medical condition that is biologically based. *Even if you disagree with that view* it is considered impolite to imply that the person is choosing to be transgendered, and it is better to use neutral language such as "due to their medical situation" or "due to their personal situation" etc. rather than "due to their alternative lifestyle."

I believe that employment discrimination over GLBT status is a legal matter in some states, though it does raise legitimate logistical issues like you mentioned as well - regardless the alcoholism and lack of employment history are much bigger issues to me.

"I really don't have any leads right now, sorry, will let you know if anything changes" should suffice, OP.