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    Wednesday, June 01, 2005
    A Sad Reality
    Every other Tuesday my friend Esther and I get together for coffee. Esther at I met when I began working my first job out of college, and since I've left the company we have made a concerted effort to take time, at least twice a month, to sit down and update each other on our lives.

    Most of last night consisted of my random weekend stories, and looking at pictures of her best friends wedding, but towards the end of the night we were discussing the new job she's starting in a few weeks. After hearing all about the job description and complaining about the dress code, I had just one question:

    "What do they think about you having to leave the office early every Friday?"

    See, Esther is Jewish. Not in the casual way that so many people are these days, but what she calls "conservadox". She stays kosher, observes the fasting days and whatnot, and every Friday, has to be home before sundown. The reason she does not consider herself fully Orthodox is because she wears pants and does not intend on covering her hair when she gets married.

    Being friends with Esther, while at times a bit interesting when it came to MY stories, has been an eye opening experience. I've learned so much from her, and I admire her faith. As a lapsed Catholic who after years of searching for a religion i agreed with, I am almost jealous. However, the answer to the question I asked her brought me back down to earth.

    "I haven't told them yet. If you tell an employer that before they hire you they'll find some other reason NOT to. If you tell them afterwards, and they fire you, they're in a whole world of trouble."

    This bugs me on so many levels. It bugs me that Esther would have to put herself in the position to upset her employers so soon after she starts working. It bugs me that she can't be open about who she is. It bugs me even more that what she said is completely true.

    Esther's always been really responsible about how she works her home-before-sundown-on-Friday routine. Since sundown is so late in the summer it almost doesn't affect things at all, but during the winter there are times she needs to leave by mid afternoon. To make up for this she works extra hours the rest of the week. I watched her for a year and a half work in the cubicle next to mine and not once did she let her religion get in the way of her career. So why then, would a potential employer find some other reason not to hire her? And is that really the case?

    Unfortunately I really think it is true. And that is going to continue to bother me for a while. Discrimination is discrimination, and just because someone needs to work different hours because of their religious beliefs doesn't mean they shouldn't get hired. As long as the employee demonstrates an ability to get the job done religion shouldn't be an issue at all.

    Sorry for the rant, and if this doesn't make sense it's because this is a bit more personal than just the abstract thought. I get a bit defensive when I think my friends have been wronged, and even though her new employer hasn't said anything yet, just the idea that she's had to hide it from them just to get hired in the first place REALLY makes me angry.
    posted by FINY @ Wednesday, June 01, 2005  
    • At 6/01/2005, Blogger Amy said…

      I feel the same way about homosexually. Who someone is giving good lovin' to in the bedroom is not's how they do on the job. I HATE that about some employers...

      *off soap box*

      So glad i found you :)

    • At 6/01/2005, Blogger FINY said…

      Glad you found me too! :)

      How DID you find me by the way. I'm always curios how that happens, since four months ago I had never read a blog in my life!

    • At 6/01/2005, Blogger Amy said…

      My sister sent me the link..she said, "Look, another red sox fan with a blog :)"

    • At 6/01/2005, Blogger Meegan said…

      Beautifully written post. Very interesting, too.

    • At 6/02/2005, Blogger FINY said…

      Amy: That's great! Tell your sister I said thanks, cause now I get to read your blog too!

      Meegan: Thanks. I thought it was a bit too rambling, but you know Esther, she's a sweetheart, this one's gonna bug me for a while.

    • At 6/22/2005, Anonymous Esther said…

      Esther here (and no, I don't mind that you used my name). After your telling me about your blog, and about this entry in particular, I've been doing some reading. I just wanted to clear a few things up. I consider myself Modern Orthodox (Conservodox is slightly less religious, although sometimes hard to tell the difference) - the reasons behind it still stand. And by the way, the people at the new job are totally fine with my leaving early!

    • At 6/22/2005, Blogger FINY said…

      See, I'm still learning! Thanks for the clarification, sweetie. And welcome to the blog! :)

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    Name: FINY
    Home: New York, New York, United States
    About Me: Just a New England girl trying to make it in NYC. Email me at: soxfaninnyc [at] gmail [dot] com
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