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Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Fugly is NOT the new black

Last night was pleasant enough. I was at some HR do, for HR bods, doing HR things in their HR worlds. It was over a glass of passable white wine served in a somewhat chunky tumbler and some Mexican things (I’m never sure what they exactly are – just seems to be the same stuff folded in a variety of different ways) that the conversation took a turn.

I was bemoaning the fact that I was struggling to find a decent PA…..

“and they’re all crap and even the ones that aren’t that crap, well they’re…..kind of…..not so…….umm……well they’re ugly…….”

And in that moment, there it was……..my secret was out.

Yes it’s true. Given the choice between two equally skilled candidates, I will choose the one I find less ugly over the other one. I don’t choose JUST based on looks. I would never preclude someone just because of their looks.

Actually, I tell a lie. If you look like the gorilla that fell out of the ugly tree hitting every branch on the way down, you are either going to have to be married to the finest purveyor of cheese in the whole of France or have created a means of turning water into wine if you want darken my door.

I’m open and honest about this. I just want my office space to look tidy. And quite frankly ugly people….well they just clutter up the place and make it look a mess.

PLUS and this is a big plus……when you work in HR you need to be making an immediate impact. Our jobs are hard enough as it is influencing and cajoling people. If they can’t get beyond the size of your conk (that’s conk with an N), or see daylight because your ears are covering the windows….well they are hardly going to listen to your strategy for talent management.

It’s fair to say that I got taken to task on this. I am apparently a “contentious bastard” (I’m sure she loves me really!) and am “missing out on a whole host of talent”. Ugly talent I should add……

My view? I’m just honest about my prejudices. Everyone chooses people that they find attractive. That’s just the way we are.

And as far as I can see discriminating against the ugly is not yet illegal. So, if you are the bearded women, don’t come to me for a job. Move along dear, the Freak Show is just down the street.


humanresourcespufnstuf said...

I appreciate brutal honesty, thus this post has entered the twittesphere.

Corporate Daycare said...

Wow - I have to agree with humanresourcespufnstuf - brutal honesty.

While many may agree with you, few will admit this.

As much as we like to think we aren't swayed by external conditions - we all have our biases.

To play devil's advocate...I have a friend that will follow up an insult to someone with, "I know, I'm an asshole". Admitting this may explain his actions, but it doesn't excuse it.

Thanks for the provoking post.

Anonymous said...

Admitting this may explain his actions, but it doesn't excuse it.

What she said.

Sayya26 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sayya26 said...

All this being said...you must be one proud peacock with some very pretty feathers HRD...

class-factotum said...

When I worked in Chile, job ads would often specify that they wanted a young woman under 25 and oh, send a photo with your CV.

HRD said...

@Puf - Does that hurt? It sounds kind of painful....

@Corporate Daycare - I really don't think its wrong to expose ones biases. I just don't know how to get myself over this one. Answers on a postcard?

@Anonymous - You sound familiar. Do you know my mum?

@Sayya - More like the back end of the bus.....perhaps I should recruit ugly people to make myself look more attractive?

@class- factotum - I have to say age really doesn't bother me and every photo I have ever seen on a CV had a kind of "stalker" dimension to it. Maybe I should just ask for vital statistics? And by that I mean wpm......