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For the past couple of years, I've been a graphic designer doing layout for a politically-left newspaper (which I don't want to mention by name) with a long history (over 80 years) and a party affiliation to the left of the democratic party. When I took the job, I couldn't envison a time where the politics of the paper would get me into hot water -- history notwithstanding.

Well, today I had a job interview -- one of several I've been on in the last few weeks. Wanting to stay in publishing, I applied for a job for a magazine with a far different political viewpoint -- one that caters to law enforcement.

Follow me below.

Yeah, I thought it was quite a jump too, but the money was a substantial raise from the paltry sum that I've been eeking by on.

To prepare for the interview, I heavily censored my portfolio, removing copies of the paper that skewed "too" liberal -- opting for less radical headlines on labor, Katrina survivors and Women's History Month. I was planning on presenting my portfolio to the employeer, glossing over the radical politics and never mentioning the political affiliations, but.....

It was a tag-team interview; the editor grilled me while the Director of Opperations viewed my portfolio on his own, without my input. He took out the first paper -- the headline covering the recent immigration marches across the country -- and began to page through it. After a few minutes he asked, "so, how closely do your political views match that of this paper?"

I couldn't believe I was being asked to defend my political views during a job interview. But if Alito could claim that he was "just representing the viewpoints of his client, [the government]," I thought I'd try the same. I blurted out something about my left-leaning politics, while simultaneously trying to distance myself from the more radical views of the paper. Later, I wished I had just said "I'm a registered Democrat," and left it at that. But it was too late; I had said "left-leaning" and that was all he needed to hear.

I felt the blood rise into my face -- surely this had to be illegal -- I wasn't really just asked about my political views during a job interview? Infuriated, I spent the rest of the interview mentally crushing his head, not believing I could be so naive.

At the end of the interview, he voiced his disgust with the political views of the paper again, while admiting that I was chosen as a highly-qualified candidate from over 250 resumes.

Earlier I had name-dropped a few police officers I knew in my neighborhood, and he used that to get his last lick in, saying, "I should have asked you if you had ever been ARRESTED by any of those police officers, given your political views." Because, you know, anyone who hates George Bush, hates America, and has obvious criminal leanings.

I literally screamed in the car on the way home, at the top of my lungs. I called my friends and vented. I got online and checked the EEOC website, only to find out that political affiliation is not a protected class for discrimination claims. But the point is, I was weeded out because of my political views -- and more accurately, the political views of my currrent employer. The days of McCarthism are alive and well.

Then it occured to me that whether a class is protected or not, people get "weeded out" for all manner of things, from their skin color to thieir age, sexual orientation or gender. And I have to believe that this has happened to me too, but without my knowledge. I think what really struck me was how brazen he was about it -- making it abundantly clear that only right-wing koolaid drinkers need apply for this job.

I know what you're thinking, that I'm better off not working for people like this. True. But I have to wonder if my affiliation with my current employer has gotten me blackballed from more than one job. And how long will it take this "highly qualified" applicant to overcome this seeming handicap.

Originally posted to valleycat on Mon Mar 27, 2006 at 04:19 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

    •  Next time, don't tell them (7+ / 0-)

      If anyone ever asked my political beliefs and/or party affiliation during a job interview, I'd tell them it was unrelated to my job performance and wasn't any of their business.

      Of course, that could flag you as "liburl" since you believe in a right to privacy.

      In retrospect, just lie and say you love Herr Bush.

      I'm still certain that what motivates me
      Is more rewarding than any piece of paper could be -- Dennis Lyxzén

      by stinerman on Mon Mar 27, 2006 at 04:19:59 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Perhaps we can do more than that (0+ / 0-)

      check my bio & e-mail me if you like

      "Time to clean out the crap in Congress" - Jesus (D) Nazareth

      by llbear on Mon Mar 27, 2006 at 06:02:58 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  but would you want to work there (0+ / 0-)

      given that your political views and their attitude are in such conflict?  Would you really want to be doing graphic design for such troglodytes?  Was this perhaps a blessing in disguise?

      Just asking ...

      Those who can, do. Those who can do more, TEACH!

      by teacherken on Mon Mar 27, 2006 at 07:06:32 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The final irony... (17+ / 0-)

    ...WE are the "law and order" people. THEY are the "I had my fingers crossed when I swore to uphold the Constitution" people.

  •  That really sucks (10+ / 0-)

    That really sucks that they blackballed you due to your politics, and I wish you the best of luck with your job search.

    However, you really ought to count yourself lucky though.  Would you want to work in a place where you couldn't really be yourself and you were always on the defensive about your political views?  Or worse yet, where something you posted online expressing your first amendment rights might get you fired or otherwise hurt your career?

    The money may have been good but now you'll be all set to find something that fits you better.

    Good hunting!

    Take your country back one dollar at a time at
    -5.88 -6.87

    by Raven Brooks on Mon Mar 27, 2006 at 04:20:45 PM PST

  •  My rule is to never, NEVER put money ahead of (9+ / 0-)

    speaking my mind or telling the truth. You should've gone in there and been polite. But when they turned stupid, you should've torn them to shreds. Yes, you need a job, but you also need your humanity.

    "How far up your ass do these guys dicks need to be before you realize their fucking you?- Bill Hicks -7.88, -7.13

    by bebacker on Mon Mar 27, 2006 at 04:22:20 PM PST

  •  that sucks (6+ / 0-)

    I wrote a diary not too long ago about inappropriate interview questions, like that.  I'm terrible at the time of the interview in terms of saying what should be said, instead I answer the question and get pissed afterword.  I was asked once what religion I was, and it wasn't until later that it really started to get to me about how wrong it was to ask that.

  •  I sympathize (5+ / 0-)

    There may be some higher paying jobs that you could seek that are more comfy than this one would have been.  I say thank gods they were honest with you.

    I know it is terrible, though, and I am sorry.

    When I was young and had taught for three years successfully, I was interviewed for a teaching job by a principal who said, "I will just get you trained and you will get pregnant."

    Yes...shocking.  It knocks you over.

    Best wishes!!  You will find something and not have to compromise.  

    Older people remember when the police were not always friends of any liberal ideas such as eating lunch at a lunch counter if black.

    DWB (driving while black) is still a problem or DWP (driving while poor).

    "The America I love still exists at the front desks of our public libraries." Kurt Vonnegut

    by cfk on Mon Mar 27, 2006 at 04:27:07 PM PST

  •  Yeah (5+ / 0-)

    I work on a military base in South Carolina and I pretty much have had to stay in everybody's face continuously since the dawn of this damnable war.  It's their problem, though, not yours--especially if they are flipping off a talented graphic designer--although you were probably felt better about it if you had started laughing and said, "don't tell me you are the kind of guys that actually listen to O'Reilly's drool. . ."

  •  What magazine and who interviewed you? (6+ / 0-)

    Would you care to share that with us?  I don't know how risky or unwise that might be, but don't worry.  I'll bet graphic designers, like many creative types, are overwhelmingly liberal.  After a few dozen interviews, that fascist at American Nazi magazine will probably realize HE needs to keep politics out of the interview, or he'll never fill the job.

    Now you can find work with folks whose lunchtime company you'll enjoy.

    We're all pretty crazy some way or other; some of us just hide it better. "Normal" is just a setting on my dryer.

    by david78209 on Mon Mar 27, 2006 at 04:28:36 PM PST

    •  the magazine (4+ / 0-)
      was called Tactical Response and I was interviewed by the Editor and Director of Communications who is also the co-owner. He's the one who questioned my politics....

      Writing this, I have to wonder what the hell I was thinking -- going in for an interview for a magazine with politics that I so clearly disagree with. I'll consider this a lesson learned.

      When you're going through hell, keep going. -- Winston Churchill

      by valleycat on Mon Mar 27, 2006 at 05:45:04 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm glad you went... (0+ / 0-)
        Lots of interesting leads behind that link.

        A Senator YOU can afford
        $1 contributions only.
        Masel for Senate
        1214 E. Mifflin St.
        Madison, WI 53703

        by ben masel on Mon Mar 27, 2006 at 06:24:57 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I read one article there (0+ / 0-)

        about the previously unknown to me problem of SWAT snipers shooting the gun out of a suicidal person's hand.  Other than the fact that I didn't realize it was a common occurrance, it was a sober, professional, and informative article, clearly demonstrating that shooting a person's gun is a really bad idea.  Plus they shot big holes in lots of loaded guns.

        Based on that very limited data, it's possible that it wouldn't be a horrible place to work.  

  •  They really don't sound like... (7+ / 0-)

    ... anyone you'd want to be working for, anyway.

    Next time, politely refuse to answer.  "My political affiliations are unrelated to my job performance" should suffice.

  •  Speak with conviction (9+ / 0-)

    I think I can tell when an interviewee is vacillating and fudging what they are telling me to get on my good side. You may have lost some respect from the interviewers and got written off for that alone. You need not be confrontational. Just state that you don't bring your politics to your job, and they will never get less than your best even if there are times you aren't in 100% agreement with the publisher.

    •  I can tell immediately (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Quotefiend, llbear

      I do a lot of interviews and deal with a lot of people and I can tell instantly when they aren't being honest to themselves. From that point, its easy to keep twisting the knife until they break.

      I don't care who I hire, what their politics are, etc. but their character matters a great deal. It defines how they will work on a team, how they will interact with others. I don't compromise on this and I burn through a LOT of interviews just flushing out the lazy, stubborn, deceptive, etc. candidates.

      What happened to the diarist was simply wrong, but he should have come clean in his answer - even if his response was to hold his ground as being none of their business. I would have probed the same area as the interviewer, but in a totally different way - simply commenting on the difference in the site backgrounds and seeing if he offers some excuse to appease me. But as soon as I get a hedge from the interviewee on a question, I set them up for more and if they're consistent, the interview is over (sometimes I just happen to poke a sensitive area and they come back on track - I'm looking for a pattern.)

      But I've also been interviewed and ended the interview myself, telling the interviewees that I'd never work for them based on their interviewing approach. I'd probably have done that in the case described above.

      "The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by an endless series of hobgoblins." - Mencken

      by johnsonwax on Mon Mar 27, 2006 at 05:20:28 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  My thought exactly (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Especially with a "right-leaning" company.  To be frank, a lot of Republicans don't respect the left because they see them as wimpy.

      As an independent, when a Republican asks about my politics, I always grin broadly and say happily, "I'm a flaming liberal."  I have yet to encounter a right-winger who didn't laugh (appreciatively, not sneeringly) at this. And give me my due for not running from who I am.

      This might be a bit over the top for a job interview, but the general approach is sound. If you aren't proud of who you are, why would they want to hire you?

  •  just a thought (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sj, valleycat, Quotefiend, phinky

    I once had a terrible interview that made me angrier than I had ever been in my life.  A friend worked for another branch of this office and got me in touch with the office manager in the city I was applying to.  So I go to the interview, the guy flips through my portfolio (I'm an architect) in this completely uninterested attitude, then says he doubts they'd have me and asks what salary i was looking for.  I told him and he says "Well there's definitely NO WAY we'd pay you that.  I mean, your portfolio is okay, but it's nothing to get excited about."  There were several other demeaning comments he made.
    This firm was a boring firm too.  Not even like their design was that cutting edge.

    I was furious.  I really wished I had left during the interview and thrown coffee in his face.  I got back home and thought about sending a scathing letter instead of a thank you letter for the interview.  Instead I sent this brilliantly sarcastic letter that reads like someone zealous for the opportunity to work there.  It was this fine line, where only my friends who really knew me and heard what happened got the sarcasm.  They all thought it was hilarious, and I loved it.  I knew that he would just dismiss the letter and not realize that he had just been completely insulted.

  •  You shouldn't have answered... (5+ / 0-)

    I would've refused and asked why it was relevant.

    On the other hand...if I had answered and I got a similar response to the one you got, I'd have said something to the interviewer about how you hoped that they could be mature and open-minded enough to work with you...but since they're so immature and intentionally subverting what our great country stands for, (diversity of opinion and beliefs) you couldn't possibly work with them at their magazine. I would have withdrawn the application and told them to have a nice (close-minded and probably small-dicked) life!

    I certainly wouldn't have left without insulting them a few times first...I can't believe you had the strength to do that:)

  •  Well, cold comfort (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    valleycat, Elise, Quotefiend

    whoever they get will probably be utter crap.  At least in my experience, the conservative designers I've met/worked with were all hacks.

    I lost a potential account because I had done logo work for a Wiccan group... and the guy was one of THOSE fundies who thought the "taint" of having worked for Wiccans would corrupt his connection to jeeeezus.

    Don't you get it yet? It's not incompetence. It's been the plan all along to destroy America.

    by voltayre on Mon Mar 27, 2006 at 04:36:16 PM PST

  •  Not Nazi Enough. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Is a good thing in most circles.

    As if they're vetting for right-wing extremist talent, they're already in trouble. :)

    We're all Helens now. :)

    by cskendrick on Mon Mar 27, 2006 at 04:37:03 PM PST

  •  Be thankful! (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TealVeal, valleycat, Elise, Quotefiend

    that you won't have to work for such pompous asses.  You probably would have been miserable only to be fired under some career busting pretext after a candid exchange around the water cooler.

    Dust off your feet and move on.

  •  I know that it's not exactly the same, but (10+ / 0-)

    I work for a travel company. As a recent college graduate, I'm one of the lowest level employees. About 2 months ago, I was out at a restaurant with one of my best friends. The two of us, who happen to be gay, were being really affectionate to each other, as friends who haven't seen each other in almost a year tend to me. Unfortunately for us, one of the vice presidents of the company happened to see us. He came over and told me that I "shouldn't be allowed to let people see that".

    The next morning, I got a phone call from the head of my department. It turns out that the Vice President who saw me at the restaurant reported that I had attempted to fight in at a restaurant, something completely absurd. My supervisor informed me that I was going to be fired because of my alleged behavoir. It didn't matter that it was entirely made up. It didn't matter that I had numerous witnesses who supported my story. It took the testimony of the restaurant owner, who reported that I had been harrassed, almost physically, because of my sexual orientation, to save my job. Even then, I was put on probation.

    The point of this story is that it sucks when this shit happens, but it does happen. Don't let it keep you down. If I had to do everything over again, I would not change how I behaved with my best friend. And hopefully, if you had to take your interview again, you wouldn't change sticking up for your beliefs. Because that's what it comes down to - we are stronger than they are, and if we don't hold onto what we believe, what do we have?

  •  I sympathize (8+ / 0-)

    I post here under a pseudonym because I am a graduate students whose every activity is examined for ideological purity by professors, students, colleagues, clients, and classmates. Since I rely on these people to make my living and build a career for myself, I need to be able to pass myself off as politically neutral or at least non-threatening. If I posted here under my real name, it would get around very quickly and my livelihood would be threatened.

    Thwarting the forces of conservatism since 1978. -7.63, -5.64

    by wiscmass on Mon Mar 27, 2006 at 04:40:39 PM PST

  •  i am sorry for that awful interview. (5+ / 0-)

    but damn, you don't want to work for people like that. it would be hell.

  •  California protects political affiliation (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sj, valleycat, Quotefiend, faddlefiddle

    but almost no other states do, and the federal government does not.  

    Sorry about your experience.

    Feingold/Slaughter '08. Hey, I can dream.

    by bosdcla14 on Mon Mar 27, 2006 at 04:53:44 PM PST

  •  I'm sorry about your troubles (4+ / 0-)

    However:  I have chosen not to hire right-wing political hacks when their resume lists their right-wing credentials.  I know it sucks, but I cannot cast stones when I've committed the same act.

  •  What state was this in? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    valleycat, Quotefiend

    This is illegal in more than a few states.  

  •  It's illegal to ask (4+ / 0-)

    unless it's clearly relevant to the job. But they obviously don't care about that or your basic rights. There are alot of questions that the area is gray but it still probably shouldn't be asked. I've worked with employment lawyers (it's not my specialty)developing contracts for a healthcare business & they always erred on the side of discretion. These people you were interviewing with sounded like goons & they probably wanted to run you off even though you were qualified. They sound like the kind of people that fire people for no good reason at all. They're jerks- I'm glad you escaped soul-killing employment!

    But next time just ask calmly..."Why are you asking me that?" and wait for the answer.

  •  You're silly to have answered. (2+ / 1-)
    Recommended by:
    valleycat, Quotefiend
    Hidden by:

    Most people actually practice for the hard questions that they might be asked during job interviews. I'm sorry that it didn't work out the way you wanted, but smart people prepare for such eventualities. Especially when they've been writing for the Daily Worker.

    Economic Left/Right: -6.63 Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -5.85 That makes me more Gandhi than Stalin

    by TomDuncombe on Mon Mar 27, 2006 at 05:16:49 PM PST

    •  ahhhh (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      grndrush, 3goldens, Quotefiend
      my cover is blown. But point taken, yes, I shouldn't have been so naive. From now on, I'll have an answer prepared. I just always figured that it was inappropriate (or illegal) for them to ask, so I was always able to guide the discussion around the paper's politics with finesse.

      When you're going through hell, keep going. -- Winston Churchill

      by valleycat on Mon Mar 27, 2006 at 05:27:43 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Speaking of silly (0+ / 0-)

      I suggest you take a look-see thru the dKosapedia (sp?). 'Outing' is considered a rather serious violation of the rules around here.

      "I woke up this morning, and I got myself a beer. The future's uncertain, and the end is always near." - Jim Morrison

      by grndrush on Tue Mar 28, 2006 at 12:07:22 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I wasn't 'outing'!! (0+ / 0-)

        I had no idea what newspaper the original poster worked for; I pulled the title out of the air because it was the only name of a seriously left-wing newspaper that I knew and I was using it as a rhetorical example! I had nothing to do with the fact that she decided to come back to the thread and say that I was right. Come on, now.

        Economic Left/Right: -6.63 Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -5.85 That makes me more Gandhi than Stalin

        by TomDuncombe on Tue Mar 28, 2006 at 03:30:15 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  not outed (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          I've commented before on the newspaper I work for, so it wouldn't be too difficult for someone to guess. Besides, I don't work for the Daily Worker, per se, because it changed it's name several decades ago.
          Now if someone posted my name with a link to my employeer, then I'd be pissed....

          When you're going through hell, keep going. -- Winston Churchill

          by valleycat on Tue Mar 28, 2006 at 03:51:23 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Thanks, valleycat (0+ / 0-)

            I wasn't trying to be a troublemaker. I hope you find a job with some other progressive organ!

            Economic Left/Right: -6.63 Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -5.85 That makes me more Gandhi than Stalin

            by TomDuncombe on Tue Mar 28, 2006 at 04:06:40 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Accepted, valleycat (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            My comment was based purely on the fact that you'd specifically stated that you didn't want to name the rag involved, and, contrary to Tom's claim above, he didn't make any claim in his original comment that he was using any "rhetorical example" - he named a specific paper, period, and you took the time to make a comment that your cover had been blown. I was simply trying to support you.

            Privacy issues on a blog like this are a highly sensitive subject. Yes, most could do some research and 'out' just about anyone here, but respecting the privacy of our own members is, to me, a matter of respect. IMO, Tom's comment was out of line.

            We ARE all on the same side, right?


            "I woke up this morning, and I got myself a beer. The future's uncertain, and the end is always near." - Jim Morrison

            by grndrush on Tue Mar 28, 2006 at 08:56:50 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  I'm sorry for what happened to you... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    grndrush, Quotefiend

    ...and I think about the early, brave women who busted into male-dominated professions, in hostile environments, because that's where the money was. I wouldn't have told them to give up, because they were better off not working there. EVERYONE deserves a good job, with good pay. I'm not surprised that political affiliation is not protected by the EEOC guidelines, but I think the comment about checking to see if you'd been arrested was over the top; why not give the EEOC a call, and talk to someone there? If they determine there's an issue, they might launch an investigation - no cost to you of course - and while it may not change anything for you, it could scare the piss out of that jackass. Now I have my own tale: I recently interviewed for a job, and then was asked to take an on-line psych assessment. Here are the questions that gave me pause:

    1. Rank your favorite school subjects, favorite to least:
    • Math
    • Science
    • Political Science
    • Sociology
    • Theology
    1. Rank your favorite non-work activities:
    • Political activism
    • Spiritual pursuits
    • Helping the needy
    • Managing my investments
    1. Rank you preferences in terms of what you would do if you could have any job you wanted?
    • Run for public office
    • Help the needy
    • Manage money/investments

    I wondered why they'd want to know if I was a "spiritual" person, interested in Theology vs. Sociology vs. money-handling? I wondered if they were trying to figure out if I was a "leftie", or a "rightie"
    Seemed damned odd to me. Has anyone here ever been asked such questions??

    •  "Tests" like that oughtta be illegal (0+ / 0-)
      every one of these bullshit "employment psych assessments" are based on presumptions which are patently false and empirically unproveable. They are totally unscientific and promote a pseudoscientific world view.

      They are in the same class as Graphology and Phrenology. In other words, BULLSHIT.

      They should be made illegal for use in determining employment.

      I am become Dubya, Destroyer of Words...

      by Swampfoot on Mon Mar 27, 2006 at 07:31:04 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  that seems to be a religious test (0+ / 0-)

      although, most fundies would be lying if they said "help the needy" -- unless they meant help the needy by giving them the kick in the ass that they needed.

      Question 1: out of that list, I've only had math and science classes, and math wins.  Fundy is going to say "theology"
      Question 2: I only do the first and the last, but not very well.  Seems this is the one where they really find out you are a religious person when you say "spiritual pursuits".  If you answer "help the needy" on this question, you are a damn commie.
      Question 3: Cover for the first two questions, but again, a fundy is going to say "help the needy," cause they know at least that much about Jesus.

      These also give the fundy the opportunity to admit they love Jesus, and they can all have a grand old Jesus-fueled interview from then on.  Of course, if the company is run by Moonies, as is far too common, they rope the guy in and convert him after he's hired.

    •  Where's MSOC when we need her? (0+ / 0-)

      I'd have answered NO questions on that POS excuse for a 'test', written "FUCK YOU" on it about 60 times (margins included), demanded access to a photocopier and made a copy before handing it in (or left with it in-hand were I refused access to a copier), and gone straight from their office to the EEOC. This shit is blatantly il-fucking-legal! I can't believe how many fucking assholes continue to try this shit.

      cdn - a leftie, BTW; there's still some of us left in our right minds.  ;)

      "I woke up this morning, and I got myself a beer. The future's uncertain, and the end is always near." - Jim Morrison

      by grndrush on Tue Mar 28, 2006 at 01:22:53 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sorry (0+ / 0-)

        I missed the part about this test being on-line; no way to cart off the evidence that way! How convenient. HOWEVER: I bet the EEOC would've been interesting in looking at the machine itself!


        "I woke up this morning, and I got myself a beer. The future's uncertain, and the end is always near." - Jim Morrison

        by grndrush on Tue Mar 28, 2006 at 01:28:22 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  80 years gives me a hint.... (6+ / 0-)

    If you're here in Madtown, political affiliation is covered bythe City's Equal Opportunity ordinance.

    A Senator YOU can afford
    $1 contributions only.
    Masel for Senate
    1214 E. Mifflin St.
    Madison, WI 53703

    by ben masel on Mon Mar 27, 2006 at 05:21:58 PM PST

  •  My interview nightmares! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    valleycat, bustacap, Quotefiend
    Boy do I sympathize -- I'm job hunting right now and a low self esteem poster child having been RIFed by a director that I suspect didn't respect me or my skills.  It's soooo cruel that when you are down in the dumps you're trying to sell yourself as a the greatest thing since sliced bread.

    Maybe we should start a dailykos job hunting support group? It's a hard world out there, we need each other's support!

  •  job Interview (3+ / 0-)

    Any organization that values political affiliation more than competence does not deserve to have quality people working for them. Long-term, a corporation cannot be run like a religious sect (unless it is itself a religious sect) - it will eventually run into the ground.
    If I was asked about my political or religious affiliations at a job interview I would have merely responded "how is this a relevant question?". That would force them to either withdraw or reveal their true colors.
    Believe me, you're better off not working for that organization. That interview revealed that they value conformity to political orthodixy more than professional competence. Enough said.

  •  They've been doing this since they attained power (5+ / 0-)

    Since 2000, they have been systematically destroying careers of anyone deemed a "leftist" while promoting their own regardless of merit.  We've all heard the stories regarding DeLay, Abramoff & "K" St. lobbyists.  If you are viewed as the opposition, their intent is to destroy you.

    I too was subjected to this political bias in my profession last year.  I'm a self-employed musician & work around the country doing fundraising for music programs in universities, symphonies, opera & ballet companies, etc.  I had done work for a well-known university in the Southeast for several years.  The man in charge of these fundraisers happened to also be a long-time lobbyist in D.C., well-connected to a well-known Southern senator.  After a successful event, we all went out to dinner to celebrate.  The talk turned to politics, of course, and I spoke rather frankly about my views.  This infuriated this man to the point that a "scene" was made at the dinner table.  I tried to calm him down & lighten the tension but he was out of control.  His associates apologized to me for his behavior, but the die was cast.

    Several months later I was informed that I would
    not be asked back, even though my abilities were never questioned.  Apparently, a colleague of mine was told that "we don't want any crazy liberals" around here.  

    This cost me about $25K, a sizable hit to my income.  The ability to abuse power & affect one's livelihood is something that is going on all over the country at every level.  I had the opportunity to apologize for my comments & was encouraged to do so, for the sake of my job.  But I couldn't bring myself to do it.  It was an example of standing for one's principles, something I had been screaming at the Dems for 5 years.  Well, I put my $$ where my mouth was.  I must say, I felt great standing up to this asshole.  

    So, if the opportunity presents itself in another job interview, don't hold back.  Anyone who would ask an inappopriate question is going to find some excuse not to hire you, so you might as well let 'em have it.  You'll feel better for it.

  •  Ignore a little, accomplish a lot (0+ / 0-)


  •  Maybe if you're confronted with this again (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    valleycat, Quotefiend

    you should lie your ass off to get in the door, then after your probationary period is over, bloom into the full flower of your liberal self. That way if they want to can you, they could have a wrongful termination suit on their hands (if you can obtain evidence that it's based on a protected status), plus it will cost them money having to go through the worker search again!

    People like this don't deserve to be treated honestly. They don't treat others honestly, so fuck 'em.

    I am become Dubya, Destroyer of Words...

    by Swampfoot on Mon Mar 27, 2006 at 07:07:08 PM PST

  •  Chin up (0+ / 0-)

    If you were hired by them and they made your life a living hell because they were obsessed about your personal beliefs, would that make you feel better?  I doubt it.  
    I got mocked by the interviewer (and decision maker) for wearing a tie to an interveiw for a job I really wanted and was qualified for.  As interesting or whatever attraction for a job might be, if you wind up working for jerks it ruins it all anyways.

    A legacy of death, lies and incompetence with the sign of the cross.

    by FreeTradeIsYourEpitaph on Mon Mar 27, 2006 at 07:40:43 PM PST

  •  Unbelievable (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    valleycat, 42

    First, I agree with the other posters that this doesn't sound like a place you'd want to work, anyway. IMO, you should've started screaming in their office.

    As someone who worked in a supervisory capacity (8 employees, 0 'associates') for over a decade, and then later, in another job, filed and won a large Workman's Comp lawsuit over an OTJ injury (which would never have been filed had my employer simply obeyed the law), I have to question the accuracy of the info you gleaned from the EEOC site. In the 1980s, at least, such a question was strictly off-limits. You did NOT go there, ever.

    Try and find a decent labor-law atty. Indeed, there are numerous lawyers here at dKos, though I don't know if any of them are labor-law types. Mary Julia, DD, even Armando (did I really say THAT?). They might at least be able to point you to a Kossack who does specialize in labor law.

    IMO, you have a classic, textbook, open-and-shut case here; one that's unlikely to ever see a courtroom. Once their lawyers become aware of what transpired, they're likely to offer you a quite handsome settlement on the spot, knowing how much MORE they'd lose should the suit ever see the light of a courtroom. (And don't sell yourself short; never accept a 1st offer in a situation like this!)

    I would also notify the EEOC. Even if they won't take your case, it may joggle them to pay a visit to the place. Organizations like this tend to have a "W" complex when it comes to the law; they're ABOVE it. My guess is that an EEOC investigator could find a nice tassle of violations simply by taking a 5-minute stroll through their offices.

    Don't take this shit lying down; fight the bastards! IMO, they fucked up BIG TIME. Your rights were violated!


    "I woke up this morning, and I got myself a beer. The future's uncertain, and the end is always near." - Jim Morrison

    by grndrush on Tue Mar 28, 2006 at 12:19:40 AM PST

    •  Thank you (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      after sleeping on it, I agree. I can't just let this drop, I need to follow through with action. People like this shouldn't be able to get away with intimidating liberals during a job interview. I'll be going back to the EEOC, the Illinois Labor Board, and looking for a lawyer.
      Thanks again for helping light a fire under my ass.

      When you're going through hell, keep going. -- Winston Churchill

      by valleycat on Tue Mar 28, 2006 at 03:55:29 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  You're welcome (0+ / 0-)

        Good for you, and good luck. The real reason I feel so strongly on this issue is these people will continue to operate just as they did with you, as long as nothing is done about it. It's a dirty, thankless job, but SOMEBODY has to do it.  ;)

        In my case, my employer callied me and my co-workers 'independent contractors' when we no more fit the definition than a coal miner does, except that we had to supply some of the equipment we needed OTJ. They then turned around and took W/C out of our paychecks - you read that correctly. When I was injured, I filed a claim. It was immediately denied. In the denial letter, it stated, in part: "If you disagree with this decision, you may wish to seek the advice of an attorney." That's all I did. I'd suffered a severe whiplash injury (1.5mm displacement at C5-C6) which required 18 months of recuperation. One of the doctors I saw stated "In effect, you broke your neck" - and I was initially denied!

        The W/C report validating my claim stated I was 47% disabled (even I didn't really agree I was that badly injured, but after living off $114/wk in W/C 'contingent liability pay' for a year, I had no qualms about the size of the settlement.

        There'd been a cluster of 5 injuries in about a 3-month period, mine being 1 (it wasn't a reckless worksite; it was an inherently dangerous job). We ALL filed, were denied, fought it, and won. On top of that, the company paid a HUGE fine over the W/C deductions issue.

        It was a "piecework" job - we were paid per unit of work. The pay per unit hadn't been increased in 25 years, and the W/C they were taking out of our checks had risen from 6.5% to 12.5% just during my 2 years on the job. Hence, when they stopped taking out W/C, my former fellow employees got their first raise in 25 years - a 12.5% one, no less. Yet the 5 of us were all considered pariahs by those same employees - "because we sued the company." Go figure.

        I find it hilarious to this day that the ONLY thing I did was follow the very advice W/C gave me in the initial denial letter! LMAO...

        Good Luck!


        "I woke up this morning, and I got myself a beer. The future's uncertain, and the end is always near." - Jim Morrison

        by grndrush on Tue Mar 28, 2006 at 09:33:51 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

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