When I applied and scheduled an interview for a job at the “financial arm” of the Methodist Church, I knew I was not a right fit for them. After all, I’m not only not Methodist, I’m not even a Christian.
When the HR manager called a couple days later to cancel the interview, I had a strong suspicion her excuse was concocted.
I’m guessing the conversation behind the scenes went something like this:
“When I asked him how he would feel about working in an environment where a prayer is said before and after every meeting, and people have been known to bring a Bible with them, his answer was, ‘I’m not a religious person, but I have no problem with other people practicing their religion … as long as they’re not hurting me.'”
Her boss probably said something like, “How very big of him! But seriously, he’s not a good fit here. Let’s make up an excuse not to interview him.”
“We have to be careful,” she would have said in this speculative conversation. “There are laws against religious discrimination.”
“Right, right,” he would have agreed. “Tell him the position has been filled. That always works.”
“I know,” she would have said, happy to have found a solution, “I’ll just tell him the truth without actually saying it. I’ll say, ‘We’ve already got Christian applicants scheduled for interviews who are a better fit for us.’ I just won’t say ‘Christian’ out loud.”
At which point, I’m sure they shared a laugh.
And that’s what she told me when she called. Her premise was that there was a “scheduling conflict.” Only four interview slots were available. As if you can’t simply move things around and squeeze in a twenty minute interview? Hell, I’ve had plenty of much shorter interviews.
No problem. I wasn’t thrilled about working for a bunch of religious fanatics, anyway. 🙂