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Do I really have to work twice as hard?

Discussion in 'Employment & Jobs' started by AgentDRL, Oct 4, 2010.

  1. AgentDRL

    AgentDRL Nibble Poster

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    Hello all,

    I was speaking to one of my dad's friends about me not really enjoying my job too much (2nd line desktop support mainly). I'm in a far better situation that I was in during my last job, but I don't feel as though I'm part of a team. Started to apply for jobs and stuff, but normally get the "unfortunately your application has been unsucessful, but wish you all the best in the future" letter.

    Then my mum and dad's friend turns round to me and says "you've got to work twice as hard to get to where others are as you're black" and " it was like this for us in the 60's/70's coming over from the West Indies to the UK and it hasn't changed" Suffice to say I was well shocked. Only reason being my parents have never brought me and my younger brother up to be like "because I'm black I'm not going to get this/that". I argued back saying don't you think it's more of a case that it's a tough market out there and there are loads of applications for one single job. He wouldn't budge and reckons the part on application forms asking you for your ethnicity is used, although it clearly states it is not used in the application process. Then he went onto say most white people wouldn't work under no black man anyway! I thought 'whatever', and this is the reason I know why I don't listen to such individuals. I'd have loved to say to him "and this is the reason you are where you're at now in your life", but the fact of the matter is that he's done well for himself. But it looks like all the money in the world doesn't help some people. A very misguided person, and it's unfurtunate I seem more mature than someone 20+ years older than me.

    I'm going to stick to my principles and keep plugging away and not use the race card as an excuse as to why I'm not where I want to be in the IT industry. I'm going to continue to help myself with studying, test labs and other available resources. Sure, if I had proof this was going on, I would follow it up (as would anyone I suspect). I want a job based on my merits and nothing else. Do I have to work harder than others to get a position over them? Maybe. But I feel they have to raise their game to get a job over me regardless of colour, age, sex etc.
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2010
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  2. Fergal1982

    Fergal1982 Petabyte Poster

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    I actually think in some cases, being Black (or any "minority") is a benefit. So many people seem to be terrified of someone pulling the race card, that I believe there is still issues with positive discrimination - Where employers will see two candidates (one black, and one white) who are close in skill, but will take the black person because they dont want to be seen to be racist.

    I dont think its as endemic as I once thought, but I do think I still see cases where it happens.

    In my mind, it makes not the blindest bit of difference. I couldnt care less if you had two heads, and were polka dotted. All I give a damn about, is whether you can do the job or not. Unfortunately I'm not the employer though I suppose.
     
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  3. michael78

    michael78 Terabyte Poster

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    You would hope this kind of thing doesn't go on still but I suspect it does in some places but in the minority. Being only 31 I missed all this in the 60/70's but I haven't come across many black people and the black people I have met I would treat the same way as anyone else. I think maybe parents of colour (if I can use that term) probably had it bad back when they were growing up. Hopefully with current and future generation of kids race becomes less and less of an issue until it's in the past. I think these days it seems that religion is the new dividing factor in our society than colour.
     
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  4. Josiahb

    Josiahb Gigabyte Poster

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    There certainly are still cases of discrimination (both positive and negative) in the world unfortunately, things are getting better but problems still remain even amongst the younger generations.

    My girlfriend is a primary school teacher and runs in to some really screwed up situations during her working day, she's had one child use the N word in school (in a derogatory fashion) and had real difficulty explaining to this child that it was incredibly inappropriate and rude because the child in question had learnt it from his father!

    Race, religion and sexuality are still seen as reasons by some to start a row, there has been a big shift in attitude but there is still some distance to travel.

    (In the UK at least a good starting point would be dropping Nick Griffin and his mates off a cliff....)
     
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  5. AgentDRL

    AgentDRL Nibble Poster

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    I hear what you're saying here. For instance, at university I had to do a year's placement between my second year and final year. You had the option of either finding your own placement or or having the placement services at the uni find one for you. I got set up for an interview with a well known IT services provider. I applied for the network technician's role, and there was a backup role as a technical report writer (or something like that). During the interview, the two women (who were really nice by the way) understood I preferred the network technician's role. All the questions that they asked me were about all the work for the ACS (the African-Caribbean Society) and other extra curricular work I did, nothing about my course or any of the technologies I'd been exposed to at uni.

    I ended up getting the technical report writers job even though I didn't want it. I raised this with the placement board at uni, and the rules state that if you've been offered a placement, you can't turn it down. I felt I'd been subject to positive discrimination and wasn't pleased! Turns out another student at uni (on the same Computing degree as me, and who was white) wanted to do report writing, but didn't get the job as I pipped him to the post for it. To this day I'm not sure how I did that.

    So I did feel bad for him as I felt I'd been offered this role when he (for me) was the better candidate. Have to admit, I did enjoy myself whilst there (even if it wasn't the job I wanted to do), but that was my first experience (in my eyes) of discrimination of any kind (positive or negative), and this was back in 1999. My folks told me at the time it isn't ideal, but use it to your advantage. Didn't make me feel any better about it though :(.
     
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  6. AgentDRL

    AgentDRL Nibble Poster

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    I agree with you. With most things on this planet, the very small minority spoil it for everyone else. Like you, my parents brought me up to treat everyone the same.

    Yeah, my parents came to this country from Jamaica as kids in the mid/late 60's, so all their secondary school education and beyond was done here. My grandparends and their generation probably had it worse, but from what they told me as a kid, it wasn't as bad as some.

    I think race is less of an issue now in the year 2010, but I think it will always be around. Luckily, i'm not one of those people who are sensitive about my skin colour and take what people say to me out of context. And I totally agree with you about your point about religion. Some people use it as an excuse to start wars nowadays, which is so unfortunate.
     
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  7. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Nonsense. Although I'm sure there are a few people remaining out there who discriminate based on race, there are just as many, if not more, who positively discriminate, like Fergal said. Do you know why applications ask you about your ethnicity? Because of all of the silly anti-discrimination laws out there... Big Brother wants to look over our shoulders to make sure that companies hire the person of the right race - NOT necessarily the best person for the job. That's unfortunate.

    Personally, I don't care what color you are, what gender you are, how old you are, who you sleep with, or who you worship - if you are the best person for the job, I want you on my team. And I'm a middle-aged, white, heterosexual, evangelical Christian male.

    Are you going to have to work hard in IT? Absolutely. Are you going to have to work twice as hard as everyone else? Only if you want to advance twice as fast as everyone else. ;)

    Keep this in mind - if racial discrimination were as rampant as your dad's friend seems to think... you might not have gotten the 2nd line job you currently enjoy... nor would your dad's friend have done so well.

    Props to you for not leaning on the race crutch. You will be stronger for it. :thumbleft
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2010
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  8. gosh1976

    gosh1976 Kilobyte Poster

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    I live in the southeastern United States and spend a fair amount of time browsing the anonymous internet I can say that Racism and other forms of bigotry are alive here and in other places around the world. I believe that there are two forms of bigotry out there today. There is the overt obvious type that will likely manifest its self in discrimination and confrontations given the chance and the not so obvious type the lurks beneath the surface in less obvious ways. The first type of racist or bigot seems to be in the extreme minority these days. The second type is perhaps more insidious and much more common. Those backwards ideas may be more likely to make it's way down to the next generation. Those people may be less likely to consciously make business decisions based solely on race, gender, or sexual orientation.

    Fortunately today this bigotry and racism is not as rampant as it once was. Unfortunately there will probably always be a certain amount of ignorance and a certain amount of fear for those that are different from us. Luckily today it is far less likely to affect ones life in a substantial way. All we can do is fight it when appropriate and ignore it when appropriate. In my opinion one way to fight these things is to live life by the golden rule and by certain spiritual principles. The great thing about the golden rule is that it is found in all the worlds great religions and for those without a belief in a higher power it is a principle that should be common sense. So, I try to live by the golden rule and I try to learn about and foster an understanding for those things that I don't understand or are outside of my comfort zone.
     
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  9. Josiahb

    Josiahb Gigabyte Poster

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    Don't eat yellow snow? :blink
     
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  10. gosh1976

    gosh1976 Kilobyte Poster

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    That too is a very good rule to live by!

    The rule I was of course referring to states that one should treat others as they wish to be treated.

    It is found in ancient philosophies in places like Greece. It is found in humanism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Taoism, and many more religions and philosophies.
     
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  11. Josiahb

    Josiahb Gigabyte Poster

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    This is very true, unfortunately in those same religions it was often originally written as "treat others as you wish to be treated, unless they are in any way different from us and our way of life."

    The real magic in the last few years is the realisation of many that the second half of the above is a load of old horse poo, hence the existence of people suchas our fine friend BM above who has made the choice to follow the christian religion while ignoring some of its more out of date concepts and logic (I say out of date because I believe that when these works were written they represented the best wisdom of the time, the fact that much of the content has now been discredited or fallen out of favour can't change that fact).

    Unfortunately people still exist who cling to these original strict readings of religious text despite the best efforts of wider society hence the existence of the darker corners of organised religion, the zealots and nutters will always exist, hopefully they'll drop in number and loose access to firearms and explosives as time moves on....
     
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  12. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    I don't mean to stray off topic, but to my knowledge, nowhere in the Bible does it say to not hire someone because of their skin color, gender, etc.

    There were certainly many Jewish laws established several thousand years ago, and there were reasons for these laws at the time... but I am neither Jewish nor several thousand years old.

    In any case, I am commanded to love my neighbor as myself. Nobody does that well enough; if we did, we wouldn't have the problems we have today.
     
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