This woman is a hero and her letter is a must-read
Major corporations aren’t always known for treating current and prospective employees like human beings instead of machines. Which just makes this brilliant, viral job rejection from a 22-year-old woman taste like victory.
Olivia Bland is a marketing professional from Manchester, England. She took to her Twitter account to share a letter she wrote to a prospective employer who was offering her a job. She savagely, bravely, and very professionally eviscerated them in her response (she declined, in case it wasn’t clear). Why? Because the interview process she describes sounds like nothing short of an absolute nightmare.
Yesterday morning I had a job interview for a position at a company called Web Applications UK. After a brutal 2 hour interview, in which the CEO Craig Dean tore both me and my writing to shreds (and called me an underachiever), I was offered the job. This was my response today. pic.twitter.com/gijDpsEVHY
— olivia (@oliviaabland) January 29, 2019
She says the day after her job interview with this company, Web Applications UK, she was offered the position she applied for. But she was no longer interested. “After a brutal 2 hour interview, in which the CEO Craig Dean tore both me and my writing to shreds (and called me an underachiever), I was offered the job.”
She shares the email she sent in response in a series of screenshots. And it’ll make you want to stop whatever you’re doing to stand up and cheer.
“The interview process yesterday was very uncomfortable for me. I understand the impact that Craig was trying to have, but nobody should come out of a job interview feeling so upset that they cry at the bus stop,” Bland writes in the email.
She tells the person in the letter (likely another hiring manager or human resources personnel) that she doesn’t want to work for a man who has no qualms about presenting himself as an abusive superior right off the bat.
“There is something very off to me about a man who tries his best to intimidate and assert power over a young woman, and who continues to push even when he can see that he’s making somebody uncomfortable to the point of tears.”
She tells the person at the company she holds no delusions of optimism about the work culture improving or changing as a result of her letter, but that doesn’t stop her from speaking her mind about the hostile work environment.
She likens the entire interview experience to a past abusive relationship she endured. “I’ve been in this position before: they tear you down, abuse you take you to breaking point, and then take you out to dinner or buy you a present to apologise and make it seem like they’re the nice guy,” she says. “This job is supposed to be the present. I don’t want it.”
How do we buy this woman a pint? Seriously, though, there are probably plenty of us out there who can relate to enduring toxic, abusive bosses (*cough* especially of the male variety *cough*) who use their power and position to demean others.
At one of my previous jobs where I was an insultingly low-paid copywriter working for an under-qualified, overpaid blowhard, I was treated like complete trash after respectably turning in my two weeks’ notice. I was berated and screamed at in a meeting (completely unrelated to my pending departure) to the point where I was shaking and holding back tears. All because I was the third employee he was losing in under two months, and he knew it made him look bad. But sure, scream at the female underling who makes pennies.
Back to Bland’s scintillating letter. She concludes her rejection by stating that after her interview experience, she couldn’t possibly subject herself to working there. “I don’t want to line up with somebody who gets a kick out of attacking young women, calling them underachievers, and making them visibly uncomfortable,” she writes. “That’s not somebody I want to work for and none of the ‘perks’ of the job could possibly tempt me.”
Plenty of people are applauding Bland all over Twitter for her strength and conviction.
Too many leaders think being like this is good leadership and it’s not— Dawn Davies (@DawnDavies9) January 30, 2019
This is such a clear, courageous and dignified response to appalling behaviour. All power to you for seeing the value in yourself and declining a job offer from a workplace that will not respect you. Very best of luck with your other interviews!— Dr Kat Gupta (@mixosaurus) January 29, 2019
It's so disheartening and feels very personal. No one should use their position of power like that— olivia (@oliviaabland) January 29, 2019
I don’t know you, but this came across my feed and I’m applauding you from California! I know how hard it can be to say no to an opportunity, but the right opportunity shouldn’t leave you feeling small. Hope this toxic man is held accountable.— Sophie Boudreau (@sophrubo) January 29, 2019
This is amazingly powerful. They’ve missed out, not only on a talented writer but a strong and confident member of staff.— Lynn Nothegger (@Lynn_Nothegger) January 30, 2019
Dean, the CEO, offered a response on Twitter after Bland’s letter went viral. She wasn’t having any of that, either.
Your apology is acknowledged but it is also driven by your own pain for yourself. You told me in my interview that people have walked out and cried when you've interviewed them so I don't know why you're acting surprised for being called out. You know what you've done to people. https://t.co/bdWsSbZ8Zx
— olivia (@oliviaabland) January 30, 2019
Cheers to Olivia Bland and all the women out there who have had to endure situations like this, and those who put their foot down and men like this in their places.
Now if anyone needs a good marketing writer based in Manchester, you know where to look first.