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Old 06-26-2010, 03:09 AM
 
2,093 posts, read 3,937,454 times
Reputation: 1094

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Quote:
Originally Posted by email_lover View Post
My hugely overweight friend was just normal size when we met at age 16 in High School. At that time she was popular with the boys and had a pleasant personality. After High School she started to gain weight like crazy usually going up 20 pounds a year. As her weight went up she moved less and less and now when I watch her she hardly moves a muscle when she is awake. It is a major chore for her to just get out of a chair. The weight gain becomes more and more each year as she moves less and less and her personality gets bitter and her social life gets worse.

Even though we are still friends I am afraid the stereotype of the fun overweight girl who makes up for her weight with a wonderful personality is gone. All the negative reaction people give her about her being SO FAT have made her angry and bitter and employers spot this.
If I were her friend, I would try to make her see the positive benefits of losing weight. Feeling healthy for one thing, being able to be far more mobile, fit in the clothes she wants to wear, etc. I would avoid saying things like, "You need to lose weight so employers will hire you" because it will only make her think it is all about appearances.

Losing weight and being skinny does empower most people. Even a guy like me with average build and a baby gut would get a boost of confidence from having 6 pack abs and chiseled chest.
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Old 06-26-2010, 10:29 AM
 
4 posts, read 16,390 times
Reputation: 10
Default Discrimination on Jobs

I know a woman who was severly obese, who was fired because she had to many health problems and always taking off ill, her FMLA was denied because of " documentation issues" once. Well she is on disability now, but she told us because she was obese, Black, Over 40, and ill that she had 4 strikes against her before she got in the door, so her only option was to retire on disability. I know its sad, but maybe someone would understand her plight. She needs to lose as much weight and possible and keep the faith and keep pushing. She might be able to show she is competent and can show up and do the job.
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Old 06-26-2010, 07:07 PM
 
25,165 posts, read 48,435,427 times
Reputation: 6958
It sounds like she has one foot in the grave.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Honeychild71 View Post
I know a woman who was severly obese, who was fired because she had to many health problems and always taking off ill, her FMLA was denied because of " documentation issues" once. Well she is on disability now, but she told us because she was obese, Black, Over 40, and ill that she had 4 strikes against her before she got in the door, so her only option was to retire on disability. I know its sad, but maybe someone would understand her plight. She needs to lose as much weight and possible and keep the faith and keep pushing. She might be able to show she is competent and can show up and do the job.
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Old 06-26-2010, 07:27 PM
 
Location: In a house
13,258 posts, read 36,445,950 times
Reputation: 20198
Forget about looks - as an administrative assistant, you have to be capable of a few things:

1. fit in the chair assigned to you.
2. fit your lower torso under the desk assigned to you.
3. your fingers need to be capable of hitting the keys on the keyboard assigned to you, and not be so wide that they hit the wrong keys on any regular basis.
4. you have to be capable of fitting through hallways, some narrow, without forcing other people to duck around the corner to yield to your girth.
5. you have to be fit enough to get up, walk, and sit down, regularly throughout the day.
6. in many cases, you have to be fit enough to be able to drag, if not lift, a case of copy paper. That would imply that you have to be capable of bending over to reach it.

There are plenty of obese people who CAN fulfill all these minimum criteria. There are also many who cannot. If your friend cannot, then she isn't likely to see any kind of administrative assistant, any time soon. Admin assistants need to be able to run around and fit, literally, in their jobs.

Obesity isn't a disability. So there's no requirement for an employer to provide reasonable accommodation for it.
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Old 06-26-2010, 09:18 PM
 
Location: Silicon Valley
850 posts, read 1,370,753 times
Reputation: 705
Yes, its holding her back. It will work against her no matter what she does. She has to lose weight.
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Old 06-26-2010, 09:54 PM
NSX
 
866 posts, read 1,838,386 times
Reputation: 679
Agree with many of the comments posted above. The cruelty that overweight/obese people deal with in, and out of, the workplace is just terrible. One of the most overlooked forms of prejudice. I say that as a guy who's in shape, 6'0 160. However, I have close friends who are overweight and see what they go through and the stupid jokes that they have to deal with and it just drives me crazy.

I'd tell her to forget about job searching now and work with a dietitian or a doctor on a weight loss program. She probably deals with enough discrimination as it is, and doesn't need to face it from a whole new group. Also, her health is more important than a career right now.
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Old 06-28-2010, 04:13 PM
 
1,338 posts, read 3,496,200 times
Reputation: 1384
I haven't read all the comments so apologies if this has been discussed, but wouldn't she be an ideal candidate for working at home?? What about some virtual assistant type of job? Customer service calls? Or medical transcription? Or any tape-recording transcribing?

Or is there anything she can teach or do where clients would come to her? Piano lessons? A craft? Can she sew/tailor? Do home parties? (eg. jewelry, makeup, Tupperware, whatever?)

Part of me feels she brought this all on herself...and part of me feels bad for her regardless.
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Old 06-29-2010, 05:51 AM
 
Location: North Texas
23,998 posts, read 32,840,016 times
Reputation: 27535
Quote:
Originally Posted by email_lover View Post
A good female friend of mine has been unemployed now for over a year but is still collecting unemployment benefits. She will likely collect benefits for the whole 99 weeks because she is not having any luck at all finding a job. I think that much of her trouble is her weight. She is big really big. She told me she has gained almost 100 pounds from the stress and is now 360 pounds. In all honesty, she looks just terrible.

My friend had a relatively successful career as an Administrative Assistant but after a year of unemployment she has sent out hundreds of resumes and had only four interviews. Each time she was brought in for an interview she was given a shocked look and sent packing in a few minutes. No one said she was too fat but she could tell by their body language that they wanted her gone as fast as possible.

If you were a hiring manager would you strongly consider a woman who was 5 foot 4 360 pounds for an adminstrative job in your company?
If I was hiring for that position my main concerns would be health and absenteeism. Someone who is that overweight is much more likely, statistically speaking, to cost the healthcare plan a lot of money and is much more likely to be absent from work. It can also be more difficult at that size to maintain a polished and professional appearance which is sadly more important for an admin assistant than for, say, a bookkeeper or network engineer.

For the sake of her own health and to increase her employability, she should start modifying her habits ASAP.

My workplace is extremely diverse in terms of racial and ethnic background and gender and sexual orientation seem to be no barrier to success there. Having said that, we have also not hired an obese employee that I am aware of for quite some time and we have brought on several new hires this year.
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Old 06-29-2010, 10:09 AM
 
123 posts, read 335,320 times
Reputation: 74
I have a friend who is 5'2" and about 360 or more. She was always absent from work, she used all of her sick leave and annual leave. They did not renew her contract. It was very sad, she has a family to take care of.
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Old 06-30-2010, 06:32 AM
 
6 posts, read 8,079 times
Reputation: 18
No chance. unless she is performer in a traveling circus ---or a "pro" wrestler.
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