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Saturday, September 28, 2013

Job Interview Investigation 2

I applied for a Seamstress position on posted by TenFab Design Company. I was hoping they'd contact me ASAP because I spent more than 30 minutes of my time filling out a questionnaire assessment. It ate up my time & energy.

Thankfully, they invited me to a job interview, so I was happy about it, but at the same time, I had to be prepared for the worst.

I've arrived at the place of potential employment about 15 minutes before the interview process began. I was told by a sewing manager to fill out an employment application & then to go to the interview room with another manager from design & product department. After that, I would have to perform sewing test.

During the interview, I presented myself well & answered all questions about my past experience & sewing skills. The manager then explained all aspects of their company & what kind of services & products they were selling to companies & small businesses who wanted good image & brand name presentations with TenFab products. When the interview was over, they showed me around the place. It looked like a warehouse, but it was bright & neat.

They guided me toward a huge sewing room. There were sewing machines, large tables, an office, other tables for lunch break, & a lot of materials & unfinished products. It reminded me of sewing classes.

They introduced me to a sewing assistant manager who would work with me to test my sewing skills.
To be honest with you, as soon as I let them know that I was hard of hearing, they have immediately become nonchalant & arrogant toward me. They seemed as though they were trying so hard to be polite, but I could see the "oh, great. I'm wasting my time with this deaf girl" annoyance in their eyes. I also got the vibe that their work environment wasn't even people friendly, but what did I expect?
I put my thoughts aside as I proceeded to sew four samples using different stitching machine types for each one of them. I spent about an hour finishing all the samples. I believed I did an excellent job on the test.

When it was all over, the assistant told me they'd call me on Monday, which was four days from that day, to let me know whether I'd be qualified for this job or not. When they asked me if I had any questions, I took this opportunity to ask them how many people they were looking to hire for the same position I've applied for. They said they were looking for only four people. I just thought I might have a good chance because I've done everything really well in the interview process.
We made a small talk as the manager walked me to the exit door.

As the Monday went by, I did not hear from them, & I was thinking maybe they'd email me the next day. They still didn't. It had been one week since the interview, so I followed up with them by email. It took them a day & half to reply. They apologized for the delay & said that while my skills & experience were revelant to the seamstress position, they had decided to go ahead with other candidates.

What was that supposed to mean? Between the line, my skills & sewing experience were perfect for the job, but they'd rather go with the ones that can hear. I'm more than sure that they are hiring some people right out of college. Yep, I've met my former classmates (hearing, of course) who got a sewing job in management just after college.

My impression is that if I hadn't contacted them, they probably wouldn't have emailed me at all. Why did it take them a while to respond after I followed up with them? Was it because they could buy themselves some time to figure out what to say to me?

Before they met me or knew I was Deaf, they were very quick to respond to every message I sent them. So, it gave me a familiar suspicious feeling about those people.

They were looking for four people to fill in the position, & I wasn't chosen even when I passed the test? Not only did I pass the test, but I also have a Bachelor's Degree in Fashion Design with 3.75 GPA. Additionally, I am still in sewing alterations (as a freelance seamstress) for four years since graduation, & yet I wasn't qualified for this job?


I remember some people making a comment concerning reasons why most Deaf people are having a hard time to find a job: "Maybe it's not your deafness, it's you."

When you go to countless job interviews & you keep being denied for the job that you definitely could do, do you ever think it's you they have a problem with, or is it just because you're Deaf?
I know it's my hearing loss that TenFab employers can't handle. I am perfectly, fully aware of who I am & how I interact with people, so there's nothing wrong with me. I have been to four different job interviews for a sewing position, & yet I don't get a call back at all. This job clearly don't require hearing or even speaking, so, what's the deal with fashion industries & their issues with hearing disability?

Oh, wait. [Face palm!] That's right! It's not my deafness, it's just me.
[Chuckles] Gimme a break...


  1. I see why you are so frustrated. The only explanation that I can think of regarding why you are not getting calls back is a bit ignorant, but possible. They may not realize that you can take phone calls to begin with. What they don't know about being hearing impaired offends and discomforts them. So, they brush off the "problem" (you?) and slide back into their comfort zone like rats.....Or.....they may be over the "good behavior" period they might have been portraying. In that case, once its decided who is going to be hired or not, they don't bother with the "not" no matter who, or what kind of person they may be.

    1. It might be that. They just don't bother with the ones that seem too complicated for them.

  2. In the UK deaf seamstresses were a norm, no-one did it as good as they did, this was the usual avenue of employment after deaf school..... the men became carpenters. As time went on young women lost all sewing and knitting skills, felt it beneath them, times changed ? Why do you need hearing to sew ?

    1. It's not about whether Deaf can do a job or not. Hearing just do not want to deal with deaf people.

  3. Don't take this the wrong way, I am HOH and I totally sympathise with your predicament. Is it possible that maybe, just maybe you were too well qualified, therefore they saw you as a threat to their own positions. The fact you had no problems communicating with them at the interview tells me that they know what to expect when taking you on as a potential colleague.

    As for not replying, been there myself countless times, just rude!!

    1. Well, if that was the case, they wouldn't have invited me to the interview. I am exactly what my resume tells them when I sent it to them. The only thing I left out was my deafness.

      One of my hearing instructors told me some people might not be comfortable to work with deaf coworkers in any clothing or fashion-related business.

      I don't know if you know this, but most people that work in the fashion industries are extremely discriminative, especially toward deaf people.

  4. I can completely relate to your story. i can't tell you how many interviews I've been to (here's a hint, every single one) where the interviewer is smiling and polite....until I mention I'm hard of hearing. Exactly as you described their eyes go cold and they get an annoyed air. "This deaf girl is wasting my time!"
    I can tell right then from the look in their eyes I'm not going to get the job that I'm more than qualified for because "dealing" with a deaf person would just be too much work. *disgusted, aggravated sigh*

    I guess I'm writing to say that your story speaks to me, and thank you for writing it for other people to see.

  5. Many years ago most of deaf friends worked as sewing machine operators until retired. They were best ones I believed. Try to report to Dept of Labor about your problem that they won't hire you because you are disabled person.

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