Confessions of a Disabled Job-seeker - The One with the Call Centre
Reasonable adjustments are not a choice or at the discretion of the interviewer—they are a duty of care requirement under UK legislation.
I applied for a call centre position for a very large bank in Glasgow with a horse for the logo. We were given our task feedback at the interview. I was pleased to find out that I got the highest grade in three out of four of the practical assessments of the applicants on the day, got positive feedback on the group exercise, and because I had experience in call-handling, managing accounts for individual customers, and company invoicing accounts, I did my individual interview part of the process very well too.This all sounds like things were going well,right?
Apparently all of this meant nothing and was a waste of my time because I am disabled. My experience and qualifications seemed to have been routinely and systematically deleted from my application the moment I ticked the box marked "Disabled."Despite doing so well and with good references being given, I was told they could not hire me without getting complaints from those already working in the office because I am disabled.Reasonable adjustments for me only require me to have a desk as close to the loo as possible (bowel disease) and to be able to get to it on my crutches (auto-immune illness/permanently inflamed knees and hip joints)—which is easily done at EVERY place of work I have applied to. In fact, before making any application for work, or even going to a place I haven't been before, I check the accessibility so that my time is not wasted. Reasonable adjustments are not a choice employers and recruiters can choose to ignore in favour of someone "normal-looking"—it is a duty of care under UK legislation!When I pointed out exactly how little needs to be done for me to be treated as fairly as non-disabled employees at their banking call centre in Glasgow, the interviewers' exact words were:
"In the call centre we allocate a maximum number of minutes per hour that you can be away from your desk. If the others adhere to it and you can't, we'll get complaints from the other staff."
Honestly, she actually said that—to a person with a bowel disorder who physically cannot "just wait" when they need to go to the loo. Even though I explained that I would work over my hours (at no extra cost) to make my work time up if I went over the "minutes per hour limit," I was told they couldn't hire me because they couldn't give me a few extra loo breaks without other people complaining. How completely unreasonable to treat me like that when they let smokers piss off outside whenever they want? In fact, I have yet to work anywhere that smokers don't use a fagbreak to get out of doing their share—but I don't see them being discriminated against in the workplace!
Basically, she was trying to tell me that me being disabled was a burden—for them! Yes—really! The self-centred millennials they have working onsite are apparently so determined to see the world revolve ONLY around them that they made official complaints about disabled people in the workplace. These spoiled brats have actually claimed that making reasonable adjustments which provide EQUAL access to a work-space to both able-bodied and disabled workers is giving preferential treatment to the disabled person.Seriously? It sounds like these people need more meds than I do!!!In what universe is arranging the EQUAL access to work space for two people making things unfair for the non-disabled worker?The recruiters for this bank, particularly the Glasgow call centre where I went for the interview day, should hang their heads in shame at their blatant bigotry and discrimination-centred attitudes they are condoning.They are a boil on the arse of humanity.