Friday, February 26, 2016

Body shaming - the struggle is real

I was at Singapore not long ago to attend a job interview. I didn't inform my friends of my trip there because I didn't want to make a big fuss out of it if I don't get the job.

I'm going to do this - Mean Girls Edition.

Since the interview was scheduled to be at 5pm, I took a morning flight from KL to Singapore on the day itself. Due to unforeseen circumstances, my morning flight was delayed for an hour and I reached Changi Airport at around 1.45pm. It was quite nerve-wrecking because my initial schedule was perfect and because of the delay, somehow, my schedule was f*cked up.

After rushing through lunch, I actually thought of checking in into the hostel I booked but due to insufficient time, I had to drag my luggage all the way from Changi Airport to Novena. Yes, the interview was at Novena. The journey took approximately 45 minutes and by the time I reached my destination, it was already 4.10pm. I had to hastily get changed and prepared for the interview in less than 30 minutes. I ran over to C. Fitness after I have gotten ready and headed to the reception counter, telling the receptionist I have an appointment for an interview at 5pm. Instead of greeting me politely, the receptionist's facial expression totally put me off.

"Where's your working visa?" she asked me.

I was taken aback and answered politely, "Excuse me, I'm here for an interview - I need a job and in order for me to get my working visa, you guys have to hire me."

"No working visa, cannot work!" she replied.

At that point of time, I was a bit angry but I tried to keep my sanity. I was VERY clear to the person who sent me the job interview email that I am a Malaysian and currently based in KL. How on Earth can this rude receptionist demand for my Singapore working visa?

I repeated, "I am here for an interview."


My expression changed - I am not someone who could tolerate nonsense and idiots.

"You go there, you sit, you fill form."

I was thinking, "WTF! What kinda staff do this place actually hire?!"

It took me around 5 minutes to complete the forms. I handed those forms back to the receptionist and I was told to have a seat and the interviewer will be attending to me shortly.

I waited.


Waited and waited.

30 minutes had gone by - that Mr. XXX finally came out to the reception and had the nerve to ask me, "Now who scheduled today's interview?"

I retorted, "You."

Obviously, it was him - why on Earth would I travel all the way to Singapore if I don't have any job interviews from any companies?

"Oh, you know what? You take a seat and I will come back to you in a bit," Mr. XXX told me.

At that point of time, I was annoyed. What kinda company C. Fitness is? How can someone scheduled the interview and totally forgot about it? Furthermore, I had to travel all the way from KL to Singapore for this kinda nonsense?

Fine, I guessed I had to deal with it - I waited again.

5 minutes passed by...

10 minutes were gone...

Another 30 minutes of waiting...


Never in my life had I met companies that treated interviewees like so - 1 freaking hour of waiting? No explanation or anything even after he showed up again? I thought C. Fitness is supposed to be customer service oriented now, how can they even have irresponsible staff like so?

Again, I tried to keep my sanity amidst of all the troubles I went through from the KLIA2 to C. Fitness in Novena.

Okay, here's the interesting part - the first thing Mr. XXX told me at the moment I sat down for the interview, "I'm sorry but the position of trainer has been filled."

I was ready to blow - what the f*ck was he thinking? I didn't go all the way to Singapore to be treated like a lower class person and I definitely do not deserve to be treated like that even if they didn't want to hire me. They should have informed me earlier if the position has been filled so that I didn't need to rush all the way to Novena for NOTHING!

I admit, I am a Malaysian and I am seeking a job opportunity in Singapore but we Malaysians do not go all the way to Singapore to be treated like dogs or servants. We have our integrity and we certainly do not deserve to be treated like that, C. Fitness.

Then, Mr. XXX further said, "You know what? We will be opening another trainer position in either March or April this year, why not you come back by then?"


After what I have gone through earlier, did he really think I would want to go back to C. Fitness again for another interview?


"If you don't mind, we do have a position as a sales consultant. I'm not sure if it is going to interest you."

Hello, Mr. XXX, I didn't go all the way to Singapore just to get the position of a sales consultant. If I wanna do sales, I would just settle down in KL. I was thinking too, I could be mean too by telling him to go to hell because my parents certainly didn't send me to universities just to end up as a sales consultant. I am not looking down at sales consultants but I am seeking a job that is related to what I have been doing. I am not a good sales person and I never will be.

Of one question that really made me angry, "I'm wondering how are you going to travel from KL to Singapore on everyday basis if you get a job here?"

Bitch, please!

That was like the stupidest question I have ever gotten in my entire life! Now, have you seen anyone who travel from KL to Singapore on everyday basis just for a job, Mr. XXX?

As I was prepared to leave, he stopped me, "Since you're already here, why not do a body analysis? Who knows you'd stand a better chance to work for us?"

I knew it was nothing good but I went ahead because I wanted to know the result as well especially after all the CNY munching. When the result was printed, he sat me down and finally told me the reality that HE IS NOT HIRING ME but in the WORST WAY ever!

"Let's take a look at your body fat percentage here - 36.1% and that is way too high. In order for you to get the position as a trainer here, your body fat percentage has to be 23% or less. Let's do it this way - give yourself one month time, lose some weight, lose some fat and come back to us. You have my email so, keep me updated, okay?"


To someone who has spent more than 10 years of her life trying to lose weight, that was exactly the most shameful and disrespectful thing to be said ever!

All my life, I struggled to lose weight and only last year alone, my weight was at its lowest. I gained back my long lost self-confidence and then, Mr. XXX totally murdered it. If you don't intend to hire me, please be honest and just let me know that the position has been filled, there is no need for you to bring me down to my weakest and literally murder me.

If you're thinking it was my own fault to apply for the position of a trainer in a fitness center was my fault - did they even state the requirement in their advertisement?

Things like 23% or lower body fat percentage, fit, slim and slender should be in the advertisement!

Mr. XXX totally made me felt so ashamed of myself with my weight. I felt fat and ugly. My self-confidence was lost again.

People may tell me, "It's okay, you don't deal with Mr. XXX or other Mr. XXXs on everyday basis, so cheer up."

Do you actually know it affected me emotionally and mentally? For people who have been trying so hard to lose weight, this kinda body-shaming discussions totally murder them. I felt it at that point of time.

If I could lose weight within one month and my body fat percentage could be less than 23%, why would I be working with you? I would go into modelling, you idiot! I'm just a typical human being, searching for a job and the way Mr. XXX treated me was certainly not the right way to deal with people. Nobody deserved to be treated like that.

On the topic about going back after one month for another interview - whatever!

I am not interested in Mr. XXX or the company any longer. I may be better off searching for a job elsewhere.

One thing that I learned on that very day - there are people out there who will bring you down no matter how good you are.

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