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The www.FedPrimeRate.com Personal Finance Blog and Magazine

Monday, April 11, 2022

My Job Interview at The New York Public Library

The New York Public Library (NYPL)
The New York
Public Library

Back in 1999, I interviewed for a tech support job at the New York Public Library (NYPL.) I showed up looking very smart: new suit from Macy's, a fresh haircut and a laminated resume.

The lady who interviewed me was Caucasian, probably in her late 20s or early 30s, and attractive in a "girl next door" kinda' way.

Interview questions: I was perfectly ready for anything and everything, from the obvious and valid to the unethical and incredibly annoying (Unethical as in questions about your current employers operations.  They want to steal as many good ideas as they can... And MAYBE hire you.)

So, as soon as I sat down, I was met with that look.

You see, I'm a person of color, with very dark skin.

Anybody who looks like me knows this look.  It's that "deer in the headlights" look, except it's from human eyes. It's that look that says, "I'm scared of you, and I just can't help it."  It's the kind of look we colored men get just before a fearful woman pulls her purse in closer to her body, because she automatically thinks that we may snatch it and run.

I thought she would catch herself, and the look would stop. But this was just silly, wishful thinking. It didn't stop. It was locked in.

So I got up, thanked her for her time, and left.

For me, this episode was exceptionally disappointing, considering that the NYPL is one of America's greatest fonts of free learning.  

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