Chinese Woman Denied a Job in Case of Provincial Prejudice—and She’s Suing - The Wall Street Journal

Chinese Woman Denied a Job in Case of Provincial Prejudice—and She’s Suing - The Wall Street Journal

Chinese Woman Denied a Job in Case of Provincial Prejudice—and She’s Suing - The Wall Street Journal

Posted: 25 Nov 2019 09:29 AM PST

The hopes of millions of people are riding on an $8,500 lawsuit in China.

Henan, a little-developed inland Chinese province that would be the world's 16th-most-populous country if it were a sovereign state, has long suffered from a reputation across the country as a blighted region with a reputation for scandal. Its residents often are treated with suspicion and mistrust.


Job Interviews So Horrible That the Applicants Walked Out -

Posted: 25 Nov 2019 12:25 PM PST

Here are 30 of the most horrifying things bosses have done to send job candidates running for the door.

Comments have been edited for grammar and clarity.

1. Minimum wage, maximum work

wavebreakmedia / Shutterstock
Work your way up to a barely livable wage.

I was told multiple times the starting wage was $16 per hour plus medical/dental. Basic warehouse work pretty much. Loading freight, very physical and not a problem for me.

So, I'm in an interview with the manager and a couple supervisors. Everything went really well until they asked me how much I make, which at the time was $14 an hour.

"Why are you willing to take a step down in pay to work for us?".

What? I said, "The offer was $16 an hour, that's why I'm here."

They actually laughed and said, "Oh no, you can get up to $16 an hour maximum pending performance reviews." They wanted to pay me minimum wage.

I said, "Sorry to waste your time, but this is wasting mine." I got up and left.

| ajramone

2. Sell out your parents

Young man pranking a mature man and woman with bunny ears isolated on white background
Ljupco Smokovski / Shutterstock

This was a life insurance company. I applied to be a financial analyst intern after I graduated college. The first thing they said after I introduced myself was:

"Your compensation will be entirely commission based. We've found in the past that employees who target their family and friends have the highest sales."

I stood up, said I didn't think I would be a good fit for the company, shook hands with the interviewer, and walked straight to my car.

The whole thing lasted a total of 10 minutes, including the time I parked to the time I left. Shortest interview of my life.

| 4peak

3. The love doctor

Stokkete / Shutterstock

I went to interview for an executive assistant position for a doctor who did a lot of work from his house.

He seemed impressed with my resume, and eventually the interview grew more casual. He offered me a glass of some decent whiskey.

Being young and somewhat naive and also desperate for a job, I accepted. When he offered the second round, I politely declined and left soon after.

Later that night, I got a text saying he wanted to hire me and was hoping for a friends-with-benefits situation with him and his wife.

That was definitely not the job I thought I was applying for.

| panphilia

4. That's just the biz, you know?

man corporate puppet
Peshkova / Shutterstock
If by 'the biz' you mean a soul-crushing job working 80 hours a week under a tyrant.

I work as a software engineer. I always ask how often the team works overtime. One interview they responded with, "Well, you'd be salary, so that doesn't matter."

I followed up with, "How often do the people on your team work more than 40 hours in a week?" This felt like rephrasing the question, but I really wanted an answer.

"Oh, I don't think anyone has ever worked less than 50 hours as long as I have been here. Sometimes it is closer to 80, but that is just the biz, you know?"

Yes. I do know. I doubled my asking salary and they didn't seem interested. Go figure.

| akdoug

5. Work your way up to receptionist

tired woman
Sebastian Gauert / Shutterstock

Went in for an "Office Manager" position. When I arrived, there were 20 other people waiting for interviews with me. That raised a major red flag, but I thought I'd roll with it and see what was going on.

One-by-one I started seeing people emerging from the interviewer's office looking confused and dejected.

They pulled me in for my appointment and said the position was cold-calling insurance sales.

I confronted them about it immediately, and even pulled up the job description on my phone. They said, "Well, if you sell really good, you can get a promotion to office manager." Get a promotion to be a glorified receptionist? No way.

I flat-out told them they were unethical for lying to desperate people during a bad economy and walked out.

| maniacallyreddit

6. Antisocial media

social media score
13_Phunkod / Shutterstock
Only 20 followers? You must have a life or something. How boring.

Interviewed for a job at a firm when I had just moved to the country.

They proceeded to bring up my Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter on the screen in front of me.

They laughed at me over photos of me in a dress at a Christmas party. They also said I didn't have any endorsements on LinkedIn, which was really important to them for some reason. And I only had 20 Twitter followers which they felt they needed to bring up.

I had all the required experience for the position, they were just so ridiculously caught up in social media profiles that they felt like they needed to belittle me from the get go.

They told me to send through some references, but I was so embarrassed and disheartened by the interview, it drained any interest of working for them at all.

| jjjeffrey

7. A face for TV, a personality for scamming

woman news anchor
LightField Studios / Shutterstock

I once got an interview for what I thought was a home security company. I had a great first interview. I was told that they were very interested in hiring me for a position that hadn't been advertised.

He said, "You have the perfect personality for what we want. You'd be helping us advertise through TV and radio!" Of course I was beyond excited. I set up a day for my second interview and left.

The day I showed up for the next interview, I'm dressed in office clothes and heels, fully expecting to be in the office. Nope! I'm sent out "into the field."

Turns out, we were going door-to-door scamming low-income families into giving us their credit card information. I left.

| medusbite

8. He suckered the suckers

job interview
fizkes / Shutterstock

Answered an ad for a receptionist. End up at a table with 10 other people. Then the guy starts pitching a multi-level marketing scheme. I'm angry, but it's summer and their air-conditioning is top notch, so I decide to chill there for the duration.

Eventually the guy calls me on my nonparticipation. "What's the matter? You look like someone ran over your dog."

"Well, guy, the matter is that you've pulled a bait-and-switch, I've driven an hour for nothing and now you're talking to me when all I want is to chill under this winter wonderland AC vent." Then I walked out.

| mrslitherpants

9. Class act

woman job
Stokkete / Shutterstock
I have PhD...

I applied for a position with a company that usually gets students right out of college, only I was 30 at the time.

They had me bring in my high school transcripts (nothing about college, mind you) and started going through them asking about my grades in particular classes in depth.

I joked of course that it was not quite as relevant as my experience since then that made me a very strong candidate for the position, but they kept going, even after I asked them, "You realize this was almost 15 years ago, right?"

I soon told them they were looking for someone else and just left. Smart move on my part.

| cibman

10. Another kind of working from home

woman job
Stokkete / Shutterstock
Just not your own home.

Twenty years ago I interviewed for a telemarketer position. Fundraising for a "disabled sports" event. It was a brand-new charity, very generic name, nobody had heard of it and this was the inaugural event.

Arrived at the interview.

It's a family home in a residential neighborhood. Their call center was literally four phones on a table in their living room. The call list was pages photocopied straight from the Whitepages directory. And the sales pitch was an entire sheet of single-space text.

They couldn't understand why it was nearly impossible to read out that much text in the two seconds before a person would hang up. I pruned the text and got in trouble for it. Walked out after four hours "for a break" and just kept on walking straight to the nearest bus stop.

| thefrogqueen

11. You think you're better than Tom Brady?

fizkes / Shutterstock
Do you, punk?

After filling out paperwork for the pre-interview, the employer comes in and brings me back to his office. He asks how I'm doing.

Now, it was pouring down raining that day, so I say I'm doing great, but wish the weather was a little better. He stops and goes, "Well, what's wrong with the rain?" I reply that there is nothing wrong, I just wished it was nicer out.

He then asks if I like sports. After saying I do, he asks if I think Tom Brady is paid a million dollars a year to not play in the rain. I'm not sure how I responded to that, but weird question, right?

So then, he looks at my resume and goes, "so I see you've worked at Burger King the last three years." I replied that, no, I actually worked at a full service restaurant as a waiter during college. His reply: "Same thing."

At this point, he tells me it's not going to be a good fit. I told him I agreed and that he needed to work on his interviewing skills. Then I called him a jerk and walked out.

| norrisjimju

12. That's a mic-drop moment

Mayuree Moonhirun / Shutterstock
Quitting a job you don't even have is a bold move.

I went in for an interview and after a few minutes of waiting the receptionist told me I could go into the office to meet the manager.

As I walked in, he was on the phone so he motioned for me to have a seat.

He then proceeded to talk on the phone for 10 minutes. It was clearly a personal call and not business related. He just let me sit there while he talked. When the call was done he didn't say anything, he just opened up a folder and started filling out some papers.

After about 5 minutes of him doing paperwork, I asked if there was anything I could help with. I was just looking to break the awkward silence. He said, "Nope, be with you shortly." And he went back to work.

Another several minutes went by and he finally finished. He then looked at me and said, "Why do you want to work here?" I said, "I don't think I do."

He then asked what I meant and I told him, "If you are going to act like a jerk towards me before we have even spoken, I can't imagine what it must be like to actually work for you." With that, I got up and left.

| kane55

13. Employer or prison warden?

worker boss mean
ArtFamily / Shutterstock

I was 18 years old and applying for a sales job at a large retail store that was just about to open.

The very first sentence this woman said to me during the interview was, "We work on a demerit points system here, this should keep you in line, and if it doesn't, you're out after your fourth demerit. No excuses."

Literally no introducing herself, shaking my hand, nothing. She just looked at me and immediately said that.

I thanked her for her time and walked out of the building. No thanks. I was looking for employment, not a detention center.

| catona

14. Rubbed the wrong way

sleazy man
Atomazul / Shutterstock
Would you work for this man?

I interviewed for a receptionist position. The owner of the business was interviewing me.

Everything was going great. He told me about how he started his own business, his work history, normal interview stuff.

He proceeds to ask me if I'm willing to work hard. I said yes.

"Even if that means giving your boss a massage sometimes?"

Confused, I asked him what he meant by that. He explained that sometimes you have to do what you have to do to get far in life. I told him I'm not comfortable with that and he said, "Well, I don't think this will work then" and I left.

| treeaway4

15. 3 jobs, 1 salary

man steam coming out of ears
SFIO CRACHO / Shutterstock
No vacation, no benefits.

"We're actually looking for someone that can write and knows all the rules of SEO, that can shoot and edit videos quickly, and who is a master with Photoshop."

Not only I don't have the skills for the last two (at least not professionally), but also in my line of work it's a clear indicator that they expect the person to do the work of three persons for the salary of one, with very short deadlines.

Meaning: You'll be overworked, underpaid and absolutely miserable.

I didn't walk out of the interview, I don't have enough courage for that, I just sabotaged the interview by giving evasive answers.

| Anonymous

16. One of us, one of us

employees happy
Flamingo Images / Shutterstock
Join us. We don't bite.

Was interviewing for some kind of a marketing company that did something for big clients. Never really understood what it was they did.

During the interview, the manager kept dropping all these buzzwords like "synergy" and whatnot. I tried asking some clarifying questions about the specifics of the job, and she just kept giving me generic answers.

I then interviewed with a few more employees there and got the impression like I was being inducted into a cult. They were all weird, some had a manic glint in their eyes when they talked about the "awesome opportunities" at the workplace.

I politely declined any further information and left. To this day I still don't know what that company does.

| Anonymous

17. Interview that didn't have a 'happily ever after'

worker laptop unhappy
BRAIN2HANDS / Shutterstock

Guy asked me which of the seven dwarves I most closely identified with.

That should have been a red flag, but I answered "Doc" and we moved on.

After telling him I wanted a part-time job for a little extra spending cash, he asked me if it was because I was pregnant.

I got pretty testy with him about that, because I was not pregnant. Ended up making an excuse to leave mid interview.

They called me a day or so later to tell me I got the job. Took the job despite knowing better. Horrible things happened. I quit two weeks later.

| Anonymous

18. Just a rat in a cage

rat race concept
Elnur / Shutterstock
After five years, you'll get five cent raise and your own hamster wheel.

There was a promotions company that needed a graphic designer to add to their team of four.

We were walking and interviewing, so they could show me the office, and they got to where I would be working.

It was a closet.

There were four people in there, desks pushed along every wall. The back of their chairs touched, they were so crammed close together. Their MacBook screens were edge to edge all the way around. There were no lights. I repeat: literally no lights.

They looked up at us as we opened the door with giant computer screen glowing eyeballs. It was the creepiest and most bizarre workspace I'd ever seen. When we started walking back to the interviewer's office, I basically said I had to go.

| Anonymous

19. But how did she really feel?

woman cry at work
Iakov Filimonov / Shutterstock

I interviewed for a position at a company and it went great: The job seemed similar to what I was already doing but for much more money. The interviewer told me she wanted to bring me back for a second interview with my direct supervisor.

I show up. The lady spent an entire 10-15 minutes looking down at her hands, speaking very quietly, constantly looking over her shoulder.

She basically told me that no sane person would want this position, and that the people she worked under were awful, horrible bosses: unorganized, never in the office, relied on her for everything, expected her to work overtime with no notice and so on.

I thanked her for her time, called my recruiter and asked them to take my name out of consideration for the position.

| kittehpants

20. Those cushy government jobs

man suit face palm
Aaron Amat / Shutterstock

"We'd like to bring you on as a full time District Attorney. Due to budget constraints we will not be able to provide relocation compensation or compensation the first year. Budget permitting, we will consider compensation and benefits after the first year."

"So, you want me to relocate across the country, work for free for a year without promise of paid employment after that year?"

"We understand if this isn't for everyone."

"I appreciate the opportunity to interview. Please let me know if your search expands to include paid employment for a District Attorney."

And with that I hung up. Shortest interview ever.

| orangejulius

21. When no really means no

man yell at phone
Roman Samborskyi / Shutterstock
I'm yelling because I'm just so thrilled to have you on the team.

I was doing a phone interview with a company in Florida. My interviewer tells me that I would be expected to fly out to Florida on my own dime for an in-person interview.

Then he asked, "Can you fly out Wednesday?" It was Friday, so I was like, "Five days from now?" When he said yes, I started laughing and said, "Are you kidding me?" He snapped at me, "Yes, I'm serious! We are trying to get this position filled as fast as possible! If you're not serious, maybe you're not right for the position!"

To which I replied, "You're right, I don't think I'm right for this position."

He immediately softened and started saying stuff like, "Well, wait a minute, let's talk about this." And when I kept saying, "Look, I am clearly not a good choice for your company —" he kept cutting me off and insisting that we continue the interview.

A few days later, I got a call from the company again, informing me that I was one of the top three candidates. So when should they expect me for my interview?

Cue another five minutes of insisting that I didn't want the job, before finally cutting them off and hanging up.

| scrawledfilefish

22. Juggling a lot of duties

clown at work
Elnur / Shutterstock
You'd have to be a clown to take that job. Honk honk.

When I was 20 this woman tried to hire me for "juggling lessons" for her 17-year-old autistic son. I perform at a music therapy event every year and do a group lesson for all the kids, most of which suffer from some disability.

So I drive 45 minutes to her house and she starts talking about how, "This is a full-time job, we need to to be on call all the time, you are going to have to stop taking college classes, your duties include helping him wipe and giving him a bath every night and the pay is $8 an hour."

Yeah, no thanks, lady.

| justlowt

23. The candidate just wasn't sold

woman interview
PR Image Factory / Shutterstock
Here are some of the non-duties you won't be doing.

I was brought into an interview with the information that the company was looking to hire administrative assistants.

I sat through about five minutes of my interview when the interviewer says to me, "Before we get started, how quickly can you purchase a vehicle?"

Confused, I explain, "I am currently unemployed, so purchasing a vehicle is out of the question. Does the administrative position require errands as part of the duties?"

Interviewer says, "Oh, we hired the administrative positions already, but we felt you would be perfect for sales." I let them know they had completely wasted my time and it was incredibly unprofessional and left.

| androgynouspotato

24. Entry level, executive exit

man leaving building
Prostock-studio / Shutterstock

I found a job looking to hire someone for a "management" position at a sales company. Before I applied, I called them up and asked if this was actually for an entry level job. They assured me it was not.

When I got there for the "interview" I was led into a room with about 20 other "interviewees." We then watched a product demo video about whatever junk they were selling.

After the video they started to tell us about how much of the product we were expected to sell. I politely interrupted the speaker and asked if this position was a sales job or a management job. The speaker gave me a subtle, "Oops, you got me" look and confirmed that it actually was a sales job.

I stood up and walked out of the conference room without looking back.

| actofcaine

25. A really old profession

woman leaving building
Vladeep / Shutterstock
Mom, can you come pick me up? I'll go work at Dairy Queen instead.

I was 18 when I interviewed for a receptionist position at a law firm. I thought it was strange that they'd even interview me, and even stranger that it paid so well.

I also thought it was strange when I showed up and there were half a dozen other young, pretty girls in the lobby waiting to be seen, and the woman who took me to the back mentioned they were looking to fill "several" positions. How many receptionists does one law firm need?

The interview lasted several hours and consisted of questions surrounding how comfortable I was among strangers, how social I considered myself and if I'd ever waited tables before.

Eventually it was relayed to me that I wouldn't be the firm receptionist so much as I'd be the managing partner's hostess for private events at his home. I would need to be willing to devote my weekends to "interacting" with his "colleagues in the industry" and providing "entertainment."

I thanked him for his time and basically ran to the elevator.

| ofthetrees

26. Talk about a loser

man anger work
Lane V. Erickson / Shutterstock
There's room for only one pompous blowhard in this company, and you're looking at him.

[I] interviewed to be a journalist for a small newspaper in my hometown. The editor was just a complete condescending jerk.

He said he didn't believe my resume. I was pretty young and had done a lot of work, as I had been supporting my family since I was 14 years old.

He told me to write 28 samples right in front of him (the interview had gone over for about an hour already) and that he would read them and decide if I was good enough.

I reluctantly started to write and he said, "Just because you have experience doesn't mean you're not a loser without a degree."

Walked out.

| troofpolice

27. Must be willing to act as personal therapist

woman crying at work
Glovatskiy / Shutterstock

I once had an interview with the owner of a small company. I thought it was going well, we were wrapping up and eventually getting to innocuous chit chat. But it didn't stop. She just kept going.

Eventually she starts telling me about how disappointing her employees all are, how hard she works and no one appreciates her.

Then it starts getting personal, she starts telling me about her ex-husband, her current dating situation and how she resents her father. She starts crying. She finally excuses herself for a minute.

She returns, sees me out and calls me back two hours later. I didn't answer. She left a voicemail offering me the job, and she was crying again. I never called back.

| spacific

28. Filtering out candidates

job interview
fizkes / Shutterstock
I'll cover you while you make a break for the exit.

I was out of university for a few months and was looking for any kind of job since staying home was horrendously boring. I surf the web and find a job where I'd get paid $15 an hour for selling water filters.

I apply and get the interview. The interviewer confirms what the job post said regarding the payment, and then gets the applicants into a room to watch a lengthy presentation about the company.

Afterwards, we all got sheets to finalize everything and insert our desired working times. That is where I notice it. The sheet says something along the lines of, "Employees will only be paid AFTER a filtering unit has been successfully sold" and that we'd only get paid AFTER a month of working.

80% of the interviewees just walked out, including myself.

| warmice

29. Math majors need not apply

bad boss mean / Shutterstock

It was a sales position at an air filter company. He liked me enough to start talking salary, but that's when it took a bad turn.

Basically, I could make UP TO a certain amount, but really realistically I'd be making less than minimum wage.

He kind of got red-faced when I kept saying, "But wait, this means I'll be making like $5 and hour. I must not be understanding this right because you advertised this position as $40,000 year. Can you explain?"

The employer would rope people in with bad math and false promises and got people to agree to work under false pretenses. They'd quit and the cycle began again.

Once this became clear, I politely declined and left.

| elcasaurus

30. Shady shysters being shady

boss cigar
Minerva Studio / Shutterstock

It was actually after the interview. It was an insurance broker/sales team and I had some reservations because insurance sales people are THE WORST.

At the interview they said all the sales came from good leads, that people had filled out a questionnaire online and wanted to hear from us. I was assured that we provided a great service to people that were actively seeking us out.

First day on the job, I went on a ride along with a current employee. When I saw the demographics they were targeting and how they purposefully tried to scare poor people into thinking they needed insurance (when they could barely afford rent), it just made me ill.

| rachelsid



Blind man reshapes how people see disabled workers - The Laconia Daily Sun

Posted: 25 Nov 2019 03:11 PM PST

PLYMOUTH – Brint Woodward, 48, passes out business cards wherever he travels. That includes Las Vegas, Seattle, the Hoover Dam, Detroit, Minneapolis, Atlanta, and Truckee, California – a little-known gold mining town famous for the tragic expedition of the Donner party, that Woodward, a lifelong history buff, researched ahead of his trip.

Occasionally he makes friends at hotels, airports and tourist attractions who later come to visit The Readery, the bookstore where he works as a cashier and jack-of-all trades. His business cards display the store's name and address in print. And in braille.

Woodward has been blind since birth, and he has a mild intellectual disability. But neither has stopped him from working nearly full-time for 18 years at a job he looks forward to daily – one that provides intellectual stimulation and social engagement, as well as a steady paycheck.

"He finally makes money, and that means he can buy his own things, do his own things, and make his own decisions. No one else is telling him what to do," said his mother, Patsy Kendall, a social worker. "It's amazing to see someone just bloom. He's the front man" at the store at 67 Main Street. "He's really making business contacts that not many people do."

A small wooden sign at The Readery states: "Dream Big Dreams. Believe All Things are Possible." It's not a message that Woodward can view, but it's a mantra that certainly governs his life.

One might call Woodward an overachiever. His supporters says he's more of a role model for what is possible – and the quality of life that can be attained, even by individuals with significant disabilities – given limitations that in previous decades might have kept them home-bound or living exclusively with similarly-disabled people.

"We've changed from looking at people as if they were 100 percent dependent on society to get their needs met," said Sandy Hunt, bureau chief of the Bureau of Developmental Services at the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services. "We're moving from people being dependent to people being depended upon."

"His job gives him a real sense of maturity and adult dignity that disabled people don't often get," said Woodward's father, Pete Woodward, a retired headmaster at Holderness School. "He's met people over many years who walk down Main Street and stop in and say hello. This gives him a sense of community beyond church and family."

"Even if you're not disabled, it's great to be with people, to make your own contacts, and not be riding on other people's coattails," said Patsy Woodward.

Laconia-based Lakes Region Community Services provides support to Woodward and 193 other residents of Belknap and Southern Grafton counties who have moderate to profound disabilities, including blindness, hearing loss, autism or a combination of intellectual disabilities and mental illness.

"The jobs for a lot of these people are life-changing," said Wendy Robb, director of employment services at LRCS. "It means much more to them than the amount of the paycheck. We're trying to support them to have a meaningful life during the day."

Valuable worker pool

At a time when New Hampshire's unemployment rate is hovering at a near 10-year low and businesses are scrambling to attract and retain workers, disabled workers are becoming a valuable hiring pool, especially for entry positions or repetitive jobs that fully-abled applicants might be less willing to accept or keep.

Advancements in technology have ushered in a new era of adaptive software and workplace modifications, which can level the field for hirees and enable workers with disabilities to fill essential niches. It can also stretch the limits of what disabled means, according to people who work in the field.

"It's hard to find anyone who wants to work. The value is, they want to work," said Brenda Martel, owner of Cafe Deja Vu in Laconia, which has hired and trained intellectually disabled employees from Easter Seals and Lakes Region Community Services for 20 years. "Their dependability is huge. I'm all about giving somebody a chance."

"The sense of helping somebody – I think it helps their business, too," said Woodward's father. "It's not just what you're doing for the individual."

At Cafe Deja Vu on Court Street, Clyde Trask, who is disabled, has worked for nearly 12 years as a dishwasher. He also trains others to do the job. Martel said Trask is popular with customers, too – sharing sports information and his general daily enthusiasm.

Influencing workplace culture

Employers say workers with disabilities can shift workplace culture toward kindness, patience and gratitude – personal attributes that can sometimes become buried by on-the-job competition and stress.

"They love their work ethic. They love them as a person. They include them in staff pot-lucks and movie night," said Lisa Hinson-Hatz, director of vocational rehabilitation for the New Hampshire Department of Education, who receives feedback from employers of people with disabilities. "It's having diversity not just in race, but in ability. It makes everyone more tolerant. It blooms almost like a flower in the fabric of the business."

At the Readery, Woodward is somewhat of a celebrity. Regular customers stop in to say hello, or answer the trivia question that he helps compose daily for the store's window. Recently he posted: "On this day Orson Wells created national panic by broadcasting "War of the Worlds." What was the year?" Answer: 1938.

At the used paperback bookstore and gift shop, Woodward spends his day cleaning books; tearing up old ones for recycling; researching New Hampshire history, mills, railroads, and abandoned towns online; and entering the day's sales on an Excel spreadsheet. Thanks to adaptive software that scans bills and announces the number, function or letter of the key he presses, Woodward is able to work as a cashier. Adaptive software allows him to do online research; as he scans websites with a cursor, "Jaws" software reads out loud each subhead that comes up. The bookshelves at The Readery have braille labels indicating topics and sections, which allows Woodward to find his way around the store and tell customers where to locate certain titles. When a customer came in recently to find a copy of "The Wizard of Oz," Woodward sent him automatically to the children's section at the back of the store.

"Sometimes children come in at 5 p.m. when we're ready to close," he said. "During Massachusetts school vacation, we get pretty busy. During New Hampshire school vacation week, we get even busier."

The Readery is one of five area businesses created, owned, and operated by Lakes Region Community Services that enable people with disabilities to have meaningful paid work and derive pride from contributing to the world they share with everyone else. Supervised by LRCS staff and run by disabled workers, the other local venues include: The Clothesline, an upscale children's resale boutique on Union Avenue in Laconia; The Green Tangerine, a gift store next to The Soda Shoppe; Dawgs 2 Go, a seasonal hot dog cart on North Main Street in Laconia; and Kil'n Time, a paint-your-own pottery studio on Main Street in Plymouth. Together they employ roughly 39 people who vary widely in age and disabilities. In each case, support with daily living and on-the-job training and oversight has made employment possible.

Earning his way

"I like to earn money here so I can pay for my lunches when I'm here, and when I'm alone on Tuesday," said Woodward. "I find my way to Downtown Pizza on Wednesdays with my dad."

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Push to start New Hampshire schools after Labor Day could make economic sense, but some districts worry

"A little intervention can go a long way," said Jim Hamel, vice president of development at LRCS. "Sometimes it's a lot of intervention, but as a result, they have more autonomy. They're further along on the continuum to being independent. Employment is part of that."

The area community service agency is unusual in New Hampshire in that it created local businesses for disabled people to work at to the extent that they're able – businesses that addressed community needs and can be self-sustaining. Most of the state's nine other regional agencies that help disabled people operate consignment shops where clients with intellectual disabilities make things to sell.

Christine Santaniello, executive director of LRCS from 2006 to 2016, said, "It's looking at what someone does well and what supports we need to provide to make that person successful."

Disabled people also work in local businesses that aren't affiliated with LRCS, with ongoing support through personal assistants employed by LRCS.

Abilities vs. disabilities

Their opportunities and daily lives are vastly different from the days of the Laconia State School, which housed people with intellectual disabilities for 88 years before it closed in 1991. For much of that time, the school was dedicated to caring for and controlling people with intellectual disabilities in an environment that would keep them separate from mainstream society, catering to their limitations without focusing on what they could do. Overcrowding, unsanitary conditions, and a shortage of trained staff were the norm for decades.

"We're looking at abilities versus disabilities," Santaniello said. "We're seeing a generation come into adulthood that has never been institutionalized."

Today, a disabled adult hired through LRCS walks Santaniello's dog while she works in Concord. "When I see them together it's an amazing thing," said Santaniello, who pays LRCS, and the agency pays the dog walker. "It's a win-win for everybody. It's filling a service I need, and it's giving him a chance to have value and skills. I'd be lost without him walking my dog."

Every morning before work, Woodward bounces on an indoor mini-trampoline, and at the end of the day, he does front and back flips on a full-sized version in the backyard of his Plymouth home. "It makes me feel like I'm floating in the air, almost like I'm floating over the neighbor's yard," he said. He also bounces to burn off energy at night, and does flips in an indoor pool at a local time-share condominium on Thursdays.

At home he listens to his favorite radio station on Sirius XM - Underground Garage, which plays mostly British rock from the 50s and 60s, "and a lot of bluesy stuff," he said.

"Brint can tell you who sang it, if it's a remake, when it was released, and who made it," said store manager Cathy Dupuis, an LRCS support professional who has worked with Brint for 16 years. Woodward also picks background music for The Readery – easy-listening and Christmas songs starting the day after Thanksgiving.

"If I mention a radio station, he can tell you the call letters and numbers and where it's from. And I'm talking not just from New Hampshire," Dupuis said.

Because even when he's not traveling, Woodward researches those faraway places to feed his insatiable curiosity.

How to Hire, Develop, and Inspire Gen Z: A Study from The Workforce Institute at Kronos - Business Wire

Posted: 25 Nov 2019 06:00 AM PST

LOWELL, Mass.--()--The Workforce Institute at Kronos Incorporated today announced the final segment of a global study examining the attitudes of Generation Z1 – teenagers and early 20-somethings – in the workplace to reveal how employers worldwide can most effectively attract, develop, motivate, and retain talent within the next next-generation workforce.

Completing a three-part series from The Workforce Institute at Kronos and Future Workplace, "How to Be an Employer of Choice for Gen Z" uncovers the motivations and aspirations of today's youngest working generation, including those yet to officially enter the workforce. A survey of 3,400 Gen Zers across Australia, Belgium, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, the U.K., and the U.S. finds that money still talks; good managers matter more than ever; work needs to be interesting; and, while schedule stability is important, flexibility is non-negotiable.

News Facts

  • How to recruit Gen Z: Prioritize pay, flexibility, and stability
    • Money talks: More than half of Gen Zers worldwide (54%) – including 62% in the U.K. and 59% in the U.S. – say pay is the most important consideration when applying for their first full-time job. Money becomes increasingly important the older the Gen Zer, with 57% of 22- to 25-year-olds agreeing that nothing outweighs pay, compared to 49% of the 21-and-under crowd.
    • Flexible-yet-stable schedules are a must: One in 5 Gen Zers say they want a consistent and predictable schedule (21%) yet also expect employers to offer flexibility (23%).
    • Not all benefits are equal: Employee perks like free snacks, happy hours, and gym reimbursements are enticing, but traditional benefits (e.g. healthcare coverage, retirement plan, life insurance) are preferred by a 2-1 ratio by Gen Z, regardless of age or stage of life.
    • Red flags for Gen Z prospects: A delayed response from a recruiter is a major turn-off for 44% of respondents, especially in Mexico (55%) and India (52%). Same goes for negative employee reviews online (41%), application portals that are not mobile-friendly (29%), and workplaces that have a "dated" feel (24%).
    • Customer success matters in recruiting: One in 4 Gen Zers say that having a negative customer experience with an organization would deter them from even applying to work there.
  • Help Gen Z advance: One in 5 say training and development is the top employee benefit
    • Bring out the best in Gen Z: To get their best work, Gen Zers say they need direct and constructive performance feedback (50%), hands-on training (44%), managers who listen and value their opinions (44%), and freedom to work independently (39%).
    • With advancement on the mind, Gen Z is looking for leaders to help them chart a path to promotion: One in 4 expect managers to clearly define goals and expectations (26%) and say regular check-ins during their first month makes for an ideal onboarding experience (25%).
    • Empowering leaders to meet these baseline expectations is critically linked to retention: Nearly 1 in 3 Gen Zers worldwide (32%) would stay longer at a company if they have a supportive manager, while respondents in Australia/New Zealand (51%), Canada (49%), and the U.K. (45%) would "never" tolerate an unsupportive manager.
  • Motivate with meaning: Money talks, but doing enjoyable work is just as important
    • When asked what would make them work harder and stay longer at a company, Gen Zers say doing work that they enjoy or care about is as important as a paycheck, which are the top two motivations cited by about half of respondents worldwide (both 51%).
    • Forming connections at work inspires Gen Z: Strong relationships with their teams will motivate nearly 2 in 5 Gen Zers (36%), especially part-time employees (40%).
    • A stressful work environment will do the opposite: Nearly half (48%) say stress at work would directly impact performance, and 1 in 3 (33%) would "never" tolerate a dysfunctional team.
    • Engage and reward: 1 in 3 Gen Zers say they perform best when working on projects they care about (37%) and when they are rewarded for a job well done (32%) – but make it a cash bonus, says 43% of Gen Zers.
    • Financial insecurity – i.e. the fear of being broke – motives Gen Z to enter the workforce, most prominently in the U.K. (63%), U.S. (57%), Australia/New Zealand (56%), France (55%), and Canada (52%).
    • Make sure your payroll system and processes are in check: 39% of Gen Zers would never tolerate paycheck errors, with those in the U.S. (46%) and Mexico (45%) being least tolerant.

Supporting Quotes

  • Joyce Maroney, executive director, The Workforce Institute at Kronos
    "No matter how successful an employer is in developing and motivating their workforce, working at the same company for your entire career is conceptually a thing of the past. Gen Z is just starting out professionally and feel they have much to gain from testing the waters at multiple companies and different industries. Yet, while few today will employ a single worker from hire to retire, organizations can certainly engage Gen Z from hire to re-hire. By creating a working culture where employees feel supported, inspired, and equally empowered to enjoy life in and outside of work, employers can encourage their best people to "boomerang" back or otherwise create brand ambassadors for the future."
  • Dan Schawbel, best-selling author and research director, Future Workplace
    "If you want to be an employer of choice for Gen Z, compensate them fairly, ensure that they genuinely care about the job you're hiring them for and provide them with the necessary training and flexibility so they can succeed without sacrificing their personal lives. Managers that are supportive of Gen Zers' needs, mentor them, and allow them to bring their full selves into the workplace will hold onto their workers longer and inspire them to do their best work."

Supporting Resources

About The Workforce Institute at Kronos
The Workforce Institute at Kronos provides research and education on critical workplace issues facing organizations around the globe. By bringing together thought leaders, The Workforce Institute at Kronos is uniquely positioned to empower organizations with the knowledge and information they need to manage their workforce effectively and provide a voice for employees on important workplace issues. A hallmark of The Workforce Institute's research is balancing the needs and desires of diverse employee populations with the needs of organizations. For additional information, visit

About Kronos Incorporated
Kronos is a leading provider of workforce management and human capital management cloud solutions. Kronos industry-centric workforce applications are purpose-built for businesses, healthcare providers, educational institutions, and government agencies of all sizes. Tens of thousands of organizations — including half of the Fortune 1000® — and more than 40 million people in over 100 countries use Kronos every day. Visit Kronos: Workforce Innovation That Works.

Survey Methodology
Research findings are based on a global survey conducted on behalf of The Workforce Institute at Kronos and Future Workplace by Savanta across Australia and New Zealand (surveyed together), Belgium, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Mexico, Netherlands, the U.K., and the U.S. from April 9–23, 2019. For this survey, 3,400 respondents were asked general questions to explore thoughts on gig economy, workplace readiness and expectations, corporate culture, and learning and development with respect to their career. Respondents are recruited through a number of different mechanisms, via different sources, to join the panels and participate in market research surveys. All panelists have passed a double opt-in process and completed on average 300 profiling data points prior to taking part in surveys. Respondents are invited to take part via email and are provided with a small monetary incentive for doing so. Results of any sample are subject to sampling variation. The magnitude of the variation is measurable and is affected by the number of interviews and the level of the percentages expressing the results. In this particular study, the chances are 95 in 100 that a survey result does not vary, plus or minus, by more than 1.7 percentage points from the result that would be obtained if interviews had been conducted with all persons in the universe represented by the sample.

© 2019 Kronos Incorporated. All rights reserved. Kronos and the Kronos logo are registered trademarks and Workforce Innovation That Works is a trademark of Kronos Incorporated or a related company. See a complete list of Kronos trademarks. All other trademarks, if any, are property of their respective owners.

Footnote 1: Generations are defined as follows: Gen Z, ages 16-25; Millennials, ages 26-37; Gen X, ages 38-54; Baby Boomers, ages 55-74; and Silent Generation, ages 75-94.


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