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What did I sort of agree to do?!

January 22nd, 2009 at 07:16 pm

This is a little off the topic of finances, but not too far. So here goes. A few weeks ago an acquaintance saw me looking for a job on the internet and sort of mentioned that I really needed to talk to his wife about how to look for a new job. Short story - she is in a dead end job, making just minimum wage, and hasn't had raises or any real job benefits for years. It's a small company that she works for, so that explains some of it. I sort of agreed that sure, I could talk to her. We didn't make any concrete plans, and we don't normally do anything with them as a couple.

Well, I saw her once after that at an event that wasn't really suited for discussing job hunting. It was an event that most people would have dressed up for, but some were there in neat casual attire. Not her. Sad but true, as I was talking to her with idle chit chat, I noticed a distinct B.O. She was dressed sloppily and I don't believe she had bathed for a few days.

Last week, I passed along a job lead that I saw on the internet to her husband when we saw him. Then, today, I asked again if she'd followed up on it. No, she really just doesn't know how to go about getting another job, he said. I kind of brushed it off that I needed to find my own job before I really spent any time helping someone else. So, I backed off, but not backed out. But what in the world have I gotten myself into?! Thinking back over the years, I don't think the poor hygiene is an isolated incident, but I had completely forgotten about it. This would be WAY more than just helping someone put together a resume, and introducing the concept of preparing for an interview and the etiquette of cover letters and such! But I wouldn't be comfortable suggesting anything else. This isn't a young girl either; she is grown and they have a family. I just think she is shy and unsure of herself. She sort of "fell into" the job that she has now.

I'm open to suggestions how you would approach the situation if it were you?




8 Responses to “What did I sort of agree to do?!”

  1. whitestripe Says:

    hmmm that is tricky. cover letters and all that is fine and would probably take you an afternoon to help her with. i hate to say this though, but its true, appearances matter. i worked with a girl with bad bo once as well, its not pleasant. there's nothing really that can be done unless you want to be direct and a lot of people dont like doing that. i dont!

  2. homebody Says:

    Is she depressed maybe or just unaware? Personally I think she doesn't sound like she wants to find a new job. Why doesn't her spouse push her. This is not up to you. What have you gotten yourself into? I don't get it. Just don't bring it up anymore. That's an easy way to back out. I don't mean to sound weird or mean, I must be missing something. How is this your problem?

  3. North Georgia Gal Says:

    homebody is right...if she really wanted to find a new job, she would be in contact with you about how to do that. It sounds like maybe the husband WANTS her to find a new job and he/you are doing all the work. If you are feeling compassionate, volunteer to spend an afternoon with her creating a resume and cover letter. If she accepts, you will have done a little to help her. If not, you know she is not really interested.

  4. mooshocker Says:

    Well, try this..."remember, when making that first physical impression, be bright eyed, bushy tailed, clean, fresh, nice hair and attire, neatly pressed, freshly washed. In fact, I'll share a little secret with you, before your meeting, do what I do. Try this new body wash I found. It really works great to rejuvinate the skin and give you a feeling of great success......." Then hand her a bottle with a scrubbie (as my wife calls them) and poof, you have lead the horse to water.

    Make it sound like you are sharing a "secret of success" with her. God bless.

  5. toyguy1963 Says:

    I agree with homebody and North Georgia Girl. I think its great that ou are trying to help her but I wouldn't
    go way out on a limb to do it. Maybe just offer some advice and the help on her resume I think is more than enough. Then its up to her.
    Good luck.

  6. Joan.of.the.Arch Says:

    Err, that sounds like uncomfortable situation, possibly for both of you. Don't know why the husband would expect you would be any better at guiding her than he would be. Perhaps you could direct her to a state employment agency. They'll have job-seeking education for her, including how to use the computer to find and apply for jobs.

  7. Phenomenal Woman Says:

    Sounds like her husband is on his wit's end. As far as her body odor, that is a really sensitive topic. She sounds depressed or maybe feeling helpless.

    But this is not a burden you have to carry.

  8. lizajane Says:

    Thank you all for the suggestions. I LOVE mooshocker's idea, but haven't got the nerve to try it! I feel less guilty after hearing all the opinions that it really isn't my problem. I think I shall (1) ask no more questions, (2) wait for her hubby to approach the topic again and tell him to have her put together a resume and I can review it for her or bring her by some time and I can help her put one together if she's never done it. That does put the ball back in her court to see if she has the initiative to want to change. If not, I'm done. If she does, then we'll take it a step at a time from there.

    It reminds me of a friend from high school that took someone "under her wing" a time or two - treated her to a haircut and makeup session for her birthday and things like that, just to give her a little boost of self-confidence. Sadly, it didn't stick, due to lack of money or lack of pride in herself.

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