Three things you'll find on a Spanish résumé:
- A headshot
- Marital status
Now let's forget about the first two, as preposterous as they are, and focus on age. This is perhaps the most important fact on the Spanish CV, for without it how would the potential employer ever judge your competence?
David encountered age discrimination throughout his entire pursuit of employment. Hearing about it made me furious. My tolerance of foreign cultures may extend to the seemingly illogical, but not to the unfair and inhumane.
In December, he was hired by the greediest, most crooked bank in the country (if you ask me). Along with several other young hopefuls, he was given the first of a series of temporary contracts, a process derived to weed out the ones who can't hack it. His contract is up in August.
David called me a little while ago and told me about a little, impromptu meeting he had with an advisor at his training course for work. In anticipation of the coming renewals and cuts, the agent was making his rounds with each of the newly hired over the course of today and tomorrow. David's did not go well.
As David explained to me over the phone how the man kept interjecting phrases like "it's just, you're only 22" and "maturity, blah blah blah", I grew irate. "It's 2010 now!" I told him, "How can Spain not realize how wrong this is!"
I get the feeling that although the issue probably concerns many Spaniards, that there are too few that actually realize their rights are in jeopardy here. Not the rights granted to them by law, I suppose, but the ones that certainly ought to be! Am I being closed-minded here in any way? Am I blowing this out of proportion?
Money is obviously a huge concern right now. It always is, which is why I stuck with A&F for so long. But I have to admit I wouldn't be devastated if the bank didn't renew his contract. David even interviewed for another job yesterday, although it is one that would work him much harder and longer, and impose on him a lifestyle he's just not sure he's ready for. There's no guarantee he'll get that position, but surely another would come along.
It just really makes me crazy how a sunken economy can make everyone turn their back on their standards. We are the gears that will eventually make it run smoothly again, so why should we let a select group of money-hungry mongrels force us to surrender our convictions?
Oh Peter, what a truly naive idealist you are!
Well anyway, there you have it: my first real beef with Spain.