Saturday, January 17, 2015

Queens County Revisited: The 1970s (1)

By the 1970s finding a permanent job in New York City by just walking in from the street in response to an employer's Want-Ad in the New York Times or Village Voice classified ads section was becoming increasingly difficult.

To avoid hiring the increasing number of African-American applicants for clerical positions within Manhattan's corporate office industry, the white corporate male employers and their corporate personnel offices had apparently started to use Manhattan placement/flesh peddling employment agencies increasingly as screening/discrimination tools. And apparently these private employment agencies/flesh peddlers were under orders to generally only refer job-hunters who were white--and who dressed corporate and culturally straight--to be interviewed by the corporate personnel offices in Manhattan for whatever vacant clerical job positions still needed to be filled.

Because I was white, after I shaved off my beard, went to a barber who gave me a culturally straight-looking haircut and dressed up in a white shirt, suit and tie and culturally straight way, one of these permanent employment/flesh peddling agencies in Midtown Manhattan actually placed me in a vacant clerical-typist position at the office of a West Village real estate broker and landlord.

But by the end of the first day on the job in the West Village real estate office I realized both why the job was vacant and what the catch of the job was..