I hated job interviews, and this one had not gone very well. I had just graduated college with a degree in Finance from The University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg. I liked the area, so I was trying my best to find my first post-college, real job in the same vicinity.
I had just turned 22. With blonde, spiked hair and bright blue eyes, I was facing this whole new world with optimism. Despite the sucky economy, I just knew that I would find something that would start me on a good path in life. Little did I know what that something was going to turn out to be.
I had gotten my first job interview within a week of graduating. It was with a small accounting firm in Columbia, which was about half hour down the road from Hattiesburg. I wasn’t worried about the commute.
It had all been going moderately well. I had interviewed with a man named Mr. Brewer. I had aced all of the inane, usual interview questions and had gotten several approving nods and smiles from the man. That was until the last question....
“Mr. Stern,” he had asked me. “We’re all Christians here. What about you?”
I had gaped at him for a moment. This question was illegal, but legalities often went out the window in the Deep South.
“Actually, I am Jewish,” I had replied.
He had given me a distinct scowl and a judgmental narrowing of his eyes.
Mr. Brewer had quickly shown me the door.
I knew I had blown it, but I had no intention of lying about myself or what I believed. The question had not been fair. I had knocked the rest of the interview out of the park, but because of my religion, I wasn’t going to get the job.
So, I got back into my car and headed back toward Hattiesburg.