When do you NOT mention PA?

Posted on: Wed, 06/28/2006 - 2:57am
Peg541's picture
Joined: 12/29/2002 - 09:00

Are there any times when you do not mention your PA? I guess I mean adults with PA.

Here's my example.

My son was a shoo in for a job in a local bookstore. He was recommended by his University advisor who had worked at the same store. He had a good interview. He did everything right.

BUT at the end of the interview he mentioned his PA. He mentioned this because in the interview/staff room there was a candy machine that had peanut products in it. He told them about his allergy to explain why he was not applying to work in their cafe. And his epi pens are clearly visible on his belt loop, not to mention his medic alert bracelet.

He did not get the job. They said they found someone much more experienced than my son. Yet when he called to ask had he gotten the job, the person he needed to speak to was interviewing someone else.

Once he was turned down he asked was it because of his PA? They said no, they handle all sorts of employees with medical needs. So I sort of believe them but......

We spoke to FAAN and they felt as dicey about this as we did. I suppose we could make a fuss but we won't.

I think next interview he keeps his mouth shut.


Posted on: Wed, 06/28/2006 - 3:31am
ajgauthier's picture
Joined: 04/13/2005 - 09:00

I've never brought up my PA in a job interview. Whether it's intentional on my part or not...I always wait until I'm hired, then on my first day with the HR person I talk about it and then talk to my officemates. I never really thought about it, to do it one way or another...but I've never felt the need to mention it at a job interview. For my past restaurant jobs, I always looked at the menu before applying to see about peanutty things. Only 1 restaurant I was at served an African peanut soup...and eventually I helped to isolate it in the kitchen so it wasn't a threat to other food (like the bread, which was right next to the soup...long story for later...)
Sometimes, if on a first/blind date...I will call ahead to the restaurant and speak to the manager and head chef to pick my food ahead of time. Then when I arrive...I'll excuse myself from the table before ordering, have the manager get my server, and I recite my usual lines to them away from my date. Since I've already prearranged to know what's safe...it's quick. I usually tell the server I'm on a first date and don't want to give a bad impression (read: ""high maintenance"") so to play it cool at the table. It always works out. Now of course, if it gets to a second or third date...then I'm open about it.
that's about all I can think of...
30-something survivor of severe peanut/tree nut allergy

Posted on: Wed, 06/28/2006 - 5:55am
turtle's picture
Joined: 12/10/2004 - 09:00

No advice, but that is just awful! Your son must have been disappointed. Sorry.

Posted on: Wed, 06/28/2006 - 6:21am
Peg541's picture
Joined: 12/29/2002 - 09:00

Thanks for the info.
Yes he was disappointed/relieved. We all saw this job as one he could have after graduation next year. He'll find one. We live we learn.

Posted on: Wed, 06/28/2006 - 12:52pm
VariegatedRB's picture
Joined: 11/23/2005 - 09:00

I RARELY mention my PA. NEVER have mentioned it at a job interview. I also wouldn't have my epipen showing at an interview, because it is not a part of appropriate interview attire (I *would* have it on me, though!)
I *wouldn't* mention it unless I felt I needed some kind of modifications. I have not reacted to touch/airbourne, so I just avoid it at work by eating directly from my lunch bag, keeping my work areas clean, etc.
I *did* mention it recently (at a job I have been on for 6 mos or so), because the company (a large university hospital, of all places) gave out "Thank you" boxes to all the employees... I opened it up... inside was a bag of peanutty trail mix and candy! I put mine in the kitchen and said whoever wants it could have it because I have allergies.
I also mentioned it to a client once, because they kept asking me to eat with them (I work in homes for that job) and I felt they were offended that I kept saying no!
I feel like work is a public place and I treat it as such- I take the precautions I can, but feel the responsibility is one *me* to avoid it. I would probably feel differently if I had severe contact/airbourne reactions.
Tara P

Posted on: Thu, 06/29/2006 - 1:40am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Quote:Originally posted by Peg541:
[b] Yet when he called to ask had he gotten the job, the person he needed to speak to was interviewing someone else.
The person [i]might[/i] have been interviewing someone for a different job.
I did mention pa at a job interview I went on. I had applied for a particular job, but it was filled. He did have another job available though -- in food preparation. No peanuts and no sesame seeds used [b]at that time[/b] but, it really wasn't a job I felt comfortable with. I wasn't too disappointed that I didn't get it - and I don't know whether my allergies played a part or not -- quite likely he DID get applications from people with more experience, since I have none.
As for mentioning pa at job interviews, if he is expecting them to make any special arrangements for him, then he should tell them about his pa. On the other hand, if he just wants to not be in a particular area due to possible risk, then I would only mention it if specifically asked about working in that area.
Good luck to your son. I've no doubt he will get himself a job - hopefully one he enjoys. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
[This message has been edited by AnnaMarie (edited June 29, 2006).]

Posted on: Thu, 06/29/2006 - 6:33am
anonymous's picture
Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

I think it sounds like that was the reason, but that you could never prove it. It's really too bad, but so many people/companies are afraid of litigation. I think that makes anyone reluctant to hire someone that has an added risk of something bad happening.
Of course, it is illegal to discriminate on the basis of someone's health, as long as they can do the job. But as I said, you really can't prove it.

Posted on: Thu, 06/29/2006 - 1:36pm
hopechapel's picture
Joined: 12/11/2005 - 09:00

I feel bad for your son but I think it was a lesson in handling an interview.
What bothers me about hiding once you are at work or on a date is that you could need help. My landlady told me of someone with PA who died in a Chinese restaurant. She began to react and excused herself to the bathroom to administer Epipen. She died in the bathroom.
And the media blamed Christina Desforges for not telling her friends about her allergy. Teens, of all people, want to appear like everyone else.
God it would help so much if human nature improved.

Posted on: Thu, 06/29/2006 - 1:49pm
falcon's picture
Joined: 07/03/2004 - 09:00

My son is severely allergic - and airborne and contact sensitive. Guess it would depend on whether there was likely to be food around, in which case an accomodation would be needed.
But- I think it is important to know up front how people in the work place are going to deal with it. If they don't want to hire you because of it, but do and aren't willing to work with you on accomodations...well-they wouldn't be comfortable people I would want to work with anyway...so just as well to know from the start.
All that being said, it is outrageous that having food allergies would influence whether or not a person is hired!

Posted on: Mon, 07/24/2006 - 12:02am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Quote:Originally posted by VariegatedRB:
[b] I also wouldn't have my epipen showing at an interview, because it is not a part of appropriate interview attire
I definitely disagree with this statement, even moreso because Peggy did post that her son's EpiPens are quite visible.
My son straps his Epi-belt on every day - sometimes it's over his shirt, sometimes it's under his shirt (so sometimes visible, sometimes not) and I would like to hope/think/expect that he's going to continue to do that as he goes through life and not "hide" it necessarily because he has a job interview. We've tried for it to be such a "part and parcel" of him. I actually don't see how it isn't appropriate interview attire - it's part of him.
Now, as far as whether or not to mention PA at a job interview - I guess it really depends on the job. It would seem that your son mentioned it because he saw that there was something on the premises that would have to be dealt with because of his PA, so kinda like what Anna Marie said - if you are going to require any changes/accommodations because of PA.
Now, having said ALL of that, I know that when I went for job interviews, I NEVER mentioned my migraines. They would be the thing that eventually caused me to lose a job (time missed because of them) and I just never told any prospective employer about them. Once I got through the door, they figured it out soon enough anyway. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img]
But then again, totally different than a LTFA.
(Came in here searching for another thread and found this).
Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
If tears could build a stairway and memories a lane, I would walk up to heaven and bring you back home with me.

Posted on: Mon, 07/24/2006 - 12:37am
Peg541's picture
Joined: 12/29/2002 - 09:00

I am not certain he mentioned his PA because he saw peanut candies in the machine or if he mentioned it out of habit.
His PA is a part of him and in order for him to have any relationship with anyone they have to know about it.
I think he mentioned it out of the innocence that made him think they should know and that is why I asked the question.
His epi pen is also a part of him and I agree he would not have hidden it any more than he would hide his medic alert bracelet.
So I guess that is the dilemma. MAYBE he should have hidden the epi pen. I can't say he should have gone to the interview without it because he is never without it. So how does he hide it and honestly does he really need to?
And how can I ask him to do that and some day forget it altogether. I made that epi pen part of his body a long long time ago and can't go back on that now. I have tons of "what ifs" running thru my head.
Dilemma. In any case he had no summer job and given the fact that his laptop just DIED and he is a writer and his laptop is as essential as his epi pen we are having a hard time finding the money for a new one. A paycheck certainly would have helped.
[This message has been edited by Peg541 (edited July 24, 2006).]



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