I must admit I don't shave my legs very much, except in the summer when if the temperature
allows, I wear shorts. But I must also admit a miscarriage of justice caused by me judging someone for not shaving her legs.
When I was at the top of my career as a supervisor of an Adult Education establishment I was allowed a clerical assistance, who worked six hours a week and was paid probably no more than £10 an hour. When the incumbant in the position decided she'd had enough of the job and they were living more in Spain than England, I advertised the job in the local press.
I was overwhelmed with application forms, so I whittled the list down to four who I asked to come for interviews.
The first was a young man – and certainly the job was way below his capabilities and I knew he wouldn't stay with it for long. The second, a young woman with experience who had started a family so now wanted something to get her out of the house a few evenings a week. The third was a woman probably ten years younger than me, with school age children, who wanted to start back in the working world and saw this as a first step. The fourth was a woman about my age, who I knew slightly as she attended some of our classes.
I decided that as the job entailed dealing with money and giving change, I would first set them each a written test. I don't think I told them in advance that this was to happen. But it was a simple test. I just gave a typical student we might encounter, and asked how they would deal with registering her.
I can't remember the exact example, but it might have been a pensioner who came to the
beginners bridge class. The class was charged at £30 for 10 weeks, with a 50% reduction for pensioners. I probably said the woman provided a £20 note and asked how much change she would receive. It was as simple as that, but only one of the four contenders got it right.
Then came the interviews. The man was very friendly and would no doubt have done the job well, but it really was a Micky Mouse sort of job once enrolment was over, and if I was honest, I was very reluctant to let anybody do any of the clerical aspects of the job, as I had a computer at home, and had no difficulty in doing the paper work involved myself.
The next to be interviewed was the young woman, who wore very high heels and a very short skirt. I was so sure she had anticipated a male interviewer and boss by the way she was dressed, that I was not going to hire her even if she had done well on the test, and she hadn't.
The slightly older woman wore brown loafers. I like loafers – so that gave her a big tick straight away. She was bright and friendly, if a bit dull, but she was the one who passed the test.
The last candidate I knew I would get along with well. She was the one I really wanted to choose, but as soon as she sat down, with her legs on display, I noticed she hadn't shaved her legs. And in retrospect probably she had never shaved her legs, as the hairs were long and curly and came through her tights. If only she had worn trousers, she would have got the job, despite failing the test.
My daughters thought I was dreadful when I told him how the interviews had gone and my
criterion for choosing the winner. But the one I hired, with her sensible flat shoes and hairless legs worked out very well for me over the years.