Monday, 5 September 2016

DID HAVING ACNE PREVENT ME GETTING THE JOB? MY ACNE STORY....

Throughout the last ten years of my life I have experienced with acne and a constant red nose. So much so that a goal in my life is to have clear skin so I can go out without makeup on and feel comfortable. Anyhow, during these ten years I have visited my doctors numerous times. Each time trying out various medications including isotretinion (roaccutane). I have seen dermatologists who have diagnosed me with both severe acne and acne rosacea as of this May this year. I saw 5 different doctors within a week due to being that upset and ill from this skin condition. That I simply began to give up.. 


May this year was a massive month for me, I had deadlines and my 21st birthday. However this was the month when my skin took a real turn for the worst as you can tell from the pictures below. I do apologise for how I look but I want to be as honest as possible in this post and want anyone who suffers from acne they are not alone. Acne can cause so much distress and emotionally upset. I literally couldn't attend my final lectures and seminars because I couldn't bare anyone seeing my face and I was that drained from constantly crying that I didn't want to walk out the door. I would say that the staff I dealt with about extending my deadlines and support with my studies were amazing. I'm so thankful for them for being understanding during the stressful period of my life. This was the month I was finally diagnosed with Acne Rosacea. 

Acne Rosacea
This was how my skin was improving within a matter of days... there is no editing in these images.
Many months have passed and my skin improved very quickly but still wasn't the best. It was then July 2016 when I had another breakout however this time it featured more boils. This was also the month I got my results from university. Therefore a possible link between my acne and stress. 
After graduating I had only my bar work in a small pub every saturday. I was still working because I needed the money and I was able to hide my insecurities and I never ever received a comment from anyone about my skin. Not even a drunk idiot who can come in. 


Anyway.. it's now August and I really need a job as my saturday shift is definitely not something I can live off. So my friend mentioned that her place were hiring and I did a trial shift in the kitchen there. There was no problems. I was told that I would hear back on Monday which never happened so I just simply thought nothing of it. 

Last Tuesday (August 30th).. I was happily in Leeds doing some errands with Emily, when I received a phone call from the place (that I shall not name) saying would you mind coming in doing a trial shift. I was so up for it because i'm bored out of my head and wanting some money. So it was agreed I would come in at 11am on the Wednesday.  Here's where the story begins...

So everything went fine... I did my trial shift no problems. I was then called into the back with the manager and another woman whom I would call the head chef, and this is where it all changed. So I followed the two woman into the small staff room and the conversation included the following...

"So what is wrong with your skin?" - Manager..
"I've been diagnosed as having Acne Rosacea" - Me
"That's not acne, I have acne" - Manager
"It's not rosacea either, that's like flushing of the skin" - Chef
"I said something along the lines of well I've been diagnosed by a specialist and I've taken roaccutane previously. Nothing seems to work. There was mention when I was younger I could be a staph carrier (25% of the public is by the way). - Me
"So what makeup do you use?" - Manager
"Estee Lauder Double Wear" - Me
"I use that, it's not meant to cause acne. It's something beginning with A" - Manager
"Do you use anything else on it?" - Manager
"I use collection concealer sometimes" - Me
"You should bin that it's cheap" - Chef & Manager
"What skin care do you use?" - Manager
"Currently a Clarin's cleanser, but mainly sudocream and heat to bring out everything" - Me
"You should go down to Tesco and buy Simple wipes. I know they say wipes aren't good for your skin but you should try these out." At this point she also mentioned bringing in products for me to see. - Manager
"Yeah just get tired of seeing doctors and nothing working" - Me
"You should definitely go back" Chef & Manager
"Does it look worse without makeup on?" - Manager
"Yes" - Me
"Do you have a boyfriend?" - Manager
"It's a complicated situation" - Me

This is how I wear my makeup everyday... There has been no editing to either image just different lighting. So you can see the lumps just above my right eyebrow and spots just below my lips. 
At this point the conversation about my skin swiftly ended and next was showing me how to sign in and out and that I would have hours on the Monday and Tuesday. What uniform etc. That there was only two people on front of hour the following weekend so I would be needed then. Everything seemed ok. I wasn't bothered about the conversation as I just saw it as a job and I need money. However the asking if I had a boyfriend I did personally feel was very bitchy and took me back. Oh yeah and I've also included a picture above of how I leave the house wearing makeup to hide my skin, so you can see how I would of looked whilst working. 


Anyway.. It was now the next day, me and Emily had decided to take her dog to the beach for a dog walk. Then I received another phone call (around about 2pm - this becomes relevant in the next part)... So on the phone the manager then mentions that they will need a doctor's not from me because she read about being a staph carrier and she wants to have her back covered. Which I understand as I've studied law. However she hadn't nor was taking notice that I was saying a specialist says I have Acne Rosacea. However I still agreed to get a doctors note (which meant going the Friday which she asked so it was all ready for Monday). Emily had heard the whole conversation and was shocked that I was still willing to go ahead because she found it to feel like she was being bullying. 


Anyway I got home and from googling stuff found it very hard to read anything relating to staph carrier and food (MRSA version yes). So I think I than began to realise everything that had happened and I began to cry my eyes out. I am so self conscious about my skin. There is very few people who I allow see me without makeup on. So this whole thing was a major issue emotionally for me.  So my mum had then returned from work and saw me crying and I explained everything to her and she rang my doctors. Who said the following...

"A medical note will be at the charge of the employer. It will say your daughter has seen a consultant and been diagnosed with Acne Rosacea. However asking for this I feel is discrimination"

I then couldn't cope with ringing the manager so I wrote the following text message..
"Been on the phone to my doctors who said that there is a charge for the employer for the medical note and that all it will say is that i've been diagnosed with Acne Rosacea. I would have rang but this is a sensitive topic for me"
I didn't get a reply until the next day saying the following:
"Thanks for getting back to me, as it happens one of the girls that was leaving us is now staying with us so I haven't got any hours at the moment, but I'm going to keep you in mind. I will call you if anything pops up. Sorry to mess you a lot. I'll speak to you pretty soon"

After which I was very baffled as not only had they told me that there were the hours. I also found it odd because I know they were also short staffed as one girl left for university (her final shift being the sunday just gone) and another girl being away for a month (my friend). Also found it weird because it was very last minute for a girl to decide she wasn't going to be attending college the following week. Then came some icing on the cake. I had told my mum's friend who happened to check their Facebook page and found that they were hiring a full time position (advertised the following day at 10am before the phone call).  Oh and Emily rang up asking for a job and was asked if she would come in that day.

I became emotional because I hate being lied too and this was blatant lies. I was on the phone for many hours speaking to my sister who got in contact with ACAS and the Equality Advisory services. Both of which were amazing services and so helpful. It was nice to be dealt with in such a lovely manner.

So I gave it awhile and pondered on what to reply, so I said:
"Im obviously sorry to hear about this, was looking forward to being part of the team (genuinely was at first). I take it you will sort out payment for the trial shifts I worked as you said I would be paid for these? Would you like me to cancel the doctors appointment? I can always arrange it another time so you have the information you require". 

To which the reply was:
"Yes I will need your bank details can you pop down on monday if thats ok? Yes cancel that one then you could arrange it when i have some hours in the up coming weeks, is that ok?

At this point I didn't want to respond nor have anything to do with the woman. I just felt like I wanted my experience to be heard and shared. I honestly feel like they need to be informed on how to handle their staff and what is acceptable. For me I'm looking for accountability for the way in which they treated me.


So finally we reach today's events and closer to the end of my story. I personally didn't feel comfortable going down to site to give my bank details. I had been to the doctors again about my skin, I just wanted to remain hidden and not see someone who made me feel judged. So I asked my mother if she would go down...

So this is my mum's account of events (yes I wasn't aware and I very much stay neither sided in arguments but I believe what my mother says to be true). Upon entry my mother asks whether there is any work going? In which another member of staff said yes in the kitchen and front of house. However they are looking for someone under 24. So I sense some age discrimination? My mum also said she asked this girl to repeat this 3 times because she was in shock and she also made it clear that it was age discrimination.


Anyhow my mum finally got to speak to the manager who wouldn't speak in the office to her and I was told she was raising her voice to her. My mother said she kept cool because it could potentially affect any case I have from this. Apparently the woman just said that "I have acne I wouldn't say such a thing" and that she was just looking at other potential candidates but she had already told me there were no hours, am I the only one confused?

My mum then returns and I get a text message from the manager saying - "Hi hun, let me know when I can give you a call"

I replied: "Thanks for the form, I have filled it in. Please can I have the email address to send it back to. I acknowledge your text however I find it to upsetting to talk about the matter at this moment in time" - I honestly do.. I just break down and cry to anyone. 

This was the final text as of now... " .. the email address was given. Hannah, I deeply apologise the way things have been portrayed, its really not the case it was just unfortunate timing with the girl that I have she is unsure at the minute wether she is going back to college. I have interviews running for the next couple of weeks for the next upcoming months to cover any eventualitys. As I said the other day I will be in touch if we have any hours come up. I deeply regret any misunderstanding. Kind Regards"



Now that is all for my story, I personally feel that this was all due to my skin. It is completely up to you what your opinion is on the matter, discrimination or just wrong timing. I just really wanted to show how personal matter such as acne can really impact someone's live and what you say to someone can really have emotional affect. This for me is one of the hardest thing's to share as I'm now showing my whole bare face to the internet, but if one person feels that this story helps them feel like they not alone then its worth it. Or if this story could prevent further cases like this, then i'm 100% down to share this.

This was one of my stories and I hope you've enjoyed the long old read. We are the ones to change the future to prevent things like this. We are the ones to have our voices heard and we should feel free to share our opinions. I'm very much happy to share any other experiences about my acne, if you do want to know more, let me know in the comments...

Thank you for reading, speak soon
han xo

(also want to say this is partially a reason why I haven't blogged)  


4 comments:

  1. I do not have acne or rosacea but back in school extreme sun exposure did some serious damage to my skin and as a result I too have lumpy skin around my nose and dry, discoloured patches. I have seeked medical help on multiple occasions and nothing has worked. I have been able to control it to some extent with home remedies but I still get questioned all the time about my skin so I can definitely relate to you and imagine how you feel. I go out bare faced more than half the time and I am not bothered about the way I look but the minute anybody passes a rude remark or asks a personal question the way you were asked, I can't help tearing up a little. We shouldn't be sorry about the way we look no matter what because this is not something we have complete control over. It happens and it might be long before we find a permanent solution but what we as bloggers can do with the power of this platform is to encourage and make other girls like us feel comfortable in their skin.

    I truly appreciate the fact that you wrote this blog post as it was much needed. The advertising agencies and media have set up such deluded and impractical beauty standards that people are now ready to trade lives for it!

    Take care. :) xo

    Jadirah Sarmad at Jasmine Catches Butterflies ʚϊɞ

    ReplyDelete
  2. if I had a £1 for every time I've cried over my skin I would be a millionaire! I'm in shock at their questions towards you, how on earth can someone be so insensitive?! I think I would have just broke down, you're bravery is inspiring!

    I agree with Jadirah, I love that blogging gives people a platform that diminishes the unrealistic standards that the media sets. We are real, we have our 'faults' but we are bloody beautiful and acne does not define us!

    Thank you for sharing your acne story Han! I hope your next job involves working with people who don't lack basic social skills x

    Liv
    www.deliciously-floral.co.uk

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  4. Thank you for your blog, you're always so sweet and kind. you will like to see more from this website.

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