I'm already starting my pre-residency tomorrow but I wanted to try applying in a more "benign" workplace. And so when I was called for an interview in one of our military hospitals (there are two of them in Manila), I readily went there hoping to be given a slot in their residency program.
There were four of us who are going to fight for a position. When it was my turn for an interview, I calmly took my seat where the air-conditioner was blasting cold air directly. And so calm turned into nervousness. But it wasn't for long.
In the first two minutes, the panel learned that I was a "single" mom. I didn't have a chance. They went on a litany on why they are not choosing a mother of a 9-month old child. And then, one of the panel even emphasized that I was single - that there was no father around to help me support my child. I didn't bother elaborating my real situation - that the father is not living with us but is financially supporting us in one way or another. The interviewer's tone made it clear to me that I wasn't welcome in their department just because I was a "single mother".
Nervousness turned into resentment.
I wished I didn't waste any more time. Applicants should have been informed on Day 1 that Single Mothers are not welcome. I shouldn't have wasted my time taking their exam.
But it's not a total waste. At least I learned that there are some people who don't have any faith in Single Mothers. I don't take it against them if they grew up in a perfectly established family. Instead, I envy them. They are so lucky to be able to have a "complete" family of their own.
Wait, I grew up in a "complete" family too but I don't think single mothers are less of a person than other people. I think (WITHOUT BIAS) that real single mothers are great by themselves.
I just wish the interviewers could have given me a chance because whatever I said during the interview, they keep getting back at being a mother and a "single" one at that.