ABC – People at the Grassroots Natural Market in Denville, N.J., are shopping for groceries when they hear this: “I’m going to be honest; I don’t think this is the right fit for you. I just don’t want you to waste your time filling out an application.” This is what Jeremy, a store manager, tells Melia, a woman who would like to apply for a sales clerk position at the store. The conversation starts out cordially enough but soon it’s obvious that Melia is not going to be considered for the job because she is overweight. What customers at the store don’t know is that both Jeremy and Melia are actors hired by “What Would You Do?” We wanted to see how people would react when they witnessed a situation in which a job applicant was discriminated against because of her weight. When Jeremy tells her not to apply, Melia acts incredulous. “Wait you’re telling me not to fill out this job application because of the way I look?” she asks. “It’s a health food store. I don’t mean to be rude I’m just being honest,” Jeremy replies. The first customer to hear the conversation and witness the manager’s attitude, which of course in reality is not tolerated at the Grassroots Market, threatens to tell the store’s owner. And the next woman to hear the discrimination also confronts the rude manager. The customer, Cathy, then offers some comfort to Melia. “I’m sorry, but he’s the manager. Do you really want to work with somebody like that?” she asks. Melia, in tears, confides, “It’s like he’s making an assumption that I’m not intelligent…simply based on my size.” When “What Would You Do?” host John Quinones introduces himself and explains the scenario, the customer tells Quinones “Well, I have to say, …I’m with the manager on it. I really am. I think that you know, he told the truth instead of lying, and honesty, to me, is always the right way to go, regardless.” “But he was discriminating against someone based on their weight,” Quinones says. And the customer replies “No, he’s a, he’s a business owner, and he’s allowed to do… He can hire whoever he wants to hire. That’s the way I look at it.”
Ahhh, the ever-present ‘fatsos are people too’ debate. Listen, piglet – being a tub of lard is not a disability. It’s gluttonous. Selfish. Disgusting. You know what else? It’ll keep you from working at a health food store 137 out of 100 times. Who wants Stay Puft endorsing products geared toward people who actually give a shit about themselves? You’re about as good a peddler of health as Charlie Sheen. It’s like me getting a job in the women’s care aisle of a supermarket. “Excuse me – what would you advise is safer for my beav? Summer’s Eve or Massengil?” “Lady, I have a dick. What I don’t have is any idea on how to help you cleanse your clam.” Not gonna work. Any porker who applies at a place like this knows exactly what they’re doing and are simply trying to publicly remind us all that they’re the victim. Acting as though they’re making an effort to get a job but the world is against the pleasantly plump. First the thong modeling agency, then the bicycle courier company, now the health food market. Cut the crap, fatty. Can Stevie Wonder be a photographer? Jim Abbott a Macarena instructor? No. Just like fat people can’t work at a place where people go to shed fat. That’s not discrimination, that’s common sense chubs.