I was 18 and freshly married. I had your standard high school education but my family and I didn't have the money for me to go to college and I didn't qualify for any assistance. I was hoping for a chance at my first stable job with good benefits. The local post office posted in the paper it was accepting applications so down I went. I excitedly waited in line with the other applicants. I came to the door and an older black gentleman with a kind face looked at me and smiled. I smiled back. We spoke for a little while and then he told me something I'll never forget. He said, "I like you, you're a nice young man so I'm going to tell you something you need to know to keep you from wasting your time." He went on to tell me, "You don't stand a chance getting this job. You're a white boy. You'll be the last one looked at much less chosen. They'll look at minority first, then veteran, then female. If a black lady out of the military walks up here, she won't have a chance to leave the building and she'll be hired." I remember just nodding my head and feeling crushed. I shook his hand, thanked him and went home. I grew up that day. I look back now and can't help wondering...was he truly being kind to me?
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