He Comes From a Good Family: So F*cking What?

young man arrives at his interview , resume under his arm greeting his interviewer
young man arrives at his interview , resume under his arm greeting his interviewer

"He comes from a good family."

This is a sentence that pops back in my head and rolls around from time to time. One of those little things that still bugs me, even though I know it really shouldn't.

A few times now in my working life I've heard bosses mutter these words when assessing a potential employee. It's usually something along the lines of:

"He doesn't have that much experience" -- pauses to reflect  -- "but he does come from a good family"

Either eavesdropping or being the one directly spoken to about the potential employee, I fight my inner self not to scream "He comes from a good family? So f*cking what?"

Living in a country town, people generally know one-another's background. They know who's the top-notch, high status 'in' crowd -- and then there's everyone else. They know who comes from a supposedly 'good family'.

You know who I'd rather employ? The person who came from the shitty family, with no support, yet built themselves up anyway. Finding self-worth and achieving goals without proper family support is probably the most significant accomplishment anyone can make - yet it never hits a résumé.

You can probably tell I'm somewhat biased, and did not come from what most would consider a 'good family'. We were dirt poor and my father was (and I assume, still is) an alcoholic. No violins please, I'm just saying...what damn difference does that make to my work-ethic?

I have a friend who from the age of 9 protected his drug-addicted mother from abusive boyfriends, and pretty much raised his younger siblings. He's a bloody hard worker, and a good person. Not only that, but he worked his way up to a fairly highly regarded job role.

Can anyone say that he's less entitled to that job than someone from a 'good' family? If anything, his crappy childhood gave him fantastic insights into what really matters in life. He treats his employees well, and is not one to 'sweat the small stuff'.

Choosing to employ (or associate with) people based on the social status of their family is completely warped. We need to drop the whole 'he/she comes from a good family' as a favourable attribute when sizing up potential employees.

Go by how you feel about the person, not their next of kin.

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