A cancer sufferer was left distraught following a job interview at a mental health company in which she overheard callous comments from interviewers who questioned why she didn’t show her hair.
Krystal Garmon posted about her experience on LinkedIn last week citing that they’d poked fun at the ‘head cap’ she’d had on and said she’d have looked ‘more professional if she showed her hair’ when they accidentally left their Zoom call running.
Garmon told USA Today that she was diagnosed with kidney cancer in 2013 and cervical cancer in 2017 and has undergone five surgeries since then.
She recalled having a significant connection to her hair in her early 30s, but now, her hair ‘has never grown back correctly’ since battling cancer the second time.
Cancer sufferer, Krystal Garmon, was left distraught following a job interview at a mental health company in which she overheard callous and thoughtless comments about her appearance
Garmon posted about her experience on LinkedIn last week citing that they’d poked fun at the ‘head cap’ she’d had on and said she’d have looked ‘more professional if she showed her hair.’
In the harrowing post, Garmon wrote that she wears a headdress everywhere she goes because she is ’embarrassed’ by the way her hair looks.
‘The only people that have seen me without it have been my husband, my immediate family, and my doctors,’ she said.
But last week’s interview made her feel even worse after workers at the mental health firm – which she did not name – started discussing her headwear without realizing she could hear them.
‘I had an interview with a company that did not end their zoom meeting before they began to talk with each other,’ she wrote.
She said that they’d commented: ‘She had a head cap on, did she know she was in an interview?’
Adding that they’d also said: ‘She would look more professional if she showed her hair. I can’t tell what color her hair is.’
‘Do you know my hair is uneven? Do you know I have bald spots? Do you know I am embarrassed to show anyone what I’ve gone through? Do you know my hair looks less professional if I don’t wear a head cap?’ she explained in the post.
‘I wouldn’t ghost myself. I would show up and show out as my best self each day.
Garmon said she was no stranger to people judging her appearance while she battled cancer and said someone commented on her weight at a grocery store after she’d had chemo suggesting she wouldn’t eat any of the food she’d bought
Garmon recalled having a significant connection to her hair in her early 30s, but now, her hair ‘has never grown back correctly’ since battling cancer the second time
She slammed the company saying that she was furious that rather than ask about why she had the cap on that they chose to badmouth her. Garmon pictured with her dogs with short hair
‘I knew I wasn’t the type of business owner to send generic emails or steal my business ideas after 4 interviews and promote a customer service motto but internally, act discreetly in poor human practices.’
While the experience had been hurtful to Garmon she went on to say: ‘Cheers to the unkind folks out there.’
‘You are helping us kind folks realize how important we are to others and how important our purpose remains,’ she said. ‘Today is the last day I will wear anything to hide my history. I will wear my history with appreciation. My pride is hurt but I learned a valuable lesson in self-love today.’
Garmon said she was no stranger to people judging her appearance while she battled cancer.
‘I knew every time I sat in the chemo chair, 4 days a week, that I was either losing or winning the battle, but I was kind to others and trying my hardest,’ she wrote.
‘The first time I went to the grocery store after 2 years of treatment, I was 93 pounds. Someone whispered, Does she know she isn’t even going to eat that food she’s buying? That day will stick with me.’
In her interview with USA Today, she did not name the company in fear of retribution from prospective employers but said she had been shocked by their comments.
Garmon has been offering therapy since 2005 and has been in private practice since 2015, and said chemotherapy seemed simpler than what to expect in a job interview after battling cancer.
‘I knew that I was going to make some kind of meaningful difference with the person that was always sitting next to me,’ she said.
‘In these job market situations, I’m feeling a little bit displaced … I don’t have control over being ghosted. I don’t have control over people’s misconceptions about whether or not I have a head cap on.’
She hasn’t heard from the company since the interview and stressed that companies should and can be curious and compassionate during the hiring process
Garmon said the experience, while heartbreaking, had provided her with a renewed sense of self and promised she wouldn’t hide her history
She slammed the company saying that she was furious that, rather than ask, they chose to badmouth her.
‘I was livid about their lack of inclusion and question and curiosity,’ she said.
She hasn’t heard from the company since the interview and stressed that companies should and can be curious and compassionate during the hiring process by asking questions such as ‘Why are you wearing this?’ and not making assumptions.
‘There’s a need for hiring managers [to] maybe take some motivational interviewing classes or maybe have a bit of an empathetic understanding,’ she said. ‘I am much more than my head cap.’