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I Was Scammed During A Job Interview. How Could I Have Been So Stupid?

"Sure, this question may have been a red flag, but ... this was my big chance. So I told her."

By | Meredith Towbin |

Since the early ’90s, I wanted to be Elaine Benes from “Seinfeld.” She began her career as an editor at a publishing house and then transitioned to becoming the head of the J. Peterman catalog, which was filled with ridiculously flowery descriptions of fashion-y things like the Urban Sombrero.

I was well on my way in the early 2000s. I had climbed the ladder from freelance writer to editor at a beauty magazine. But then my husband and I decided to start a family, and I left it all behind for the glitz and glamour of staying up for 37 hours straight and becoming a human pacifier.

Sixteen years have passed, and I have two teenagers who don’t need me much anymore, so I decided to look for a full-time remote job. I casually started perusing online job boards, wrote up a resume and cover letter, and put myself out there. My mantra: A 16-year job gap isn’t that big of a deal. And anyway, age discrimination is illegal. I’ll be fine.

I was not fine.

There were actual crickets in my inbox.

Was I aiming too high? I mean, companies like Ralph Lauren and Neiman Marcus were looking for remote copy editors, so why couldn’t it be me? I’d been writing and copy editing for years before I had kids. I still had mad skills. Maybe they could take a chance on me?

Clearly, Ralph Lauren and I failed to agree on this, as I never heard back from them. Two months passed. I received a few rejections, but for the most part, I figured out what it felt like to be ghosted. (I think that’s what the kids call it now.)

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