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Is a Lie Ever Right?

I lied to my son when he was ten-years-old, and I still think about it. I thought the circumstance made it the right thing to do, but am still unsure all these years later. Our family has been part of the speech-language community since he was born three months premature. At a young age, we learned he would have a communication disorder that will cross his lifespan.

A little background…I suffered a severe concussion while playing a childhood game and, as a result, have a disability. I take daily medicine and suffer from headaches, but it could have been so much worse.

While working at a company years ago, my employer told all employees they were required to work 12-14 hour days, including Saturdays and Sundays, for the next eight weeks. I went to my supervisor and only then revealed my medical condition and the impact the injury has had on me. I explained I would be unable to work all the additional hours without it adversely affecting my health. Rather than finding understanding, I was treated poorly and ultimately fired.

My son was old enough to understand what happened and began asking me frequently where he would be able to work because “businesses don’t like people with disabilities.” Instead of telling him that hiring biases exist, I lied. I replied that his comment was untrue and that most people would disagree with the decision if the circumstances of my dismissal were revealed. I still have a real concern that I set him up for disappointment, but at the time, I was unwilling to rob him of his optimism.

A Long Way to Go

Not enough has changed since that day. My son graduated with a master’s degree in statistics. While applying for positions, he is forthcoming about his communication disorder and tells prospective employers what his strengths are and with what he struggles. The vast majority – when rejecting him – say he is not a "culture fit" for their businesses even though he passed the phone interviews and pre-employment testing, and has professional certifications. As a result, he believes these rejections are due to his communication style.

No doubt, we have made advances since that time but not enough. That's why we started Iterators, which will provide quality software testing with employees best suited for the job. Our goal is to be a good example of a company that embraces the strengths we all have, and that diverse groups work better because they have different talents and experiences that can all be used and appreciated.

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Iterators LLC is a woman & minority-owned software testing company that delivers quality results while building a community for a better world in today's digital age.