Growing up, I hated my first name because it was so different. I did everything I could to fit in and make situations "easier" for the people I was around. I'd mimic their speech patterns, stay away from any topics they wouldn't want to talk about, and generally act in a way that I thought was familiar to them.
But it still didn't change the fact that my name's Mustafa.
Sure I might have the voice of a North Jersey gym bro, and, depending on the time of year and the amount of facial hair I have you'd think I was either Italian or Israeli or Turkish or Portuguese. In fact, the last thing I look like is Eastern European or Albanian.
Which is probably why whenever I walked into a job interview, people were always a little perplexed when they saw me walk into a room after looking at my resume. Some would ask me straight up why I wasn't brown, or others saw my "Italian-sounding" last name and were confused.
Because I always felt like I was trying to fit in and make an impression on people to make up for the fact that I was always looked at like some kind of albino alligator, I'd come up with ways to try and creatively get the attention of potential employers. Similar to what Anastasia Glover did with her "rap" cover letter on her job applications.
The 21-year-old college grad is looking to be gainfully employed, so she decided that, in an attempt to stand out from the pack, sent emails with the subject line "Gimme a job innit." The cover letter was a grime-style rap that quickly made the rounds on LinkedIn - it's currently been shared over 100,000 times on the employment-focused social network.
The film student said that she received an "immediate response" after sending the rap out and hopes to go "onwards and upwards". You can check out the rap below:
While Glover was getting praised from industry professionals and commenters online for her creative use of a cover letter to grab a potential employer's attention, others are saying that her job application is a workforce double standard.
People are pointing out that if Glover had a name that was "ethnic" sounding that her grime-rap stunt wouldn't have been looked at with such delight and glee.
People are also saying because she's white, the inventiveness was "novel" and something that could be appreciated, but if she was brown-skinned, they weren't so sure the bold application strategy would have the same effect.
"This is the perfect way to grab the attention of employers. It shows brilliant creativity and a willingness to think outside the box."— Toni (@t0nit0ne) March 29, 2018
"With that level of creativity, we believe she has a brilliant future."
- the recruiter likely said that AFTER they saw what she looked like.
When people say "being black means you have to work twice as hard", they're not kidding.— Toni (@t0nit0ne) March 29, 2018
I honestly don't think she would have gotten away with that kind of application if she was black.
I mean, I could be wrong but imagine if a black woman or black man sent that application.
Others mentioned the history of how Grime was received in England, and how the response to a white person using it is completely different.
When Grime gatherings in London were being suppressed by Met Police's 696 forms, and when Grime artists were surveilled and targeted, where was this ‘Woke’ awareness? Interesting to see how perceptions of Black music change when white folk utilise it. https://t.co/DYJjXHhNDb— Mutaz Elnour (@MutazElnour) March 29, 2018
Some people shared their own job application stories and how much an ethnic-sounding name hurt their chances.
I changed my name on my CV after months of no responses, to something ethnically and gender ambiguous and got 4 calls for interviews the next day, took one of the jobs, and now I’m stuck with a name I don’t want.— Proxima Black 🙅🏽♀️ (@SLovesAutumn) March 29, 2018
Anastasia chimed in on the discussion and says that her story has been misrepresented by the BBC.
Although it's mad that I've been on BBC News, just gotta say their article is really quite misleading and if you want the proper story you can ask me for a link to it.— Anastasia Glover (@stasoulla) March 29, 2018
She says that the recruiter had no idea she was white, or female, or anything about her ethnicity.
In her post, Glover says that she's aware of double standards in the workplace and the effects of racial disparity, and that she's unhappy that some people would jump to conclusions and accuse her of cultural appropriation or making assumptions about her character, simply because a rap she wrote grabbed the attention of a job recruiter on LinkedIn.
Something that other commenters echoed after Glover's story went viral.
As this has been added to a Twitter moment, it seems to have reached minimal comprehension Twitter.— Toni (@t0nit0ne) March 29, 2018
I want people to understand that I don't have an issue with the young lady whatsoever. I have an issue with the existence of double standards based on race. That is it.
I am not offended by her rap and I hold zero ill feelings towards her because she has done absolutely nothing wrong! She can't control the reaction she received, and that's why my rant isn't about her. It's about the bigger picture that too many people fail to acknowledge.— Toni (@t0nit0ne) March 29, 2018
For other Twitter users, they were just sad she couldn't have come up with a better rap.
Her bars are shite. If she at least had bars I might be like "well..." but nah. Shite patter and really sad hypocrisy. Systems fucked.— Rabid Alchemy (@MBhoops13) March 29, 2018
How did this get her anything but immediately tossed out? This made me cringe so hard.— Stephanie G. (@StephanieElizaG) March 30, 2018
What do you think? Was Glover's cover letter unprofessional? Or was it a good idea? Or was it a good idea ruined by trash bars?