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Angel Ramirez

'You're going to keep being poor': Man turned away from dishwashing job because of his outfit

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SAN ANTONIO (CIRCA via WOAI) - A San Antonio man says he's learned the hard way that appearance matters when applying for a job, regardless of experience.

Angel Ramirez applied for a job as a dishwasher at Jim's Restaurant.

He says the best outfit he owns was too shabby to get his foot in the door during the interview.

"I've never experienced anything like this in my life," Ramirez said.

"As soon as she walked up to me, she told me I looked very inappropriate and I apologized to her. I told her I don't have much, I really have to work with what I got."
Angel Ramirez, job applicant at Jim's Restaurant

Ramirez is feeling down in the dumps, after he says he was rejected during a job interview because of his appearance.

Weeks into his job search and multiple online applications later, he landed a second interview for a dishwashing position at Jim's Restaurant.

"Just, like, whatever they had available, really any position," Ramirez said. "They had the dishwashing position available, so I said, 'Yeah, sign me up. Let's do it.'"

Angel Ramirez
This is the outfit Angel Ramirez was wearing when he was turned away from an interview for a dishwashing job at Jim's Restaurant. (WOAI)

He showed up to meet with the manager wearing sneakers, khaki shorts and a polo shirt.

"As soon as she walked up to me, she told me I looked very inappropriate and I apologized to her. I told her I don't have much, I really have to work with what I got," Ramirez explained.

"She looked at me and said, 'That's not an excuse. You're going to keep being poor because I'm not going to interview you.'"

Ramirez says the outfit is the nicest one he owns.

Man turned away from Texas dishwashing job because of his outfit

He says the manager walked away, leaving him to wonder how he was going to find work to support his 5-year-old daughter Aralenn and 9-year-old son David.

Job prep expert Robbye Floyd says the first step to landing a job is to dress for success.

"Even at a restaurant for a dishwasher position," Floyd said.

"She looked at me and said, 'That's not an excuse. You're going to keep being poor because I'm not going to interview you.'"
Angel Ramirez, job applicant at Jim's Restaurant

Dress for Success and Career Gear provide professional attire for men and women looking for work.

"You're in competition with a lot of other people for a job; you want to stand out in a good way," Floyd said.

The nonprofits rely heavily on donations to provide not only clothing but also offer workshops on job readiness in a variety of fields. Ramirez plans on looking into taking advantage of these services, even though he says he's been hired in the past at other restaurants after interviewing in casual attire.

"I thought she was going to look past what I was wearing and talk to me, give me a chance, you know, because I have a lot of experience, almost 12 years," Ramirez said.

Circa's San Antonio sister station WOAI reached out to the legal department of Jim's Restaurant. It refused to comment on this specific case. Jim's did say its 70-year reputation and more than 1,200 tenured employees speak for themselves.

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