Time to r/investigate.
Last week we were sent an incredible story a person purporting to be a first seat trainee had posted on Reddit.
'Keep_giving_up' said she had booked time off work, but when her firm's HR team found out that she was going to use her leave to go and watch a football match and an F1 race, they cancelled it on the basis that spectating at such pursuits was not "ladylike" or "becoming of the profession" for female employees.
The trainee said she even had the outrageous rejection in writing, and produced a copy of the text:
Your holiday request has now been denied. Based on the events of this past weekend, we do not believe that it is prudent for the business activities of the firm for a member of their staff to be attending a football match at this time.
Furthermore, we believe that any prospective client who sees such activities on your social media would be shocked and possibly disgusted. We do not see the attendance of one of our female employees at a football match as ladylike or becoming of the profession.”
Redditors were unanimous in their condemnation of the unidentified firm for its brazen sexism.
“They’ve essentially said that they don’t believe that a female trainee solicitor should be going to these events, and if a client was to find me on social media they would be disgusted”, added the lawyer.
“It feels unfair, and I’m now going to lose a lot of money because of their views. Is there anything I can do?”
Yes, was the consensus – get an employment lawyer and take them to the cleaners. And when it crossed ROF's desk, the urge to believe in something so juicy, so mad, and so black and white, was strong.
Except…even Brigadoon’s local firm knows that banning a woman’s holiday because she’s going to watch football is a touch outdated, and its HR team is only in the office once every hundred years.
Reddit isn’t always as anonymous as it seems, and through piecing together clues from keep_giving_up's posting history I was able to determine her identity. She was a real trainee. I got in touch. Was this really true, I asked her? Because, if so – wow.
Or, I said, were you trolling Reddit? Which would be commendable. I emphasised that in either case I’d preserve her anonymity in my story.
Instead, she flat out denied being keep_giving_up. The evidence she was the redditor, which I won't disclose for obvious reasons, was overwhelming. But she maintained that she didn't have a clue what I was talking about. A few minutes later, keep_giving_up's Reddit profile was deleted.
Which rather suggests it was a wind-up. As you no doubt suspected. After all, a good rule of thumb is that whenever a headline poses a question the answer is always 'no'.
Or, she's keeping her powder dry, or, I contacted completely the wrong person. In which case you'll know exactly what's going on when your HR team is sacked and a football-loving trainee starts driving a MacLaren MP4/4 to work.