Since this is a note to prospective employers, I want to be up front about this.
I have two noses. My "normal" nose, and a small nose near the top of my
forehead. My smaller nose is much smaller. Something like 15%-20% of
people have this second nose. In Silicon Valley lately folks have gone
to great lengths to hide it. Sometimes they will wear clothing to try
and disguise it: special wigs, or hats, or makeup. It is becoming quite
popular now for folks who discover they have a second nose to go to a
plastic surgeon to appear more acceptable. This usually works for a
time, but eventually it becomes obvious that they've had plastic
surgery, and it looks odd. Not really a second nose, not really normal
Well, I have a second nose. And I'm not ashamed of it. It's a part of
me, I don't think about it any more than I think about my eye color in
my day-to-day life. Of course my eye color has never been a reason I've
been denied a job.
If you ask "normal" people if second noses bother them, they will say
"No", at least in public. But I've surreptitiously overheard managers
complain about how distracting it is to have to talk with someone with
a second nose, and try and not stare at it. Once in a while a manager
will admit in public they don't like working with two nose people ...
because, well, two nose people are awkward to work with.
It's is common knowledge (you will frequently hear people say) that
folks with second noses are unable to keep up with new technologies.
They are slow to learn. They don't want to change their ways. They are
depressed and lonely. Many studies have been done showing this common
knowledge is just dead wrong, but the myth persists.
I can tell you that I am not depressed, I have indeed kept up with new
technologies, and do not feel oppressively lonely. I can also
point to specific instances of job interviews that were effectively
over when my second nose was revealed. Once in particular, I was
subjected to almost half a dozen phone screens and was then invited to
interview more than a thousand miles away. I performed as well in
person as I had on the phone, same strengths, same deficiencies.
No one said anything about my second nose, but I didn't get a job
offer, and I noticed (while walking around the company) absolutely no
one working there had a second nose. The company had just settled a
lawsuit a few months earlier about anti-nose discrimination. The CEO
had sent discriminatory email regarding two nose people. Was I not
hired because of my second nose? I certainly can't prove it, but I have
my suspicions. I've been denied jobs for other reasons at other
companies, and you rarely know for sure with complete certainty the
reason ... but when I've been denied at companies that have two nose
employees I figure that my second nose is not an issue. When I'm denied
at a company that doesn't seem to have any two nose people working
there currently despite substantial staff count I come to a different
Please, if your company has a thing about second noses, don't lead me
along. Don't subject me to multiple phone screens and in-person
interviews only to refuse me because of my second nose. I don't want to
be wasting my time interviewing at companies that won't hire me anyway.
I have a second nose, and I will continue to have a second nose. It's
not going away and I'm not going to attempt to hide it. If your company
has a long history of discriminating against two nose people don't
assume that simply bringing in candidates with two noses is going to
magically solve the problem. Human Resources can't fix the issue
without help from the very top, and inviting in candidates with two
noses will simply create resentment in the two nose community and their
supporters. It's going to make a bad situation worse.
And, just for the record, yes, I can indeed tell you exactly where I was sitting when I heard John F. Kennedy was shot.