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

Angel Ramirez was turned away from a job interview at Jim's Restaurant because of his outfit. (Photo: WOAI)

SAN ANTONIO (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.

Angel 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 dish washing position at Jim's Restaurant.

"Just like whatever they had available really any position," Ramirez said. "They had the dish washing position available so I said yeah sign me up let's do it."

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.

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 dish washer position," Floyd said.

Dress for Success and Career Gear provides 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 non-profit relies heavily on donations to provide not only clothing but also to offer workshops on job readiness, in a variety of fields. Angel 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 twelve years," Ramirez said.

We reached out to the legal department of Jim's Restaurant. They refused to comment on this specific case. They did say their 70-year reputation and more than 12-hundred tenured employees speaks for itself.

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