Woman Says She Was Denied Job for Not Putting NSFW Name on Application

In a now-viral post on Reddit, a woman named Lana said she was rejected for a job because she didn't spell her name backward on her application.

Posting on the social media platform's "Antiwork" forum on Sunday under the username u/Pitiful-Clerk-3750, Lana said the employer asked all candidates to spell their names backward on their applications. However, she refused because her name "literally spells a sexual act when spelled backward."

The post has garnered over 1,900 upvotes and more than 1,700 comments slamming the "stupid" requirement.

Boss with job applicant
In a now-viral post on Reddit, a woman named Lana said she was rejected for a job because she didn't spell her name backward on her application. fizkes/istock

The Post

In her post, Lana said the company wanted to hire someone who was "meticulous with details," so they included a list of instructions in the job listing for candidates to follow when submitting their applications.

"I followed all their...requirements except for spelling my name backward. They still reached out to me to schedule an interview so that is where I figured they clearly read my resume and [saw] I [was] qualified and also saw my first name and it clicked why I didn't spell my name backward," she wrote.

Though she completed three rounds of interviews with the company, Lana said she was ultimately rejected for the job because she didn't complete "all [the] requirements of the initial application."

"They were clearly interested in me enough for three interviews and either didn't notice I spelled my name the correct way at first, which is [ironic] because they wanted someone who was meticulous with details and couldn't achieve that themselves. Or they just typed their email because they knew all along I didn't spell my name [backward] and that clearly wasn't the ultimate deciding factor," Lana said. "I can't believe this is what the job world has come to."

Speaking to Newsweek, Lana said she never responded to the company's rejection email.

"It just felt like a battle not worth fighting since I didn't want to respond by bringing light to a situation I wanted to avoid in the beginning," she said. "I really don't think it would have gotten me anything except being left on read."

Why Employers 'Ghost' Candidates

According to Monster's Emerging Workforce Survey, 34 percent of employers have "ghosted" candidates for various reasons including failure to "follow instructions."

"Job postings often state what candidates have to submit with their applications. Applicants should follow these instructions to the letter," Monster said. "Employers will use job application instructions as a test to see how closely you read and follow directions. So if an application requires three writing samples and you only supply one, guess what? You're not going to be considered for the position. Don't claim to be detail-oriented and then fail to follow the instructions in the job posting."

Employers also admitted to ghosting candidates who were underqualified, weren't the "right fit" or who didn't send a follow-up email.

Redditors React

Lana's commenters felt that forcing candidates to spell their names backward was a "stupid" requirement.

"Ridiculous. I'm an editor and routinely have to jump hoops to prove I'm meticulous, but this takes the cake," u/Amiedeslivres wrote.

"This is a clear example of how people in management don't know what they are doing so they make it up as they go and pretend their dumb processes mean something," u/human0id77 said.

"Their loss. What a stupid requirement. It also probably discriminates unfairly against those with dyslexia or similar conditions," u/Rude_Direction_5088 commented.

u/Mewlover23 added: "The fact that jobs are asking people to spell their names backward in order to get a job..."

Other Viral 'Antiwork' Posts

Commenters slammed a recruiter on Monday who asked a worker to show her around their room during a Zoom interview. Last week, commenters also criticized a boss who allegedly assigns after-hours "homework" to his employees. Additionally, Redditors applauded a job applicant last week who left a job interview after waiting over an hour for a manager to show up.

08/08/2022, 5:01 p.m. EST: This article has been updated to include a comment from Lana.