One superintendent too many: A husband and wife compete for the same job

By |  January 9, 2020 0 Comments

The following was written and submitted by Liza Chmielewski.

Jeremy and I met at Penn State in the fall of 2001. We were both enrolled in the two-year golf course turfgrass management certificate program with goals of becoming golf course superintendents someday. After graduating, life happened. We got married, started a family and moved to be somewhere between our two families. We were both jobless at the time of the move. No pressure.

Photo courtesy of Liza Chmielewski

Jeremy and Liza Chmielewski (Photo courtesy of Liza Chmielewski)

A nearby golf course posted a job looking for an assistant superintendent. We both had all the qualifications they were looking for, so we both applied. I wonder what the superintendent thought seeing two separate applications with the same last name and address apply for the same job. We both got interviews. Mine was first.

The interview process was a drive around the course looking at different areas and discussing my background and what I could bring to the job. I thought it went well. Jeremy’s interview was the next day and I gave him a little inside information on what I was asked and my thoughts on the course and superintendent. He came back from the interview with the same feelings and thought his went well too.

We both followed up our interview with a thank you letter and waited for a response. Jeremy got the job offer and accepted. I spoke with the superintendent after all of this and he said that even though I had the better interview and was just as qualified for the job, the membership would not want to see a female working as the assistant at the course. And that was the end of my career working on a golf course.

Jeremy went on to work for this superintendent for about four months before finding a better opportunity. I worked nights waitressing before an opportunity at LESCO opened up. And the rest is history.

It’s interesting how one person’s seemingly innocent comment could be so life changing. I’m not mad this is how things played out. Two superintendents in a family is one too many, although I’m always willing and able to help him with aerification, and I volunteer when staff is short. Just don’t give me any of those ‘girl’ jobs.

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