I got involved in a conversation last night that wasn’t mine. I have a habit. That filter-thingy that is supposed to reside between your brain and your mouth? Apparently the function I have it set on is “ignore”…
I was at a local gas station / convenience store…picking up cigarettes and cookies and an energy drink (#JudgeMe)…and one of the other customers was speaking with another cashier about job opportunities within the chain that owed the store I was at. Apparently there are a lot, as the company is growing by leaps this year in this area.
They seemed to have a nice discussion. A lot of information given out.
And after the young woman stepped out of the store, one of the supervisors on duty made the comment:
“You should have told her she can’t work here with that bright pink hair…”
I get it. Kinda. I mean I don’t. Not at all, actually.
You’re going to tell me that a woman with bright pink hair (or tattoos. Tattoos were mentioned as well when I spoke up…) can’t provide excellent customer service because of her hair color?!?!? Well. If that’s not discrimination based on appearance!
I know: this whole “don’t judge people based on how they look” idea is brand new.
Oh wait. IT ISN’T. Nope.
The parameters change:
-don’t judge people based on what they wear
-don’t judge people based on their skin color
-don’t judge people based on their perceived physical disabilities
-don’t judge people based on their perceived country of origin
-don’t judge people based on their…
HOW ABOUT WE JUST DON’T JUDGE PEOPLE BASED ON THE WAY THE APPEAR.
Don’t judge someone based on what they say about themselves…through their words or how they look.
Judge them based on actions! And hell! You’re sure not going to know how they act until you HIRE THEM.
…which apparently isn’t going to happen with this company if you have “unnatural” hair color or visible tattoos.
By definition? My mauve-red hair is unnatural. It is. Think about it. It’s noticeable to pretty much anyone who looks at me that I color. I know. I get compliments all the time about how my hair color looks amazing!
But you’d allow me to work for this company because it’s no longer viewed as unnatural.
What if I told you I cannot possibly DO customer service in person because, although you seem to think I can be professional and pleasant, I cuss like a sailor (I do) and I don’t care that it offends you (I don’t) because people are stupid (they are)? I’m totally honest about the fact that me being fired during my first shift is a HUGE possibility because I just cannot tolerate stupid (and I don’t need the “job”. It would be totally different I suppose if I needed the position…). But based on my HAIR COLOR and the fact that I can hide my tattoos effectively, I am some how more qualified for the customer service job than the young lady with pink hair who was extremely pleasant and stated that she’s been working as a customer service manager for the past 3 years.
Yeah. About that shit…
I have a friend that is covered in tattoos. Lots of piercings. Listens to (and plays) punk music. Has a mohawk.
And is probably the biggest teddy bear you’ll ever meet.
Quit judging people on how they look.
I wear outlandish and slight provocative pieces because I want to. Because I’m comfortable in them and with my body. And if you stare, that’s on you. What I wear and how I set my hair doesn’t change how I operate and how I live my life.
I taught a training on a system of information flow at one point. The audience was small and professional (although a good section of them spent more time on their laptops than they did engaging with either the materials or me as a seminar leader or with each other as peers). I wore a knee-length skirt and a top with a blazer. And patterned panty hose with a open-cut flower vine design up the out side of my leg. Just one vine, running up from my ankle.
Guess what my comments after the fact were?
Oh come on. Guess.
It wasn’t the slides prepared or the discussion.
It was that 2 people (out of like 40…and all but 6 were men) mentioned -informally- something about my legs. So, I was asked to reconsider my tights to something more conservative and less distracting the next time I presented.
Um…really??? So you were paying more attention to my LEGS than you were to the materials being presented??? Well. If that’s not sexual harassment, I’m not quite sure what else it could be really.
My legs. You went with my LEGS. 5 hours of seminar and discussion and slides and you focused at some point on my LEGS.
Yeah. About that shit…
I can’t say that I made an effort to “tone it down” at subsequent events, though. Not to be in defiance, but because my apparel has no effect on what I know or my level of professionalism in this project. At. All.
My music depends on my mood. People are genuinely surprised that I can get out of my car in skirt, heels, and victory rolls with Sixx AM or Halestorm or Waylon Jennings or Cake or pretty much ANYTHING ELSE ON MY PLAYLIST blaring.
Yes, I listen to big band and swing as well. A LOT. But I don’t necessarily listen to it all the time. And that weirds people out I guess.
STOP JUDGING ME BASED ON WHAT I FELT LIKE PULLING OFF THE HANGER THIS MORNING!
And stop judging ANYONE based on their hair color or jewelry or music or clothes or tattoos or piercings or what EVER.
There’s a chance that they’re totally better at your job than you are. Wouldn’t it suck to lose your position to someone that you deemed unqualified based on how they look? Too bad they ACT better than you at what they should be DOING in that position than you do, huh???
Yeah. Stop it already.