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Your lifestyle, your quirk
The writers at SQ were asked to read an article about one woman’s business mishap and offer our opinions on the subject. Frankly, I was appalled.
The story is about a woman who was ready to become a permanent staff member at a particular company. So when she was called into the boss’ office, she was excited, rather than scared or worried. However, that soon changed.
When the girl started talking to her boss, the woman didn’t offer her a promotion at all. Rather, she insisted that someone in the office had said that the girl’s hair and makeup weren’t done well enough. Essentially, she was losing her promotion opportunity because she didn’t wear a cake of makeup or fix her hair to the nines. She refers to herself as being “homely.”
Those are the basics, if you consider that “basic” at all. I think it’s rather low. How can you choose an employee based on their looks? My first thought was that at the moment, I’m growing out my hair. Because it’s in one of those “awkward” stages, I don’t have a lot of great hair days. There are times I wished it looked better. But I know I’m more than competent and could handle a job.
So would I lose an opportunity because I’m growing out my hair?
Let’s put this into some perspective. We are talking about high-end offices here, and not jobs meant for those with a high school diploma. We are definitely talking about cubicle-sitting, phone-answering jobs. And there is nothing wrong with either of those levels; it’s just that after you graduate college, the job atmosphere is so much more competitive.
Because many people with similar majors often head in the same career direction, you get a group of educated, driven, and competitive people looking to pay off student loans, creating an atmosphere of elitism in certain areas. This may be one cause behind the kind of attitude the woman’s boss had.
Now, to a certain extent, I understand the need to look good to impress your employer. You’re expected to show respect toward the office you’re applying for and to the establishment you want to work for by looking your best. But at a certain point, having chipped nail polish shouldn’t affect your boss’ decision. The way you carry yourself, your willingness to learn, and the ability to think on your feet should make more of a difference. I would want someone with intelligence, caring, and ability on my team, even if they didn’t blow out their hair.
On that note, I think there may be a solution to this. If you’re working for a high-end company, you’re bound to get a few perks, right? Especially if you’re working in a really customer-service-centered company or the fashion industry. Employees of glossy companies need some kind of perk, right?
So why don’t big managers give their employees gift cards for local salons? This way, they could get their hair and nails done once a month or something. I think it’s a great way to solve a couple of problems. First, by treating your employees, you’re showing them respect and earning their loyalty. You’re also essentially providing lessons to the women who may not be makeup artists in their spare time. Yes, every girl has her own way of getting ready, but not every single woman knows how to perfectly do her hair and makeup. It can take years to learn that! So by putting your employee up in a salon once a month (maybe even until she really learned some more skills), you’d be doing much more for her, and gaining a happy employee. After all, it’s better to teach to teach someone the skills you want them to know, than criminalizing them for not knowing how to do something.