“And the sign said ‘Long-haired freaky people need not apply’…”
— Five Man Electrical Band
My friend’s son, Mike*, is wrapping up his sophomore year in high school. He gets good grades, takes college classes in the summer, and is an overall sweet kid. Excited to be getting his license soon, he recently applied for a job at a local grocery store so he could afford the expenses that come with driving. Pretty responsible, I’d say, in this era of entitlement.
While speaking with the manager, Mike was told that he couldn’t work there unless he cut his hair; all males who work there are required to keep their hair above shoulder-length. Mike’s hair is long — about to his mid-back. But it is combed, clean, and well-kept.
I can appreciate the manager’s position — not wanting long hair around groceries. And Mike is more than willing to put it up, tuck it under a hat, or any other accommodation he needs to make — except cut it. But, those aren’t options for him. It’s cut it, or no job.
Mike made an interesting point – there are plenty of young women working at the store with long hair. They are simply required to wear it up. So, why is it any different for him? He says it seems a bit sexist.
It’s a thought to ponder. Why is it OK for the girls to have long hair but not the boys? Yes, it would be naive to think people no longer judge a book by its cover, but I know for me, as long as the person working at my grocery store is clean, helpful and friendly, I couldn’t care less about how they choose to wear their hair. I can also respect that some people may feel differently.
It’s a shame that this store is losing out on a potentially stellar employee over what, I think, is an outdated policy. What do you think? How important is the length of employee’s hair, or their overall appearance, to you and your shopping experience?
*not his real name
Image by somegeekintn