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So I am a fairly alternative person. I have been for years. I got my first nose ear piercing at 16, first tattoo at 18, and started dying my hair at 14. I always knew people judged those with body modifications but had never really experienced anything that bad prior to this story. Sure, I got the usual dirty looks and inappropriate comments that went anywhere from sexual innuendo to "You were so pretty before you did that." To which I responded, "I still am."
Anyway, at the time of this story, I had my head shaved—minus the top— kind of a Miley Cyrus circa 2012 and was dyed pink. I had tattoos but not too many that were super visible as well as a septum piercing (for those of you that don't know, it's a bull ring) and a vertical labret piercing (a ring that goes straight through your bottom lip from top to bottom instead of inside to out). So not quite as much as what I have now but still enough to get some looks.
I was looking for a job as this was post-Target Canada and finally got an interview at a music school as a receptionist. I thought this place would be a pretty good fit as most artists have unusual looks anyway, so why would they judge?
Well, turns out this place was a little more high society and violins than punk and guitars. So the whole alternative rock n' roll look wasn't totally for them.
The guy who interviewed me was not totally nice from the start and little ol' me assumed he was trying to put on a harsh face to weed out anyone who wasn't up for the job. So it took me a few minutes to clue into what was going on.
He asked me the usual few questions at first; my experience, prior jobs, why I thought I'd do well there etc. and then he asked one I wasn't expecting and had never been asked before in any other job interview.
"If it's Friday and all your friends are going out and you have to work, what would you do?"
So first, it's also important to note that I was a third-year university student at one of the top schools in Canada. Not exactly someone who slacks off and parties all day...
So, slightly caught off guard, I answer:
"Come into work..."
"Are you sure?" he asks me.
At this point, the attitude he was giving me was through the roof and clearly he does not believe I would show up. He then proceeds to lecture me on the importance of showing up at work on time and not calling in sick to party.
I am totally shocked at this man who clearly is judging me solely on my look instead of my clear work ethic—I had previous jobs that I was not fired from and had been at long-term with a long list of references. So my response to this is:
"I know I might look a little different and like someone who goes out and parties all the time, but honestly, I stay home most Friday nights anyway. I am not a big partier and have missed maybe two days in my six years of work. Also, I have never called in sick to party or hang out with friends. I just enjoy looking a certain way and expressing myself how I like."
The entire time I spoke he had his arms crossed with his lips pursed. I knew at this moment he wasn't even listening... So I left.
...Old White men though...