Tag Archives: discrimination

Cooperate World or Discrimination?

9 Aug

Since I wanted to start blogging again, I have sort of planned out what I wanted to blog about. However when I got to work today, my unpublished blog for today would have to wait until tomorrow. Another blog was already in the making.

I have been working at a hotel for about a month now, and I work at the front desk. When I got the job I already knew that I would have to keep my hair done. I knew that I couldn’t just walk out of the house looking like a rag-a-muffin! To make it even more difficult in terms of my hair, I have gone natural. Well at least for a little while. I haven’t put a chemical relaxer in my hair in about 7 months, if not longer. When I first started working at “the hotel” I wore weaves, because it is convenient, I wanted to look nice, and I knew the hotel in which I work was not going to allow me to be “natural”. I talk to a lot of guest who have natural hair styles, and most if not all tell me, “You should just wear your natural hair, in an afro”. Not something that I am interested in doing at all! And not something that “the hotel” would accept. I went natural because I want healthy hair, not because I am into natural styles. I want my hair to be straight but healthy. Not healthy and nappy. What makes it worse is I have my cosmetology license, but I am so use to having a relaxer that I don’t know how to manage natural hair styles. At this point I need my creamy crack! Chemical hair relaxers are my drug of choice! After about 3 weeks of weaves, I decided to let my hair breath for a week or so. I did my hair in some small flat twist going to the side with tiny rods. I thought it looked dry but it was cute. No problem there. I heard no complaints at work, in fact I got lots of compliments! Once my curls started to fall I braided my hair and took it a loose. My hair was wavy as well as curly. It was very cute! I got compliments on this style too. Too bad “the hotel” well at least my supervisor didn’t think so.

When I got to work this morning, my immediate supervisor said, “Oh Porschea what’s going on with your hair”? In response I said, “Nothing. What’s wrong with it? I like it”. Everything else goes downhill from there. I asked how am I suppose to wear my hair then. My supervisor told me, “Down and straight or pulled back”. How discriminatory! I was burning mad which is an understatement! We went back and forth about the situation and I was told that working in a cooperate environment you have to conform. How fucked up is that! First off I don’t think that I work in a cooperate environment. I work in hospitality for the moment, at a three and a half star hotel. I am a front desk agent, not a CEO of a company or the CEO of “the hotel”. I have a huge mouth so I keep saying things back. Like, “This is messed up…I don’t put chemicals in my hair, so its not going to be straight…what do you want me too look like a white women…I should have known…this is discriminatory. And to top it all off my supervisor is black! He did tell me that he would rather tell me then someone else say something to me about my hair. He also referred me to the handbook. As a black women I took offense to the entire conversation. My supervisor attempted to show that he cared about the situation but I felt it was phony. The damage had already been done.

I had already read the handbook prior, but I didn’t recall anything in the handbook about hair being straight, down, and pulled back. I did remember that females could not wear bright colored nail polish, nail designs; nothing other then neutral toned nail polish colors. But amazing enough I had on bright nail polish! I was wearing Jade Jump by Sally Hansen. To be exact I painted my nails in the staff bathroom that morning before my shift, because I got to work early. But nothing was said about my nails, only my hair and I couldn’t wear the style that I had up in “the hotel“.

While at work I got a copy of the handbook and nowhere does it say that the hair is suppose to be straight, down, or pinned back. I did however read, “Please understand that you are expected to dress and groom yourself in accordance with accepted social and business standards“. However no one has explained to me what “social and business standards” are. But since I have read the handbook again I am definitely gonna ask. If my supervisor was still at work I would have asked today. The handbook then states, “Hair must present a natural color and professional style”. However it was never explained as to what a “professional style” is. I will be asking about this as well. While typing this blog, I texted my supervisor to let him know that I read the handbook and the straight hair, down, and pinned back statement was not in there. I then asked him so who really told you to tell me that? I still haven’t heard a response, and I am off tomorrow. I doubt if I will hear back from him. I will have to talk to him in person. I guess the follow up to this confrontation will be blogged about another day. Until then give me your thoughts. Do you think that my supervisor was right with the statements that he made about me having to wear my hair straight, down and pinned up? Were they discriminatory? Or should I have known better then to wear waves and curls to “the hotel”? Give me your feedback because I would love to hear from you. I need some serious insight on this issue!