Weird....but in a good way!

by Essitam

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As a teenager I knew everything....I'm still trying to figure out when I forgot it all.

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I thought I could get this out of my system with just a passing reference and a bit of a rant on Facebook, but oh my I'm so pissed off I have to rant and rant and I NEED the sympathy of you good people!!

I went to work today (as you do)

I'm not sure who knows what about what I do but basically I'm a minimum wage slave in a jeweller's who's been working damn hard to get the promotion she was offered last summer (I blogged about it when I started my training) but due to changes of management, issues in store and god knows what else I'm still stuck in the position I first started the company in 2 years ago.

ANYWAY the beginning of this year we had yet another new manager and after another new "getting to know you" period was basically told (again) that I had to prove to her, being new to the store, that I was capable of doing the job I wanted, So I set out to prove to her, consistently hitting and beating
my own targets by considerable amounts to the point where last period I scored 2nd in the whole area on performance in my level and this period 1st.

So then I'm told I have to show her I'm professional enough to lead the team, by not being opinionated and using the respect i already have from the team to get the job done. So this last month I've tried REALLY REALLY hard to do EVERYTHING she's asked of me. Not been distracted my idle talk, helping out with others tasks when I've finished my own, delegating jobs to other members of the team when I can see one person has far too be told today that I've impressed her BUT I can't have the promotion yet because I don't wear make up to work every day....

....Not only that I wont get the job if I get my hair cut short like it is in this photo again as the Area Manager didn't like it, "It looked fashionable, not professional"!!

Now I'm sorry but i thought jobs were handed out on the merits of performance not appearance.....I no longer want the promotion.

I no longer want to work there, I'd rather work somewhere I'm valued for my work ethic than somewhere that dictates to how I should wear my hair!!


Does anyone want to employ me??
14th Jun 2007, 19:56   | tags:,,,

thats shit that they arent giving you what you deserve because you dont wear makeup and have short hair . if you were dolled up like a hooker im sure they wouldnt like it either.! silly buggers not giving you the job youve worked hard for!

14th Jun 2007, 20:02

That's discrimination. Take the f**kers to court and arrange for some drop-outs to rob the shop!

14th Jun 2007, 20:06

Essitam says:

It is so frustrating -

I wouldn't mind but she even added "you have lovely skin you wouldn't need to wear foundation just something around the eyes!"

OK - if she says so....

I should also point out I have a manager that DOESN'T wear make up herself....and she's hasn't got a 7 year old to help get ready for school before she leaves the house in a morning!

I DO wear make up sometimes, just other times i just don't feel like it and/or I don't have the time.

and unfortunately they get around the "discrimination" by using the small print in our contracts...

"Female members of staff should be well groomed with neat and tidy hair styles"

14th Jun 2007, 20:07

what's neater and tidier than short hair? also the clause in the contract is sexist - why only female members? take it to court!

14th Jun 2007, 20:16

MaggieD says:

I am just so gobsmacked by all this that it will take me a while to put together a constructive response! ......

14th Jun 2007, 20:16

spongevid says:

thats appauling. i can't imagine how angry you are over it all!
my mate julia had problems at work about her hair, but it was red so we could see why they would talk to her about it, but having short hair?!?!?!
its pathetic how everything in the world is going really...

14th Jun 2007, 20:19

Essitam says:

PH - No that's just the part about female members, there is a separate piece for males.. "Male employees should always be well groomed, clean shaven and wear a tie of a single neutral colour"

I'm really thankful I'm working in Stafford for the next two days and then off to Pearl Jam Monday night so I'm not actually back to my "home" store until Wednesday, hopefully by then I will have also constructed a reasonable response that doesn't consist of one sentence...

"Stick your job!"

14th Jun 2007, 20:21

Essitam says:

Oh and Vid....I used to have red streaks in my hair, in fact I did when they employed me and I stopped doing it because of that line in the contract!

14th Jun 2007, 20:26

Dhamaka says:

that's constructive dismissal
get advice

14th Jun 2007, 20:29

Essitam says:

D - How is it "constructive dismissal" when they have terms set out like the catch all statement I quoted earlier in our contracts??

I'm not even leaving YET??

I will be because I just don't want to work for the company anymore.

I know I've not been the perfect employee at times...but since she has asked me to prove to her I can be...I have been trying so hard and I have all the documentation and her own admission that backs me up.

I just don't want to work for a company with this ethic or someone with this out look....she readily admitted to another member of staff that she "singles me out to see if I'm up to the position" something that I was informed of this afternoon....BUT whatever I just don't care enough about it anymore this is the final straw I dont want to be there!

What I'm really frustrated over more than anything is now I need to go I don't know what to do...where do I start looking???


Stuff it - I'm going to bed to eat chocolate cake and watch house I have an early start in the morning!

14th Jun 2007, 20:40

Dhamaka says:

That's what constructive dismissal is about. Forcing you out through unreasonable / dodgy practices

I am really serious E... Check it out.

You'll be fine when you calm down a bit, you're a creative, intelligent person and I'm sure you'll be able to think outside the box and find a route to work with people who aren't trying to push you out

14th Jun 2007, 20:55

minkey says:

grhh.... that's really unacceptable behavior from an employer. Don't know the law in the UK but you should check it out as D suggested. Hope you'll get through

14th Jun 2007, 21:05

MaggieD says:

I agree with D, this is constructive dismissal ... first question is always, are you a member of a union ? ....

14th Jun 2007, 21:08

540air says:

THat's bloomin' awful. I tend to agree with D, that it has a ring of constructive dismissal about it. They keep messing you about til you leave, then try the "not our fault guv" routine.

Is there a competitor you could apply to work for? It'll be their loss if you go.

14th Jun 2007, 21:14

it's all well and good having terms like "constructive dismissal" which have fine definitions, but according to PCS figures, LESS THAN 2% of cases reach a satisfactory conclusion. Obviously this figure doesn't take into account cases which are settled out of court, but don't get your hopes up on that one unless you have shedloads of hard evidence and a good legal team. Get her to give you her comments in writing.

14th Jun 2007, 21:21

ViX says:

Thats just downright wrong.

14th Jun 2007, 21:46

Helen says:

I love that picture.

Sheesh. That's all overly much. Grrrrr.

14th Jun 2007, 22:11

bronxelf says:

"Female members of staff should be well groomed with neat and tidy hair styles"

Short hair is compliant with that directive.
There is nothing that indicates that makeup is required in that directive.

What would happen were you allergic to cosmetics?

Well groomed is neat, clean and tidy. There is absolutely *nothing* in the above statement that would indicate that short hair or a lack of cosmetics would exclude you from having this job.

Now, I don't blame you for wanting to leave, but before you do that, is there someone higher up the food chain you can take this? Cause this right here? Is bullshit.

14th Jun 2007, 22:45

Caine says:

For fuck's sake! That is utter bullshit. As long as you are neat, well groomed and dressed appropriately, there should be no other terms you need to meet. This stinks to me of something else going on - can you write a complaint or lay out the situation to someone over Ms. Perfect's head?

14th Jun 2007, 22:54

Euphro says:

They are giving you the run-around. They obviously don't want to, or can't, promote you, but they are getting a hell of a good deal out of your dedication and hard work as they motivate you with promises they don't intend to keep. With the experience you have gained, there is almost certainly someone else around who would appreciate you much more.

14th Jun 2007, 22:58

hildegard says:

"Well groomed" need not imply make up in any case. Agree with Euphro - bail.
Could you commute to the Jewelry Quarter?

14th Jun 2007, 23:14

Spiderbaby says:

I agree with Euphro (and all of the above). She's keeping you squashed. You have lasted longer than most managers so far though, maybe she's not going be around for much longer???
Keep calm. It's the last thing she'll expect.You are damn good and you know it and she knows it. Look for other work. If you can stomach it, apply for management positions in rival stores. Something will turn up.

14th Jun 2007, 23:30

Spiderbaby says:

Your hair looks great :)

14th Jun 2007, 23:32

Viv says:

this type of management is exactly why Beth left her last job and her previous job had a similar management philosophy - some firms just seem to have a we control you ethos and it really is very hard to win against them

15th Jun 2007, 01:21

Essitam says:

Thanks guys....

I did exactly what I said I was going to do in my earlier post and went to bed.

I feel more relaxed now even if it is stupid o'clock in the morning and I have a train to catch!

I'm leaving FULL STOP.

BUT while I'm looking I'm going to do a lot of what was suggested in the above "stay calm" "write a letter" etc....I would have really liked to have stuck it out and had the position firmly on my C.V before I had to apply elsewhere but needs must!

Oh, Bronxelf (and others) the contract does go on to stipulate more criteria to the statement E.G make up...the short hair ruling however I'm sure she's made that one up ;-)

15th Jun 2007, 07:04

BaggieBoy says:

You probably do have grounds for discrimination or constructive dismissal, but as pointed out you need evidence. Sounds like a crap firm to work for anyway. As others have said stay calm and look elsewhere. Good luck anyway.

15th Jun 2007, 09:11

Dicko says:

Well this is the world of business!!!

I have had meetings with people who unless you wear a suit they wont meet with you!

15th Jun 2007, 09:19

Dhamaka says:

and keep a diary / log, just in case


15th Jun 2007, 09:23

seaneeboy says:

That is bloody awful, so sorry to hear it matey :(

There's a law in the UK that says you can't make unreasonable demands in the contract and enforce them - so for instance if I get someone to sign a contract saying it's OK for me to punch them, and I do, I can't use the defence of "It's ok, he signed a contract" - because it's an inreasonable request. i'd still be guilty of assault.

The case could be made that they forced you into signing the contract (because no job otherwise) and was not up for negotiation.

This is the same premise that people are claiming back bank charges on.

Aaaanyway, to be on the safe side, if you do get legal advice or anything, don't go on about it on the blogs - you don't want to let anything slip :)

Best of luck in the jobhunt too.

15th Jun 2007, 10:10

Carpe says:

I so hate the way people with a little bit of authority think they can treat people !
I Have a fair bit of experience in this field (harrasment and constructive dismissal)
If you need help getting it together Dhamaka can get in touch with me. As for the contract they are in no way as binding as you may believe.
You really should progress this if not for yourself then for the next unfortunate who they set upon.

15th Jun 2007, 10:52

Dhamaka says:

Essitam - Carpe is a good guy with lots of experience. Listen to him. Please do something to defend yourself and I'd be delighted to act as a go-between.

15th Jun 2007, 13:51

kyoob says:

My regards to you, I've nothing to add but my support - i've been through a unfair dismissal tribunal and settled out of court, I can guess how you might feel.


15th Jun 2007, 17:30

kel says:

That's awful. Your hair's lovely. And obligatory make up? Sheesh. Is this the 1950s?


15th Jun 2007, 18:27

Essitam says:

WOW - See I knew I did right ranting on here you guys are amazing. thank you for your support!!

I have a few days off after tomorrow (as a I mentioned earlier) and I'm not even at my own store at the moment so plan on doing nothing but enjoy myself.

I know how I'm going to approach this now and I cant thank you all enough for the suggestions you've put forward. I won't be saying anything else on the matter on here until i have it resolved one way or another....

But seriously thank you all so much!!

15th Jun 2007, 19:52

FilbertFox says:


15th Jun 2007, 21:21

Woah, Just catching up, that's shit that is..

You need to get out of there. I'll mail you..

16th Jun 2007, 16:08

SWMBO says:

That is pants, and she is right, you have lovely skin and do not need make up!

Is she a withered old witch that is a double bagger, there is a whiff of jealousy around all this and also of her being a bully.

I am guessing you will be taking this further as you are not going to discuss it publically anymore, but for one of them to stick, I think it's constructive, you need to have gone down the grievance route before you hand in your notice.

Good luck, I am sure you'll have your day!

18th Jun 2007, 10:25

Essitam says:

Discussions have been had and as far as I'm concerned it's been sorted now, thanks everyone for kind words and advise.


26th Jun 2007, 15:01