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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

If you work at PDX...

... you can't have pink hair.

Comments (20)

You want pink hair, fine, but there are certain places where that isn't fine and won't work. I, personally, don't like pink hair, rings through noses or several other 'decorations' that people do to themselves - but I do recognize that it is their right to do it. It is also my right to not patronize a place that employs people who choose to decorate themselves in a manner that annoys me. So it's a matter of choice, the employer can choose if they wish to employ someone who 'needs' to look different. A potential employee has the choice to look like they wish, but run the risk of cutting down on potential jobs. The customer has the choice of not shopping at places where the appearance of an employee makes them feel uncomfortable.

Shouldn't we be respecting diversity?

If Portland worried about pink hair, lesbians, nose rings, tattoos or over educated history geeks, Powell's Books would not be the City of Books and Portland would not be Portland. The verdict is already in.

The Port of Portland does needs to check its GPS to hone in on its location. If PDX represents Portland, the pink hair stays. Otherwise its Disneyland without the Small World ride (after all, those mustaches scare people). This is just one more embarrassment to the City of Roses...

Well, N.O., the employer seems cool with it -- it's the employer's landlord who is imagining the problem and probably inviting a lawsuit if the young lady is hassled any further.

The Airport Powells is the freaking airport -- does anyone really think that people patronizing the Airport Powells are made "uncomfortable" by pink hair rather than the full-body-searches by the Theatrical Security Agency "Security Theatre" pretend-show?

Doesn't the Port staff have much more important things to fret, like cleaning up the PCBs and the deicing solution and figuring out how to survive in a world of high energy prices and carbon emissions limits??

Honest to Christmas, I thought this was The Onion at first.

We have been getting awfully casual when it comes to work. Remember when people wore a suit and tie to almost every job? I don't, that was before my lifetime, but with the economy and job market the way it is, I wouldn't rule out that type of dress code in the near future.

Fact is, someone complained, and it is not unreasonable to expect all airport employees, both internal and contracted, to adhere to a minimal appearance standard. Pink hair is a no-no at just about any business out there... why should she be an exception?

Pink hair is a no-no at just about any business out there...

How about blue? How about Clairol blond? How about a shaved head?

It should be up to the employer. The Port should have absolutely no say. Sorry, it's not up to the government to dictate.

Working at PDX is a big enough pain in the butt (i.e., hours of work, getting to the terminal, etc...). I'd quit if I was this person.

Wow...this is pretty sad. I think some people out at PDX need to remove the stick.
Pink hair doesnt affect her ability to do her job. Neither does a few bits of jewelry in the face. (Although, if you look like you should be leading a tribe in the Amazon, you might tone it down a little.)

Honestly, if someone with pink hair bothers you enough that you wont shop there, I feel sorry for you.

Remember when people wore a suit and tie to almost every job?

No. Because it was never true. At most working class jobs -- the bulk of the jobs in America before, say, the '60s -- you'd have been laughed out of the shop if you'd showed up in a suit and tie.

If you work at UPS you can't have a beard, pink hair or more than two earings per ear or any other visible piercings. You can, however, have a mustache.

Needless to say, Santa Claus is definitely not working for UPS!

Powells is NOT the aiport per se. Yes, Powells leases the space. Employees of pdx are subject to background checks etc. etc. same as all other pdx employees. That being said, it is not up to pdx to design the dress code for retail businesses.
Here at Powells we are all a bit wierd and quite frankly, that is what our customers LIKE about us and part of the reason they shop with us and choose our store over others. This is an established fact.
If the lady who objects to pink hair, nose rings and the myriad of other manners of dress that offend her then I would agree, she can choose not to shop at that company. It saddens me and many others for folks to be so judgemental re hair, body jewelry, tattoos etc. etc. Why does it matter so much whether a person wears a suit and tie, high heels, nylons or jackets? We are all humans with individual personalities and abilities. Give us a break - makes not one iota of difference in our ability to do the job, knowledge of the product or any other area an employer looks for in an employee.
I am quite proud to be a Powells employee working for such a fine, non discriminatory company. We love all of our customers and want everyone to shop with us - not to the point, however, of changing into business uniforms!!

I expected that I'd hear lots of comments, just like how you decorate yourself is a matter of personal choice, so are each of our opinions.

Powells is not PDX (I know, duh). However, as a 'landlord', I do have the right (depending upon how the lease contract is written) to not allow certain activities, behavior or whatever is written into the lease (needless to say, most of us don't know what is in the lease).

I've been to Powells, the degree of weirdness (my opinion) that is a draw for some people is a distraction to me. I certainly don't hurt for other establishments to do my shopping.

As for the Powells employee who says, "...makes not one iota of difference in our ability to do the job, knowledge of the product or any other area ..." you are correct, but if your appearance is what I'm looking at, then chances are I'm not really hearing the answers to my questions. Is it necessary to make sure that you stand out from the crowd? Does having pink hair or piercing enhance or improve your job performance? The answers to my questions are no, the same answer that your questions have. My guess is that you get as many people coming to Powells because you allow people to dress that way as you have not coming to the stores for the same reason.

Bottom line, it will probably depend upon how the lease is written.

Is this town really that much of a backwater ?

I'm pushing 40, and I vaguely remember a time way back in my teens, when punk rock was going on, when pink hair was considered shocking.

These days, when I see someone with pink hair, I automatically assume that they have nothing to say that I haven't heard a thousand times before.

"Does having pink hair or piercing enhance or improve your job performance?"

Maybe not - but neither does it decrease one's job performance (unless there's a chance of injury from overly long hair getting caught in machinery) In fact, if the employee is happier, maybe it actually *does* improve their job performance.

It's just hair for the love of Mike.

Among all social primates the most ferocious fighting is over hierarchical rank. This is hardly about hair color: it's about who is going to respect who.

Well put, ep. How dare the drone retail droid working for Powells show disturbing evidence of having a personality, pretending to be an individual by failing to be totally unmemorable in appearance.

I can certainly see why this would make a real person -- the customer -- uncomfortable. Next thing you know, the retail droid might think of herself as much entitled to courtesy and respect as a real person. The horror!

When I'm in an airport bookshop, like all businesses serving tourism, I want the people to be as individual and memorable as the tissue toilet seat covers. Uppity droids like Miss Redhair are really what's keeping Portland down, after all.

Sorry, I just fail to see pink hair as evidence of any kind of individuality.

Maybe 20 or 25 years ago, when such things guaranteed you a good chance of having to physically defend yourself from an ass-kicking on a regular basis, it was emblematic of an eccentric or a rebel of some kind. You know, someone that was willing to take a very real risk.

But in 2009 ?

On the freakin' freaky West Coast ?

Maybe in Alabama or Wyoming, pink hair is still the badge of the free thinker.

But in Portland ?

Come on, out here welding and machine shops and tractor pulls are where the individuals are to be found, not at bookstores and in coffee shops.

Thousands upon thousands of pink haired individuals, admiring each other at institutions such as Powell's for their individuality...they might as well be looking in the mirror.

And there are still people on the West Coast that are shocked by pink hair, when it is pretty much the norm ?

Or maybe I'm all wrong, and Portland really is the provincial, uptight backwater people warned me about...

My comment about respect wasn't meant to endorse either side in this argument. The social sciences are clear on these sorts of conflicts: even a mild symbol of individuality or, more accurately, independence, is going to provoke hostility and may require defending either from a physical attack or an attack on one's social status. Even in large complex organizations we primates are truly wolves for conformity and morbidly sensitive to issues of rank and respect. To say that she should be left alone because pink hair doesn't mean anything avoids the point. It means something, else everybody would behave with an attitude of absolute indifference. The conflict is about respect, not hair. Respect, territory and power. And personally, I've never known any high ranking person to walk away from any contest of wills because the contested subject was too small or too trivial. If anything, triviality attracts even greater fury.

Pink hair I can stand. Let's talk about white guys with dreads.

Hello, it's me: the pink haired girl. It was really encouraging to read this thread. Thank you to everyone who posted.

I have to say, Cabbie is dead-on. I did not dye my hair pink to "make a statement" as so many people have oddly assumed. I just thought it would be fun and look good. I never imagined it would begin to mean so much to me. And when I did it, I assumed I was free to do so since it did not violate the dress code at Powell's, or the one put forth by the Port. See what I mean? It was not a form of rebellion because there was nothing to rebel against.

I've made a post about it in my blog with more details, if anyone is interested:

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