Monday, June 17, 2013

Woman shaves head in sympathy with sister undergoing chemotherapy, then resigns when asked by boss to wear wig before customers

Although this story is not specifically about I.T., it certainly speaks to a wider issue in the workplace, and also to some personal moral issues concerning “solidarity”.
A woman, Melanie Strandberg, shaved her head in sympathy for her sister who had been undergoing chemotherapy for ovarian cancer.  She worked in a beauty salon in a casino in Spokane, Washington.  She was asked to put on a wig at work, but refused, saying she couldn’t be there for her sister half the time.  She resigned from the job.

Complicating the story is the fact that she had battled cancer earlier herself.
In general, I have never been approachable to make symbolic body sacrifices to make another person’s problem “all right”.  Someone with my background might understand where I am coming from.  On Nov. 8, 2009, I had discussed (on the main “BillBoushka” blog) a “Be Brave a Shave” barbering session at a local neighborhood market in Arlington – although I am totally bald anyway, I did not offer to do it, but did report on it.  I also don’t have the history of closeness with people that siblings sometimes have (I am an only child).
The Quest casino that owns the property says it will investigate.  It may tell the salon to rescind the request, out of popular customer pressure. 
The UK Daily Mail has a story on the incident by Margot Peppers, here

I’m reminded of the old “dress for success’ guidelines of John T.t Molloy.  He wanted anyone at the executive level to look about 40 and have a little gray (with makeup, if he was younger).  That doesn’t compute anymore.  

Wikipedia attribution link for picture from NE Washington state.

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