Back when I was a hip, cool and groovy teenager in the mid- ’80s (this would of course only be in my head – the rest of the world, particularly the female race, used a much simpler descriptive phrase), it was pretty hard to get a Saturday job. Nobody really wants to work when they’re a teenager, but as we all discover very fast, alcohol does not grow on trees.
My friend got a job working the freezer department in a supermarket. Figuring that if somebody who was equally as much of a dick as I was could get a job there, it would be a walk in the park to join him. But I couldn’t have been more wrong, as I was told that my hair was too long and would give the wrong impression to customers. Maybe the dude was just jealous that I still had some hair. Anyway, I did eventually get a job – I guess it all depends what you’re prepared to do for money. For those interested, it was stacking car exhausts off a truck, which sounds way more glamorous than it actually was.
Fast forward a number of years and I see that very same supermarket – Tesco – doesn’t worry so much about it anymore. My local store has security guys with many visible tattoos, they even have a young guy working the tills who is quite noticeably battling with which colours to steal from his Ma’s make-up bag. As an old glam-banger myself, I say this as an observation, not as a detrimental comment – this is good all round. So far as I can tell, being a – how can I put this – ‘visible minority’ – is a non-issue when it comes to employment in some important and key places. Not only is it acceptable, it appears to be a non-issue which is even better.
Yet I know from some of the mail we get, that this isn’t the case everywhere. I guess some places still want to appear to be ‘respectable’, though who they think their audience is in 2012, is anyone's guess. Sometimes though, I think it’s used as a convenient excuse. Back in 1985, my hair wasn’t anywhere close to long. My face simply didn’t fit. Much as I would like to think we've moved on, the same happens today everywhere.
Rather than attack those who are still playing a 1980s game, lets go positive and hear about those that have moved on...