Ponytails and prejudice
I had expected better. I suppose I was naive.
At some level, most of us understand the importance of looking the part in a service business. We expect to see bankers in suits, nurses in scrubs, pilots in uniforms, priests in clerical collars, and the folks running the Disneyland Jungle Cruise in safari garb. But it’s a sad thing when an employer hesitates to hire a qualified candidate for fear of triggering a clients’ personal prejudices.
Nor is it always as simple as anticipating a client’s preferences. Some employers indulge their own prejudices by projecting them onto clients.
I have tended to stand on principle when it comes to hiring and for the most part I have been lucky. Still, I acknowledge practical limitations. Without clients, one can stand on principle only for so long.
My ponytailed account executive bore the disdain with grace, or at least with the appearance of it. My clients could have learned a thing or two from him.