Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Stand your ground

Last month a new company president was hired and will be taking over in a few weeks and as with any changing of the guard people are concerned. You'll have upper management kissing ass to get on the good graces of the new boss in hopes of maintaining their dominance. You'll have mid and lower management kissing ass to get on the good graces of the new boss in hopes of climbing the corporate ladder. I on the other hand have a more personal concern, my hair.

For the most part the only people that will be seriously concerned about making sure their appearance is proper for the president are the people that are going to be around him most and that would be the people working at corporate headquarters. Our corporate headquarters is two buildings with about 50 people. Well the other 49 can all be divided between black woman, white man, and white woman. Yes that leaves me, the only black man out just not corporate headquarters but out of all 250+ employees across 28 offices and branches, as the odd man out.

That means there is absolutely no one else in the whole company that has my exact combination of hair issues. Currently I keep my hair in an afro that I'm damn proud to have for my own reasons. Don't get me wrong I don't mean to shrug off the people who started the style but I wear my afro because I like it. Along with it I have thin sideburns that lead into a goatee and mustache that just quite can't connect on my top lip. It stays neat and trimmed and I really don't see any reason to remove. On the other hand I've been told that this new president is a very formal person as in he only owns suits and tied formal. Now I don't want to assume before even meeting him that he would have a problem with my hair however having heard so many stories from men of color about how others problems with their hair has interfered with their careers I'm worried.

I don't want to start off on an ill note with this guy (through my own fault or otherwise) however if he pulls some racist shit over my hair this might get ugly and I'm about certain I would not have a job by the time the smoke clears. Yeah about two weeks ago I probably would have cut it depending on how he went about requesting it but now I'm pretty sure that no matter how he goes about trying to get me to change my hair it will not end well (and it also helps that my brother is a paralegal).

Perhaps I am the one that needs to teach him that there is no correlation between hair style and work ethic (meaning afro/braids/locs don't necessarily mean thug/gangsta/degenerate). Perhaps it won't matter to him as long as I handling my responsibilities. Perhaps I'm getting worked up over nothing. But what I do know is that I'm going to stand my ground on this.