I was diagnosed with alopecia almost 8 months ago when I first started losing my hair. I am an "essential worker" and have worked onsite alongside my lateral colleagues and subordinates through most of the pandemic. I've been candid with those who I know well. I interact with my boss and upper management via zoom only. The director of my department was hired during the pandemic, and we haven't been getting along. At the core I think it's hard to establish trust online.
Now that you have the background, on to today, Thursday. Monday I wore a wig to work for the first time. I just don't have enough hair left to make hats look decent any more. I have never been more nervous about how I look ever. But for the most part, it's gone well, especially because I feel comfortable around the people I work with.
Today I joined in on a meeting the director was hosting. The director started out the meeting (included several people, but no one I've talked about the wig to) by saying my name and, "look at your hair? Is it REAL?"
I just nodded no because I was on mute and kind of shocked. Director responded, "Ah, I thought so." and then moved on to actual business.
Because of this experience, I feel like I wasted a lot of money on this wig, and I don't want to wear it. More importantly, I want to call out this behavior and let the director know how inappropriate it was. But they make twice the salary as me and we don't have a good working relationship. Anyone have a similar experience or advice on how I can do this tactfully and in a way that makes helpful impact?
Exactly. Thank you.
Allow me to clairify least there be some continuing speculation I am a young person and therefore am somehow taking undo “offense” due to my misguided, uninformed youth as apparently I am one of those “quite a bit younger people” who “takes offense so easily” and requires adult supervision:
I passed the designation of “senior citizen” decades ago. I aged out of full retirement shortly thereafter. I am not simply “old,” I can be found in the Antiquities Section of Old Farts in the Fossil Display. I have long since lost patience and respect for blame shifters, those who minimize, rationalize and defend behavior that is not simply indefensible and clearly odious behavior but illegal as well. Speculating on how the offender felt before, during or after rather than *what they did* is a well recognized and transparent Distraction and Diversion Tactic. Further, age does not automatically confer wisdom or superior discernment any more than it’s a Get Out Of Jail Free Card for assuming young people are more likely to take irrational, illogical and spurious offense due strictly to their age. What age *does* confer is shrinking telomeres and age related cognitive decline such as the ability to reason logically from point A to point B.
All ages take offense-and well they should and call it exactly what it is-when an offense is committed.
I did “not tolerate fools gladly” according to one of my professors in a report to another institution when I was completing undergrad. My tolerance for such behavior has decreased proportionate to my decrepitude and if it were any lower, it would be completely nonexistent. Playing the age card with me will ensure you have even less credibility than you assumed you had previously: You never know who’s on the other side of that keyboard.
Wow, so much vitriol. It does seem to be a new age thing. There was less anger in the past but, yes, some older people can be just as angry as others. You proved your point.
If this boss meant to offend he will do so again. If not he will be ashamed. Sorry, but I was brought up with the idea that we should think the best of people until they prove otherwise. His subsequent behaviour will prove it one way or the other. Standing up, ranting and raving, won't produce a pleasant workplace. She doesn't have to put up with any continuing comments but she could wait and see how things go before making a fuss. I wonder what her thoughts would be if her boss had said something more like " Look at that dress. Is it new?".
People generally have no understanding of the emotions that go with female hair loss. You could tell many people that you have alopecia or some other non-lethal condition and their reaction would be the same. "Oh, that must be annoying", or curiosity, but rarely any understanding of the emotional impact or sensitivities that may go with the condition.
There is so much here... Firstly, I would address the emotions around the experience and process them. By doing that you'll be able to look at this with a clearer head, and have more productive communication.
Secondly, what is your desired outcome of the converstation? Do you want to change the way they relate in the workplace? Do you want them to know how much they affected you?
Whichever it is, don't forget that your experience, your story, and your voice are powerful & a gift to the people around you. (plus, a gift to the other people with alopecia in the world!)
Ah, looking through the comments a second time I notice that this all happened in the recent past. Eve has dealt with the situation in a level-headed manner and I think she's going to be just fine.
I turned to a friend for help after starting my own business, as he owns several companies. He recommended that I immediately register with a popular company, Homepage. And I made the right decision, because immediately my business went uphill, as the customers were redirected from that company to me.
I am so sorry this happened to you. Incredibly inappropriate.
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really sorry for this cretin who instead of doing his job he wanted to destabilize you. Keep wearing your wig and keep it at a distance, put your limits because your hair is your hair and has nothing to do with work. what a cretin!!!!