hi all,
this is my first time blogging too. so on friday i was having a very good day at work when the tables turned. we were all coming back from lunch when my boss looks at me and says in front of everyone "hey pat, do you know the first time i realized that your hair is not really yours?" so with everyone looking i stopped him dead in his next ignorant tracks. I said to him "dont you think that is a private matter and that what you said maybe embarrasing to me? And what makes you think that i want to discuss "my" hair with the entire office?"

i just walked away while he apologized and i left him there with his mouth open. so off i went into the bathroom and cried. i was so upset that i wanted to go home. i didnt think i could possibly work in the state that i was in. i must have stayed in the bathroom for what seems like forever.after i some what got my self together i decide i would come out continue my day and why should i be ashamed. why should i use a sick or vaction day because of someone elses ignorance. so out i came, holding my head high determining not to let others see the pain i felt inside.

i went to my computer and immediately emailed him and let him no how much he humiliated and embarrased me. i told him as if he didnt notice that i am a very private person and that i dont share my personal business with coworkers so what made him think that anything concerning me was up for discussion. i also told him that if he wanted to know or if he notice i always wear weaves or wigs and he wanted to know why, i wish he would have been a little more sensitive and asked me in private- even though i would have kindly told him to stay out of my business and get some of his own!

i really wanted him to feel as bad as he made me feel. so at the end of my email i told him that i have alopecia and that i have had this condition for quite some time and i am learning to deal with it. he is a medical dr so he does have some understanding of at least what the condition is. i told him being a dr he needs to show some sensitivity not only to the patients he treats but also to the people who work for him.he responded and apologized profusely. now i dont want to go to work on monday.thanks for letting me get it all out.

Views: 4

Comment by lidia on March 7, 2009 at 9:41pm
When i gratuated from nursing school i started my job in a small hospital. I remember clearly my coworkers talking loudly around me about wigs and weaves... i knew they were talking about me. I was so hurt and felt alone...The ring leader of that discusion was a young man studing to be a nurse. The next day i took him aside and basicaly told him that yes i do wear a wig not by choice. I also told him that i was very surprised for a FUTUR NURSE like him to behave that way. You need to show compation i said... I was so mad and hurt... for the first time in my life i stood up for myself. It felt good... what i realy wanted to do is slap him...but could not...lol...
Its been so long since i lost my hair and it still hurts when a comment is made or a weird look is givin my way.
Good luck to you.... keep you head up high....
I always say... What goes around comes around...
Comment by Jill on March 8, 2009 at 12:48am
That is surprising behavior coming from a doctor. I hate when that kind of stuff happens. Not only is it embarrassing it really angers me that it ends up upsetting me and causes me to focus so much on my alopecia when I was fine until the comment. Not sure if that makes sense to you?? I agree with Jen, it is inspiring to me that you were able to stick up for yourself so quickly and professionally. I struggle with what to say when stuff like that happens. If I were you I'd go to work and take some satisfaction in the fact that he is going to be feeling uncomfortable. I think you taught him a valuable lesson, he should be thankful.
Comment by Just Me on March 8, 2009 at 10:12am
Just goes to show, some people can have an education, but still remain soooo stupid!!!!
Comment by Galvin on March 8, 2009 at 4:44pm
((((((((HUG)))))))) You did very well. I had a alopecia incident once at the office and took the rest of
the day as a vacation day. You did better than me. :)
Comment by Pat on March 8, 2009 at 5:27pm
thanks for the support and all of the encouragement! i love this site! sandy you are so right, alopecia is not an easy condition to have. rose marie its not about trying to keep a secret. its about a medical condition that i choose at this time not to discuss with my coworkers, no more than if some had a thyroid disorder, anemia, crohns disease,diabetes or heart disease. i am sure we all work with people who have some type of medical condition but do they all feel the need to educate us on arthritis? and if they dont feel the need to talk about gout do you feel like they are shuting you out? i know that it was not his intention to hurt me, but some times people do need a sensitivity check. i have worked at the practice dfor some time now and i know him. he has a very bad habit of saying things that arent appropriate with every one including the patients. you are probably right-no one i work with will probably bring the subject up again. i am fine with that. some things i just choose not to discuss with them. maybe that will change but right now-not.thanks everyone for the hugs!! you guys are the best!
Comment by Andie on March 8, 2009 at 7:30pm
Hi Pat!
Oh yeah....I've been in your situation before. I had a co-worker ask me in front of others if I wore a wig. I was already having a bad day on top of that, so I got REALLY upset. The co-worker did apologize, and in fact some of my other co-workers apologized for his behavior as well. I don't mind if others inquire about my wig, as long as it is just between us. There is nothing wrong with being a private person and choosing to share your alopecia with whomever you feel comfortable, but I do understand Rosy's point of view as well - alopecia is nothing to be ashamed of, and it does get difficult trying to hide it. But some of us (myself included) are just not ready to take those steps yet, even if you have had alopecia for years. It is what I am definitely striving for, but to be reached at my own pace and time.
Your boss was downright rude and you were humiliated, but you stood up for yourself and we are all proud of you!
Comment by Dielle on March 8, 2009 at 7:36pm
I have found that it really helps to think in your head how absolutely stupid the people are that say these kinds of things. When I was in eight grade (senior in hs now) I was calld baldwin (for bald twin since I have a twin sister that has a full head of hair) along with baldy, bald-eagle, and others. It was only a couple of people and sometimes it hurt so bad that I didn't even want to go to school, but hten I just started thinking about how these people are not going to get very far in life in either relationships, work, or self-fulfillment because they obviously don't love themselves enough to love others and that made me feel better. Thoughtless people are almost worse than mean people because they just don't think about anything they say because they are incapable of showing empathy (not sympathy), my grandma is one of those. When someone says something I just think to myself "wow what an idiot!" because they really are just so ignorant of what they are doing that it is shocking. Personally I have chosen to only show my head to close family-friends and my family because when I had friends that knew about it they felt compelled to try and say something to make me feel better like "oh it must be sooooo nice in the summer, you are so lucky!" when all it would do was hurt me because I didn't feel lucky. If I was you I would go into work and just act like nothing happened because he will probably still feel sorry for saying it but he won't want to say anything to you which quite frankly punishes him a bit for acting so ignorantly. There are always going to be stupid ignorant and mean people out there so you just have to realize that you are enough for yourself and stop caring about what others think, because there opinion of you is definitely not as important as the opinion you have of yourself.
Comment by Paige on March 8, 2009 at 10:50pm
Pat, you are so incredibly strong, as are others dealing with this condition. I agree with Rosy that your boss was probably not purposefully trying to embarrass you. He sounded like he might just have been genuinely surprised to find out about your hair. You did good hanging in there and not letting the situation get the best of you!!!
Comment by Life on March 8, 2009 at 11:49pm
Good for you for standing up for yourself. I understand how you feel. You have the right to your privacy and if you choose not to broadcast to rest of the world why you wear a weave or wigs then so be it. I am surprised your boss was so insensitive being a doctor but on the other hand, I myself have experienced comments that are bourne of ignorance. Often times people don't realize that you are not adopting a style out of vanity but out of what is a necessity for you. Perhaps when the dust settles it might be a good idea to have a face to face with your boss to ensure the air is clear. It might make you feel better and him as well, it sounds like he is really remorseful. Stay strong, you are a beautiful black woman. This is one of the reasons I joined this board, sometimes it seems like I am on this journey alone, as I know no one else with hair loss issues. It is refreshing to dialogue and hopefully give a hug/encouragement to someone who needs it. I hope you have a great week at work next week. Keep you head up :-)
Comment by Nicole on March 9, 2009 at 4:11pm
Here is a hug for you, Pat. I run into similar situations all the time, but it is mainly compliments on the wigs I wear. A few people within my company know of my condition. It can be quite embarrassing when speaking of this issue in front of people I don't even know like that. But then again, I am able to embrace my beauty regardless of who is around. Some people just don't use the common sense that God blessed them with.


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