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12.07.07

Her nose piercing leads to job loss, hurt feelings

Posted in Piercing News at 2:46 pm by admin

Her nose piercing leads to job loss, hurt feelings
LAND O’LAKES – Lauren Mixon said she wanted to sparkle – but just a little bit.

She wanted to get her nose pierced with a tiny diamond. She checked the dress code at work.

It discouraged “extreme” jewelry.

She checked with her supervisor. The answer, Mixon said: “It wouldn’t be in my best interests.”

Now some may interpret that one way. Mixon’s own interpretation: no one ever said “no.”

So she had her nose pierced. It hurt like heck for three days.

Now it really hurts.

Mixon is now out of a job over a tiny piece of metal that has suddenly become a big deal.

Her old employer said he feels bad. But he also said the rules don’t allow it, her supervisor told her not to do it and that Mixon wasn’t fired – she quit.

Pasco County Tax Collector Mike Olson said having the public served by someone with a nose piercing is not his idea of public service.

“We are a professional organization,” Olson said. “If you choose to have that, work somewhere else.”

* * *

For two years, Mixon worked the counter at the Land O’Lakes office, helping people pay their property taxes, renew their vehicle tags or get their hunting licenses. She got good reviews there.

“It’s a good place to work,” the 22-year-old said. “It really is.”

She got pierced the night before Thanksgiving. A nose stud isn’t extreme, she thought, and it was just $10.

Mixon hoped she could start with a clear plastic piercing that wouldn’t be too noticeable. But the tattoo shop told her she had to start with a small sterling silver stud for four to eight weeks, to prevent infection.

Come Monday, she told her manager – the same manager who discouraged her the month before.

“She said ‘You were told not to do it,’ ” Mixon said, “and I said ‘No, I was told it wasn’t in my best interests.’ ”

* * *

The next day, Tuesday, was Mixon’s last.

She met with her manager and a human resources official. They spelled out the rules: the stud had to go.

Frustrated, Mixon said she would find someone to take out the stud, then come back Wednesday with her two weeks notice.

“With all of this going on and with the way I was treated,” she said, “I didn’t want to be here anymore.”

She left the office with her husband Steven but returned with a new determination: “I got to thinking this isn’t fair. I didn’t do anything wrong.”

She offered to put in a clear, plastic stud right away, or disguise it with a band-aid. And she said this:

“I’m not quitting and I’m not taking it out.”

Too late. She was handed a letter accepting her “verbal resignation.” She was excused from the office her last two weeks, and would be paid through Dec. 11.

Mixon said Thursday she only wants one thing:

“I just want my job back,” she said.

But Olson said it’s best for both of them if they go their separate ways.

* * *

Mike Olson knows a thing or two about dress codes, about professional workplaces.

“There’s one thing about office policy every employer and employee knows,” he said. “When you have something like a dress code, if you don’t maintain it, then everybody gets upset.”

The former county commissioner is 62 now. He’s spent his entire adult life in one office or another.

He was 18 when he got his first office job in 1963.

When he was 19, they laid down the law on him: no sport jackets, no blazers.

Management was to wear suits only.

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3 Comments »

  1. ERICA said,

    February 12, 2008 at 11:09 am

    I know what you are going through, I’m going through the same thing at My Job now, However I Refuse to Quit….. They will have to Fire me first…..I will draw unemployment off them if they fire me for something without good reason…..

  2. James Mueller said,

    March 7, 2008 at 4:50 pm

    your story really pisses me off…times are changing and management at offices need to get their heads out of their asses and realize that. my wife works at a bank and is an outstanding employee. she has a labret, another employee has a monroe and a tongue and another has a small nostril like yours. my wife and her friends are going through the same thing. policy dissaproves of them, and if it comes down to an ultimatum like yours alot of people will quit. companies are losing good employees over small things that only piss off the elderly…i say fuck the elderly – they would rather have crappy service offered by laura ingles than a real professional with facial piercings. good job standing up to it. perhaps with more people like you, companies will get with the times and see that its their loss if they choose to remain intollerant to modern norms.

  3. Emi said,

    October 5, 2009 at 1:44 am

    How shocking, noone ever complained about my nose piercing! It is like an earring almost and have they ever considered that in some cultures it is normal? (India)

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