It ain’t easy being green.


Greetings, dear reader!  What did you say? You’re an eccentric millionaire looking to employ a sceptic-IT-technician-cum-media-something to keep you company in your doting years, and you’re offering access to your wine cellar (and vintage gins) for nothing more than the provision of a little evening conversation and the odd compliment or two?

Certainly! I’d be delighted to fill that role! Fetch the decanter and I’ll start right away!

For the audience here who are not eccentric millionaires looking to keep me in exquisite comfort for the rest of their lives, let me explain…

At the last Sceptics in the Pub (on Thursday) I offered to try and write a blog post each week in time for Sunday. However, I wasn’t counting on the rather panicky Friday I would have, and the worry that would lurk at the back of my mind for the rest of the weekend.

So I found myself today, trying to think of a suitable blogging topic last-minute, but with no success. There are dozens of sceptical topics out there to choose from (why, you may ask, am I not writing about the new Catholic pre-sex prayer, which could have spawned me a thousand ‘missionary position’ jokes? Or why not just link you to the Daily Mail health page (“I was in agony – so they sawed off my ankles and gave me new ones”, “Surgeons used a drill to clean out my arteries – and the noise was horrendous!”, “My husband’s snoring could rattle the bed. Now he’s been cured by radio waves”)?

Well, to be quite honest, I am far too distracted by the events of Friday, and so have plumped to write about them. You see, oh gracious audience, I may have lost my job. And not because of any of this namby-pamby ‘recession’ malarkey, either. It may be a real old-fashioned dismissal.

Now, it may not be a strictly ‘sceptical’ topic, nor one that is to do with science or one of the many pseudosciences, as we normally have on this site (in fact, perhaps it is an example of the self-centred wittering that blogs are so often lampooned for, though I hope not), but I am hoping that the circumstances for my potential dismissal are ones that will still be of interest to those who are concerned with education.

I work in a school, you see, as a media-chap – the idea being that I produce things such as posters and films, so that the school has something flashy to show parents and the outside world. Unfortunately, as you may know, I have green hair, and have had a variety of unusual colours for the duration of my adult life and my previous two years at this job. For Spring 2009, however, the school has had a change of management and now has a more conservative dress code prohibiting ‘extreme dress, clothes or behaviour’. I found out on Friday that my hair breaches that code, and must be removed. Well, perhaps not removed. But at least bleached, or dyed a less controversial colour.

Drat.

This has come as a bit of a shock, and I must say that my hair is very important to me. Part of me thinks that being so protective of my hair is a bit silly, but at the same time, it forms an important part of my identity – would many people drastically alter their hair if it were requested by their job? It has not been a problem for the previous two years, even through interviews for the new term, and it doesn’t affect my work, so it begs the question: how damaging is my having green hair to the school, and to the pupils?

Of course I don’t think it is damaging. But what about you? Does my hair negatively affect the school? Does it positively affect the school? Does having a plethora of hair colours in  a school lead to an increase in bullying, or of tolerance? Is there some other reason why I should or should not be allowed to have it green? And, of course, are you an eccentric millionaire looking for an heir to your millions?

As a delightful postscript to the events of Friday, on the bus home that afternoon, I was faced with a torrent of abuse from a gang of yoofs, who yelled a barrage green-hair-based insults (but not even one I’ve not heard before) and thew balls of paper at me.

Perhaps bleaching my hair would be the easiest way to avoid incidents like these.  But is it necessarily the best?

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