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Re: Facial hair? [Re: Trumpy] #182179 11/20/08 12:18 PM
Joined: Oct 2002
Posts: 482
Zapped Offline
Oh, and by the way, I have long hair. Have since I was about 5 yrs old. Clean and well kept long hair, but long none the less.

It's never been an issue once I speak to a client or a prospective client. I think that good work and knowledge speak for themselves. This is how I judge craftsman and employees - as long as you're tidy and your work is the same, you're OK in my book.

Business, Office, Estimating, Legal:
Re: Facial hair? [Re: Trumpy] #182181 11/20/08 01:22 PM
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,316
renosteinke Offline
Cat Servant
I'm not surprised that this thread has its' share of passionate responses. It seems that, wherever I've travelled, the shape and appearance of a persons' head playa a major role in saying who you are, and what you do; such things seem always to be a matter of social 'rules,' rather than personal choice.

For example, I've been places where a mans' hat told you what village and family a man belonged to, and what his position was in life.

Facial hair is no different. For example, our troops in Afghanistan have had a certain amount of trouble with the natives, who assume a man without a beard simply must be a gay transvestite.

Among the Amish, the beard is the symbol of a married man.

Ditto for tattoos. There's the tattoo that says "I'm a proud Marine" ... and the one that says "I'm a loser who just got out of jail - again!"

However, we seem to have made a doctrine out of denying reality. One is - somehow - no longer allowed to consider ALL factors in enforcing a rule. "You can't, but he can, because you don't look good with a beard" is feared to be a lawsuit in the making. Say "no beards," and someone is likely to claim you're intruding on his religion. Stand clear of the issue, and you're scaring customers away. The businessman just can't win.

All I can say is that we have a trade that is made of many, many small shops; unlike the car makers, we're not dominated by a handfull of firms. Remember that our priority is pleasing the customer, and not making a personal fashion statement.

Finally, recognize that there are some things where life can be neither fair, nor consistant.

Re: Facial hair? [Re: Trumpy] #182243 11/21/08 06:01 PM
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 13
Service Doc Offline
We all know very well that facial hair doesn't necessarily reflect a person's integrity or ability to do a good job. Neither do tattoos or piercings, although the latter is probably frowned upon more from my generation (40ish) than the next since piercings are the "tats" of the 21st century.

However, we must keep in mind that we are not the recipients of the services provided, our customers are. It is from this standpoint that we must form our opinion since, no matter if it's right or wrong, some people don't feel as comfortable or are as open minded than we hope to be.

Speaking from a residential service perspective, a customer's privacy is somewhat invaded when having to allow a total stranger access to their home, their "stuff", their families. I don't know about your kids but when the TV guys came to fix my LCD (first time an extended warranty paid off, only 1 month left and saved me a grand!), my 2 and 4 year old where standing closely by, marveling at the tools they used, the uniforms they wore and the truck they drove. They even went so far as to get their toy drill, saw and hammer and offered repeatedly to provide a helping hand. Of course I was close by to make sure they didn't bother the techs too much but, I must admit, I was also there to make sure the techs were in line with my kids as well.

I have worked in the industry for over 10 years now and I know that the majority of the guys out there are not only good with kids but usually quite amusing and empathetic to the children they encounter. My point however is that they had access to what I value and protect the most, my family. If I guy walked in with a poor appearance, regardless of it being a torn shirt, unkempt facial hair, strong BO, I would be worried about his treatment of my belongings, my carpets, where he placed his tools since he would have projected an image of someone who didn't care about himself, let alone my stuff.

Whether that perspective is right or wrong is beside the point, I consider myself quite open minded and I know that most people out there would probably be more apprehensive than I would be, whether they demonstrated it to you or now. And that brings up another point. Very rarely will a customer boot you out for their home becomes they don't feel comfortable with your appearance or demeanor, but getting that customer to call you back is another issue altogether. And trust me, if you have to renew your customer base for every call, your marketing budget will be double if not triple of what it should be.

A police officer wears a uniform since he needs to project authority and recognition. Your accountant probably wears a suit and your doctorís office is probably (and hopefully) one of the cleaner work areas you have visited. These other professionals hold themselves to this standard to project an image which accomplishs a goal, and so should we. Whether your techs sport a beard or not, they should convey a feeling of respect for themselves and their trade which in turns provides the customer with a better opinion of your company. We spend time to make sure we answer the phones with respect, that our trucks looks clean, that are logo's and company names are sober, why would we neglect the most impactful part of the customer experience?

We recommend our customers provide uniforms for their techs, ID badges (print them out on your own, they cost nothing!), shoe protectors, carpet protectors, procedures on how to meet and greet a customer, where to put your toolbox, etc. It's this impression that will not only justify your costs to the customer (cause youíre probably not the cheapest in your area) but that will also make them call you again.

My kids each got a cap from the LCD guys which they wore everyday for about 1 week. They pretended to fix the TV and did so with good language and manners. What better advertisement for the repair company that my kids sporting their uniforms!

You make my kids laugh, you make my kids happy, and Iíll remember that more than anything else.


Re: Facial hair? [Re: rwcanary] #182256 11/22/08 01:44 PM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,429
LK Offline
Originally Posted by rwcanary
Nice success story.

But here is realty. Most punks don't care what they look they like, and they don't care who it offends, and they don't want to work. They want a position, not a job. Having said that, when looking at a group of applicants I don't have time to do a syc eval on each one. Therefore, I have to narrow the field down quickly. First are the basic requirements, next is the education and experience. Then I meet them. Again I say I don't have time to work out there ethics for them, they *better* make it as easy as possible for me to see them as a professional.

If they show up with long hair, dirty hygiene, tattoos everywhere, nose rings, and tongue rings hang out, wearing beach bum attire, thats it....they're out of there.

Before you start flaming me, know this, I have hired people like that, because I was in a bind and needed labors in a really bad way. Only one of them, out 12 or 14, is still with me. And two days before I was going to can his job, he got right with Jesus Christ. That was three ago, and he has been absolutely supper every since. And I always make a point to tell him how much I appreciate him.


Good Post!

Re: Facial hair? [Re: LK] #182257 11/22/08 02:53 PM
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,316
renosteinke Offline
Cat Servant
I missed this earlier ... but, let's keep jewelery apart, as a separate topic. I only ask this, because there is the entire topic of PPE / arc flash that can come up ... and, when it does, I think it deserves its' own thread.

Re: Facial hair? [Re: renosteinke] #182282 11/23/08 08:32 AM
Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 1,457
Electricmanscott Offline
It's pretty simple. People judge based on appearance. If you look like a bum, they think you're a bum. People have different opinions of what that bum looks like but I think most could agree on a general outline.

In my view an employer should be able to hire or fire any person for any reason they see fit.

Re: Facial hair? [Re: Electricmanscott] #182360 11/24/08 04:30 PM
Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 200
u2slow Offline
I prefer my beard. My skin doesn't take well to shaving no matter what precautions I try. It also grows in really fast due to my viking heritage.

That said, I'm now a part-time marine engineer - which requires me to be clean shaven for the SCBA I'm required to wear in case of a fire onboard.

Re: Facial hair? [Re: Trick440] #182371 11/24/08 11:35 PM
Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 17
etech Offline
Neat and clean is my motto.(Speech and appearance)
We are professionals, so we need to look that way.
I am never comfortable leaving my wife alone when we have service technicians working on our home. So I tell my guys that one way we can put the lady of the house at ease is to dress neatly.Combed hair, clean shirt and jeans,clean language. Put yourself in the customer's place. I ask them,
would you be comfortable leaving your wife alone with an unkept, smelly, foul mouthed service tech?

Re: Facial hair? [Re: etech] #182427 11/26/08 02:23 PM
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 2
rwcanary Offline
New Member
I also have a beard. As the owner of the business at least my employees see that it is okay. However, my beard is kept neatly trimmed and not longer than 3/4". I do agree with "etech" and he has made an excellent point. As a business, the way the public sees you is very important, and making them feel like they are being treated fairly and safely are a must.

Re: Facial hair? [Re: rwcanary] #182431 11/26/08 03:20 PM
Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 4,287
electure Offline
I think it all depends on what aspect of the trade you're in.

There's a World of difference in one of those "white-shirted-polished-shoes" guys that does residential service with a yellow pages ad, sends "technicians", and a guy that does tract home, or industrial construction.

The OP never stated what position was being applied for, but either way the employer has the right, IMO to set the rules of what's acceptable for his company.
If the prospective employee doesn't want to shave his goatee, then he is probably in the wrong place for him anyway, and will never be happy.

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