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Raising Eyebrows at Work

decided, on a whim, to get my eyebrow pierced, I never in a million years thought it would cost me my job. I worked as an advertising copywriter, a fun job in a creative field filled with lots of eccentric people. And my company seemed very open-minded about these things. It was the kind of company where we went to amusement parks and ballgames and video arcades on the corporate dime, the kind of company where the best bar was an open one. In fact, at an after-hours party last spring the CEO himself approached me and asked to see my tongue piercing. He'd read about it in the newsletter, of all things. "Cool," he said with all the confused enthusiasm a middle-aged, conservative, white man could muster. And he bought me a beer. Like I mentioned earlier, I got the piercing on a whim. Actually, the ink was barely dry on my first tattoo (beautifully done at Sin City tattoo in Las Vegas), but I had the proverbial itch for the next body mod. It was a Friday night, and the guys from work wanted to hit the tattoo parlor (only to look, the wimps). While we were there, I impetuously decided to do it. The piercer let my friends stay in the room and watch -- he even gave me a mirror so I could see. It didn't hurt a bit, and I never got the redness that others have complained about. In fact, when we hit a couple of bars later, no one could tell the piercing was fresh. It felt a little tender, but that was it. And it looked damn cool. On Monday, I sauntered right into work without a second thought. By 8:05 a.m., my boss was conference-calling half of upper management. Even though there was nothing in the dress code prohibiting it, the powers-that-be decided the ring was simply unacceptable. "It could offend some clients," my boss said vaguely and without much conviction. "Just take it out." I appealled my case, of course, citing the support of my sales staff and the lack of a rule prohibiting piercings. I also offered to reconsider the issue if clients did complain, which I thought was a wise compromise, but it wasn't good enough. The CEO had made his decision. "No." I felt like he hadn't listened to a single word I'd said. And the fact that they would be willing to fire me over something so small, less than a week after a review where my boss called me "among the best" at my job...I couldn't swallow it. I resigned my position. My boss told me to clear out my desk, forget two weeks notice, which really screwed her on the projects I had up in the air. Too bad, huh? On my way out the door, I stuck my head in the CEO's office. "I'm actually glad this happened," I told him with a cool smile. "It makes it crystal clear that I don't belong in this company." And I walked out, head high and back straight. I also stole all the really good pens. My co-workers told me they were really proud of me for standing by my beliefs. I found out later that they had signed a petition to try to save my job, for all the good it did. I was so touched. Now, a month later, I'm staying at home with my kids full-time. In January, I'll be starting classes at Art School (paid for by Uncle Sam, thanks to a little thing called The GI Bill). I'm thinking of pursuing a career in photography, or maybe fashion design. These are dreams that I've had for a long time, but for one reason or another, have never gotten around to pursuing. Funny, isn't it, how a tiny little piece of stainless steel can change your life. Anyway, as for the peircing itself, it was a breeze. No pain, only a slight pinch when the needle went through, and a bit of tenderness afterward. No redness, ever, and within two weeks even the tenderness is gone. I cleaned it a few times a day with warm water, to keep the crusties away, gently working the ring back and forth. At night, I'd swab on a tiny amount of hydrogen peroxide, and then some Neosporin (both no-nos according to the literature my piercer gave me, but it seemed to work just fine). Now I wash it with a gentle soap, like Dove, in my daily shower and that's about it. Nothing too fancy. I really like the ring. Unlike my tongue piercing and tattoo, it's visible to the general public -- no hiding it, you know. But I consider it a shorthand expression of my personality, a way of telling people there's more to the suburban housewife and mom they see on the outside. The only real question is: what to pierce next?


submitted by: Anonymous
on: 09 Dec. 1999
in Eyebrow Piercing

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Artist: n%2Fa
Studio: Fox+Valley+Tattoo
Location: Chicago+Suburbs

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