Monday, July 11, 2005

Something's Festering...and it ain't that new piercing

We got a little tug-of-war currently going on between X-types here and the pierc’ed minority. Specifically, (for now) they are going after anyone with facial jewelry. But once X and X have successfully unadorned the violators under their new martial law forbidding facial jewelry and unpure thoughts, they can write up their next after-the-fact PIOP (operating procedures) and move onto their next cleansing of perceived violators and violations polluting the waters of our perfect insular Society here at Club Stepford Iraq. Apparently, X doesn’t believe that any civilian contractors in his jurisdiction should be artificially adorned with anything other than what the good Lord gave them. Next they’ll probably write up anyone who is circumcised for having altered/modified their bodies.

Nothing in the hiring process forbade facial piercings (or circumcision for that matter.) Nothing in General Order Number 1 in regard to Civilian Contractors forbade facial piercings and nothing during our interview process, hiring process or CRC process ever mentioned facial piercings (or just to be fair, circumcision.) Nothing over the last 18 months of working here in Iraq has indicated that any of their piercings or piercings of any sort were against XY policy. Nor has it seemed to impede their job performance or ability to interface with the customers. We aren’t, by the way, talking of people who are adorned with 10-20 facial piercings or a row of rooster looking spikes sticking out of their shorn head from forehead to the back of the neck!

So the problem seems to be recent and a form of the personal prejudices of a few small-minded, ate-up, ex-military, conformist, Nuevo- X -types who believe that you couldn’t NOT possibly be a head-banging, purse-snatching, glue sniffing, pus-bucket of a human being if you have any jewelry in your face, tongue, ears, nose, eyebrows…(you supply the body part of your choice here). So in their little perfect and starched white collared shirt/black tie society, it naturally follows suit that you couldn’t ever be a good worker, honest, law-abiding, God worshiping, tax paying citizen or a good American if you have any facial metal.

And what about tattoos? Are they to be the subject of our next after-the-fact PIOP? Are we now to arrange our lasar appointments in Kuwait to have our hearts with “Mom” removed off our arms because she has become offensive to ? What about that cute little lady bug on whats-her-names you-know-where…oh yeah, ankle? (what were *you* thinking, huh?)

If the Stepford Patriarch (I don’t recall any matriarchs here in-theater) wants something to be scared of, he/they need to check out www.bmezine.com! (Although I must say that if you want to research any type of piercings, bmeszine is the place to get the straight poop on whether or not you really, really want to do it and if you do do it, how to care for it. Their bulletin boards will captivate you for hours!)

But I digress: First off; we still work in a war zone. Dubya may long ago have declared the war over, but the insurgents haven’t been quite convinced of that yet. We still are receiving incoming mortars and rockets. Contrary to what Rush Limbaugh is telling you, they aren’t just hitting the soldier’s hooches and the PX here, folks! So what do these offending personal piercings have to do with how we do our jobs, how we survive incoming attacks or how we mentally survive under these conditions, how we support the Army and the mission? Second off; what ever happened to being judged on your job performance? Third off; so many of us have been here for how long doing our jobs pierced or unpierced; why were we good enough when the frequency of mortars and rockets were greater, but not good enough now? Did they initially not consider the pierced crowd but settled for second best to hit the ground running and now that working here is considered mainstream, the rules are changed?

Could XY be trying to put forward a better face, or unpierced face (no pun intended, sort of) for the Army since rebidding is coming up shortly?

Whatever the excuse, their methods, manners and the way things are now being handled make it sound too much like rules recently instituted have been based upon personal prejudices, not “official” (as in Corporate U.S. of A.) Y policy. Is Corporate back in the U.S. practicing restricted and conditional hiring practices based on whether a viable, talented and qualified candidate is pierced? If yes, is the candidate made aware of those restrictions at the interview, or are they sprung on the employee after 18 months of employment? Furthermore, if yes, what *are* the specific restrictions? Are males allowed the same number of ear piercings as women? Are men restricted from nose piercings, but women allowed nose piercings? Are there gauge restrictions on what gauge jewelry is acceptable? Is there hoop diameter restrictions? Are Corporate piercing-restrictive PIOP’s issued and enforced Stateside? Are they M/F dependent or blanket restrictions?

Let’s meet this issue face to face. (oh, the humanity; I’m killing myself here folks!) Call it like I see it. If it looks like poop, smells like poop and feels like poop, no need to taste it; it’s probably poop!

A letter from the downtrodden, indentured serfs at Club Stepford has been submitted to HR to intervene on the Stepford Inquisition. The pierc’ed minority hasn’t heard back from HR yet on this situation, but it should be interesting. Didn’t Rush (the Canadian rock group, not that Oxicoton-strung out neo-conservative, talk-radio sensitive guy (permission to rofl)) sing a song "Witchhunt" on their album Moving Pictures (1981) with the lyrics, “ignorance and prejudice and fear walk hand in hand”?
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